John B. Meade
  1. Partner

As a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, Mr. Meade primarily represents issuer and underwriter clients in public and private securities offerings, and also advises on general corporate matters, including strategic and separation transactions, corporate governance and SEC reporting and compliance matters, for U.S. and non-U.S. corporations.

Work Highlights

Notable capital markets transactions include:

  • IPOs of Hudson Group, AVG, Butterfield Bank, Cellcom Israel, Synchrony Financial, Hilton Worldwide and Manchester United
  • Equity offerings by General Mills, Horizon Global, Manchester United, Tribune Media, Signature Bank, Spectrum Brands and TelaDoc Health
  • High-yield debt offerings by Blackboard, Comcel, Dufry, Enova International, Garrett Motion, HRG Group, Hearthside Group, Hilton Worldwide, Kissner Milling, Millicom, New Enterprise Stone and Lime, NXP, Resideo, Sandridge Energy, Service King, Spectrum Brands and Warner Music
  • Investment-grade debt offerings by Butterfield Bank, Canadian National, Compass Bank, Emerson Electric, Fifth Third Bank, General Mills, Honeywell, IBM, JPMorgan, Legg Mason, L-3 Communications, Mylan, Nestlé, Ralph Lauren, Sallie Mae, Shire, Synchrony Financial and Verisk Analytics

Recent liability management transactions include the various transactions undertaken by General Electric as part of its reorganization of the businesses of General Electric Capital Corporation, including GECC’s $36 billion debt-for-debt exchange offer – the largest corporate debt-for-debt exchange offer ever completed 

Recent strategic and separation transactions include: GE’s combination of GE Transportation with Wabtec, GE’s split-off of its stake in Synchrony Financial (the largest split-off ever completed), Emerson’s proposed spin-out, and subsequent sale of, its Network Power business, and the separation of Sallie Mae and Navient

Other Work

Mr. Meade has advised a number of corporations, including BBVA Compass Bancshares, Cellcom Israel, Dufry, Millicom, SallieMae and Shire on corporate governance and disclosure issues as well as strategic transactions, including capital markets matters. 

He practiced in Davis Polk’s London office from 2003 to 2011 where he worked on cross-border financing and other corporate transactions, including:

  • IPOs of Denmark’s PANDORA, Finland’s Neste Oil and India’s Reliance Petroleum
  • Debut Yankee bond offerings by Bacardi and Syngenta
  • Sale of ABN Amro to the consortium of RBS, Santander and Fortis
  • Purchase by Switzerland’s Dufry of the U.S.-based Hudson News Group
  • Allied Irish Bank’s disposition of its holding in M&T Bank Corporation through an offering of contingent mandatorily exchangeable notes


Mr. Meade is recognized as a leading capital markets lawyer in various industry publications:

  • IFLR1000 
  • Chambers USA 
  • Law360 – "MVP of the Year," 2014

Of Note

  • Member, Financial Reporting Committee of the New York City Bar Association

Professional History

  • Partner, 2009-present
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 2001-2009
  • Trainee Solicitor, McCann FitzGerald, Dublin, 1997-1999

Bar Admissions

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


  • B.C.L., University College Cork, 1996
    • College Scholar
    • First Class Honours
  • LL.M., Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 1997
    • Rotary Foundation Scholar
  • B.C.L., University of Oxford, 2001
    • British Government Chevening Scholar
    • Sir Roy Goode Prize
    • with distinction