Davis Polk today announced that leading mergers and acquisitions lawyer James Dougherty has joined the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice as a partner in New York.

“James is an excellent practitioner at the top of his game, and we are thrilled that he is joining Davis Polk as we continue to grow our elite M&A team,” said Neil Barr, Davis Polk’s Managing Partner. “His arrival augments our capabilities for advising clients on their most complex and significant deals.”

Mr. Dougherty advises companies on a range of transactional matters including takeover defense, leveraged buyouts, proxy contests, shareholder activism and corporate governance. He joins the firm from Jones Day, where he was Global Chair of the M&A practice.

Representing acquirors, sellers and special committees, Mr. Dougherty has worked on many high-profile M&A transactions, including Marathon Petroleum’s $23 billion acquisition of Andeavor. He also has significant experience with corporate carve-outs, going-private deals and spin-off transactions.

In addition, Mr. Dougherty advises boards of directors and management in connection with activism campaigns, proxy fights and other shareholder engagement matters. He has helped clients respond to situations involving many of the most prominent activist investors.

“James has a diverse practice running the gamut of M&A transactions – strategic and private equity deals, board representations and activist defense,” said Will Aaronson, co-head of Davis Polk’s M&A practice. “His impressive experience and deep relationships will further strengthen our position as a preeminent M&A firm.”

Davis Polk’s M&A lawyers provide best-in-class service and execution on the largest and most innovative mergers and acquisitions transactions in the market. The firm is recognized among the best in the world, with top-tier rankings from publications such as Chambers USA, Chambers Global, the Legal 500 U.S. and IFLR1000.

“James is very well respected in the marketplace and there are a number of synergies between his practice and our platform that we look forward to capturing,” said Louis Goldberg, co-head of Davis Polk’s M&A practice. “He is a superb fit and we are delighted to have him on our team.”

Mr. Dougherty said, “Davis Polk has an unrivaled reputation for excellence – not only is the firm known for its M&A prowess, but also for its commitment to client service and its collaborative culture. I am thrilled to be part of this outstanding team and firm.”

Several publications including Chambers USA and the Legal 500 U.S. have recognized Mr. Dougherty as a leading M&A lawyer.

He earned his J.D. in 1998 from UCLA School of Law, where he served as Managing Editor of the UCLA Law Review.