William Regner is Deputy Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department and a member of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Financial Institutions and Corporate Governance Groups. He focuses on public company transactions and corporate governance matters and advises boards, special committees and senior management on governance issues, including activist challenges and risk management. He has experience across many industries but is particularly active in the TMT and asset management sectors. He also regularly represents investment banking firms in their roles as financial advisors in major transactions. Mr. Regner was recognized as a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting in 2018.
Mr. Regner is ranked as a leading M&A lawyer by Chambers USA (2020), where he receives praise for his “great perspective and judgment,” and where clients note his “command of details and balanced view.” Sources have also said he “has the knowledge and experience, but his approach is pragmatic, commercial and practical” and that he has “outstanding technical knowledge and commercial awareness” and “comes up with creative solutions.” Clients have highlighted his “excellent commercial judgment and good commercial sense” and have said that he “really commands a room but is also a very good listener,” and he is also praised for his “superb negotiating and drafting” skills. Clients have described his approach as “commercial and practical” and note that he has “outstanding technical knowledge and commercial awareness.” He is recommended by The Legal 500 US (2020), where one client declares that he is “the best attorney of all I have used in 50 years of business.” Other sources have described him as “thoughtful, smart and savvy” and lauded his delivery of “high-value and to-the-point advice.” He is also recognized by IFLR1000 (2020) as a leading M&A lawyer.
Mr. Regner is a frequent speaker on legal developments affecting mergers and acquisitions. Recent engagements include “Advising a Special Committee in Mergers & Acquisitions” (2020) at the Practising Law Institute’s Mergers & Acquisitions 2020: Advanced Trends and Developments conference; “Advising the Board of Directors in an M&A Transaction: An Overview of the Board’s Responsibilities” (2018 & 2019) at the Practising Law Institute’s Mergers & Acquisitions 2018 & 2019: Advanced Trends and Developments conferences; “Bank M&A Mechanics and Regulatory Issues” at FIRMA’s Current Risk Issues seminar (2017); and “The Deal: A View of Delaware Law Developments from M&A Practitioners” at the Practising Law Institute’s Delaware Law Developments 2017: What All Business Lawyers Need to Know seminar (2017). Mr. Regner also moderated a discussion on “Disclosure Matters and Other SEC Considerations in M&A” for the Practising Law Institute’s Mergers & Acquisitions 2017: Advanced Trends and Developments event (2017).
Mr. Regner is the co-author of Takeovers: A Strategic Guide to Mergers & Acquisitions (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 2019) and is a contributor to Corporate Governance: Law and Practice (Matthew Bender 2013). His published articles include “Back to Work: Protect Directors Too,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (June, 2020); “What the FRB Non-Control Proposal Means for Activist Investment in Banks,” Bloomberg Law (May, 2019); “Delaware M&A Appraisal After DFC, Dell and Aruba,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (May, 2019); “Debevoise Discusses Delaware Chancery Ruling on a Material Adverse Event,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (October, 2018); “Appraisal Rights: Navigating the Maze After DFC Global, Dell, and Aruba” for the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (April, 2018); “US And UK Share Purchase Agreements: Comparing Approaches,” Practical Law (January, 2015) and “How Sell-Side Advisors Can Reduce Litigation Risk in Light of Delaware’s Rural/Metro Decision,” Journal of Investment Compliance, Volume 15 Issue 2 (August, 2014). He is also a contributing author of The Private Equity Primer: The Best of the Debevoise & Plimpton Private Equity Report and the Debevoise & Plimpton Private Equity Report.
Mr. Regner joined Debevoise as an associate in 1994 and became a partner in 2002. Mr. Regner received his A.B. from Colgate University in 1988 and his J.D. summa cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1994, where he was articles editor of the Cardozo Law Review.