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Stephen Besen


New York

Besen Stephen
Stephen Besen


New York

Stephen has over 35 years of experience representing clients in complex cross-border public and private M&A transactions. Clients rely on his broad-based experience in structuring and negotiating acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures, as well as advising on general corporate legal matters.

Stephen has been recognized as one of the leading lawyers in corporate/M&A and private equity by Chambers USA and Legal 500. In 2022, Legal 500 said that “Stephen Besen is highly engaged and always readily available (even when taking into account the time differences). He combines an in-depth knowledge with excellent communication and negotiation skills and is able to remain his calm under stressful circumstances. He runs his team as a tight ship and makes sure there is appropriate (but not over the top) resourcing for our files, with equally capable other partners (tax, IP) and associates. Stephen is a real pleasure to work with, also from a personal perspective.” In 2008, Stephen was named “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer for his role advising SABIC on the $11.6 billion acquisition of GE Plastics.

Stephen regularly represents industrial/infrastructure clients, asset management firms and financial institutions both domestically and internationally.

Experience highlights

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New York

1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York
NY 10020

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Admitted: Bar of the State of New York, 1984


S.B. Management and Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1980

J.D., Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Columbia University School of Law, New York, New York, 1983

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Other noteworthy experience

Former firm experience includes advising: 

  • Legg Mason in its acquisition of a majority stake in Clarion Partners Holdings LLC.
  • A global financial institution on the sale of its retail and commercial banking operations in Peru to The Bank of Nova Scotia, and on the sale of the financial institution’s comprised of hedge fund services and private equity fund services, to SS&C Technologies Holdings.
  • Mizuho Financial Group in its acquisition of a $36.5b portfolio of North American loan commitments from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC.
  • A global financial institution in the sale of its worldwide custody business to State Street and the sale of various private equity and venture capital investments.
  • Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. in the dissolution of its global alliance with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. 
  • B/E Aerospace in its spin-off of KLX, Inc. and in its acquisitions of TSI Group Inc. and UFC Aerospace Corp. 
  • Deere & Company in the sale of a majority interest in its landscape business, John Deere Landscapes LLC, to private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
  • Aditya Birla Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate, in its acquisition of Atlanta-headquartered Columbian Chemicals Company, becoming the world’s largest carbon black manufacturer by volume.
  • Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) in its acquisition of GE Plastics.
  • Industry Funds Management (IFM) in the acquisition of a minority interest in VIP Terminals.



The U.S. M&A Practice is ranked as Highly Regarded

Chambers USA: Mergers & Acquisitions, 2018