International law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP announced today that Michael W. Blair, partner and Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department, will serve as the firm’s next Presiding Partner, effective July 1, 2011. Blair will succeed Martin Frederic (“Rick”) Evans, who has been Presiding Partner since 1998.
Blair is a leading corporate lawyer who has served as lead counsel in major M&A transactions, advised senior executives and boards of directors on governance matters and handled securities transactions for clients across a range of industries. He has served as Co-chair of the Corporate Department since 1997 and as Chair since 2002.
“Michael is a preeminent lawyer, a strategic and thoughtful leader, and a person of character who is ideally suited to lead our firm,” said Evans. “Michael’s deep understanding of the global business climate has enabled him to provide extraordinary counsel to his clients. He has equally contributed, as a member of our management team, to policies and programs that have brought innovation to Debevoise while nurturing our remarkable culture.”
Blair joined Debevoise in 1981 and became a partner in 1989. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago.
“I look forward to serving our firm as Presiding Partner. Our priority will be to build further those capabilities which offer tangible competitive advantages that benefit our clients on their most important matters. I feel fortunate to follow Rick Evans, a leader who emphasized the delivery of legal services at the very top of the market, and under whose watch Debevoise continued to develop as an extraordinary law firm," said Blair.
Jeffrey J. Rosen, Deputy Presiding Partner and Co-Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, will succeed Blair as Chair of the Corporate Department. Last year The National Law Journal named Rosen to its list of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.”
Mary Jo White, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and recognized by The National Law Journal as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States,” remains Chair, and partner John S. Kiernan continues as Co-chair, of the firm’s Litigation Department. Partner Burt Rosen remains Chair of the Tax Department.
In the 13 years Evans has served as Presiding Partner, Debevoise has expanded into new markets in Europe and Asia, strengthened key practices, and doubled its number of lawyers. He reaches the firm’s regular retirement age at the end of this year.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a leading international law firm, representing a wide range of clients around the world. Founded in 1931, the firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai.