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John B. Meade


Co-head of Capital Markets practice. Represents clients in complex public and private securities offerings both in the United States and internationally.

John is co-head of our Capital Markets practice. He represents issuer and underwriter clients in public and private securities offerings, including IPOs and other equity offerings, investment-grade and high-yield debt offerings, and liability management transactions.

He also advises U.S. and non-U.S. corporations across a variety of industries on general corporate matters, including strategic and separation transactions, corporate governance, and SEC reporting and compliance matters.

Numerous industry publications, including IFLR1000, Chambers USA and Law360, have recognized John as a leading capital markets lawyer. He is a member of the Financial Reporting Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Experience highlights

Capital Markets
  • IPOs of AVG, Avolta (f/k/a Dufry), Butterfield Bank, Cairn India, Cellcom Israel, Galderma, Hilton Worldwide, Hudson Group, Karooooo, Kenvue, Manchester United, Pandora, Reliance Petroleum and Synchrony Financial
  • Follow-on equity offerings by General Mills, Horizon Global, Manchester United, Millicom, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ranpak, Tribune Media, Signature Bank, Spectrum Brands and TelaDoc Health
  • High-yield debt offerings by Avolta (f/k/a Dufry), Blackboard, Bread Financial, Comcel, Cloud Software Group, Crash Champions, Enova International, Garrett Motion, HRG Group, Hearthside Group, Hilton Worldwide, Kissner Milling, Millicom, New Enterprise Stone and Lime, Norwegian Cruise Line, Resideo, Sandridge Energy, Service King, Spectrum Brands and Warner Music
  • Investment-grade debt offerings by Bacardi, Butterfield Bank, Canadian National Railway, Comcast, Compass Bank, Diageo, Emerson Electric, Fifth Third Bank, General Mills, Honeywell, IBM, JPMorgan, Kenvue, Kyndryl, Legg Mason, L-3 Communications, Masco, Mylan, Nestlé, Ralph Lauren, Sallie Mae, Shire, Synchrony Financial and Verisk Analytics
  • Liability management transactions include Comcast’s $15 billion debt-for-debt exchange offer and General Electric Capital Corporation’s $36 billion debt-for-debt exchange offer – the largest corporate debt-for-debt exchange offer ever completed

John has worked on numerous separations, including subsidiary IPOs, spin-offs and related financings. He advised the underwriters of Johnson & Johnson’s IPO of Kenvue and subsequent split-off exchange offer (the largest split-off ever completed) and the underwriters of General Electric’s IPO of Synchrony Financial and subsequent split-off exchange offer (the second largest split-off ever completed). He also advised on the spin-outs of Navient from Sallie Mae, and Loyalty Ventures from Alliance Data Systems.

Other Work

John also advises U.S. and non-U.S. corporations across industries on strategic transactions, corporate governance, SEC compliance and disclosure matters. Firm corporate clients he works closely with include Avolta (f/k/a Dufry), Bread Financial, Canadian National Railway, Comcast, Emerson Electric, Millicom, Morgan Stanley, Ranpak, Sallie Mae and Verisk Analytics.

He practiced in Davis Polk’s London office from 2003–2011 where he worked on cross-border corporate finance and strategic transactions.

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IFLR1000 – Capital Markets (Debt, Equity, High Yield), United States

Chambers USA and Global – Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: Eastern United States

Legal 500 U.S. – Capital Markets: Debt Offerings

Law360 – “Capital Markets MVP of the Year,” 2014


B.C.L., University of Oxford
  • with distinction
  • British Government Chevening Scholar
  • Sir Roy Goode Prize
LL.M., York University, Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Rotary Foundation Scholar
B.C.L., University College Cork
  • first-class honours
  • College Scholar

Professional history

  • Davis Polk since 2001
  • Trainee Solicitor, McCann FitzGerald (Dublin), 1997-1999

Qualifications and admissions

  • State of New York
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
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