25 Oct 2021

Former US ambassador to Thailand rejoins Sullivan & Cromwell

Michael George DeSombre to serve as head of Asia M&A/PE practices from firm’s Hong Kong office

Portrait photo of Michael George DeSombre against a plain background

Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell has welcomed the return of Michael George DeSombre after serving a short spell as US ambassador to Thailand, a post he took up at the start of 2020.

DeSombre takes up a new role coordinating the firm’s Southeast Asia practice from its office in Hong Kong and resumes his responsibilities as a partner and head of the Asia M&A/PE practices and the Korea team.

“I am thrilled to be re-joining my colleagues at Sullivan & Cromwell,” said the returning partner, “there has never been a more exciting time to be a deal lawyer in Asia, and I look forward to advising the firm’s clients on their most pressing and complex challenges.”

DeSombre joined Sullivan in 1995 and spent the entirety of his career at the firm unitl his appointment as an ambassador. His practice focuses on public and private M&A transactions, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures and direct investments across Asia including in China and Korea.

He served as the US ambassador in Thailand for just over a year, where he worked for economic partnership between the two countries with particular focus on investments by American and Western companies in Thailand. He stood down at the beginning of this year at the end of the Trump administration, saying he at the time on Twitter that he was 'exceedingly proud of all we have done to strengthen the US-Thai relationship.'

From 2013, he spent six years as worldwide president of the Republicans Overseas political organisation, and beginning in 2015 also had a four-year stint as chair of the board of Save the Children Hong Kong. 

Sullivan & Cromwell chair Joseph Shenker said: “We are delighted to welcome Michael back to the firm. His extraordinary and diverse skill set and extensive experience in this important region will continue to be of immense benefit to our clients.”

Sullivan & Cromwell topped the global M&A legal advisor rankings by volume during the first nine months of the year, advising on 183 deals valued at $535.3bn, as activity smashed through the previous full year record. 

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