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Michael G. DeSombre


Michael G. DeSombre

Hong Kong +852-2826-8696+852-2826-8696 +852-2522-2280+852-2522-2280
[email protected]

Michael DeSombre is recognized as one of the preeminent M&A and private equity lawyers in the world and is a frequent speaker on the art of negotiation. Since moving to Hong Kong in 1997, he has focused his practice on public and private merger and acquisition transactions, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures and direct investments in China, Korea, Southeast Asia and elsewhere in Asia. Mr. DeSombre also co-heads the Korea practice for Sullivan & Cromwell. Mr. DeSombre is fluent in Mandarin and has some ability in Korean. Mr. DeSombre is admitted to practice law in New York and Hong Kong. 


  • Band 1 lawyer in Corporate/M&A: Hong Kong-based (China – International), Chambers Asia 2018
  • Band 1 lawyer in Corporate/M&A: Hong Kong-based (International Firms), Chambers Global 2018
  • Finance Monthly: Deal Maker of the Year Award (Anheuser-Busch InBev in its re-acquisition of Oriental Brewery Co., Ltd. from KKR and Affinity) (2014)
  • Chambers Asia: Private Equity: Buyouts (International Firms) (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Chambers Asia: Corporate/M&A: Hong Kong-based (International Firm) (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Chambers Global: Corporate/M&A: Hong Kong-based (International Firms) (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Euromoney’s Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Lawyers: Private Equity (2013)
  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 – Leading Lawyer: Hong Kong Private Equity (2012, 2014)
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers (2004-2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • IFLR 1000 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Asia Law & Practice: AsiaLaw Leading Lawyers (2003, 2005, 2006)
  • Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Private Equity Lawyers (2006, 2008)
  • Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers (2006, 2009)


  • “The Future of Acquisition Financing in Asia,” International Financial Law Review (July 2013)
  • “M&A: Addressing Corruption Risks at Target Companies,” Financier Worldwide (June 2011)
  • “Why Deals Fail; Unsolicited M&A in Hong Kong,” International Financial Law Review (May 2009)
  • “A Period of Transition,” an introduction to the Hong Kong section of the 2008 Guide to the World’s Leading Private Equity Lawyers
  • “Companies, Exchanges and Transactions: Regulating the Re-emergence of China’s Financial Futures Industry,” China Law and Practice (October 2007)
  • “Landmark Regulations Expand China’s Banking Sector,” China Law and Practice (December 2006)
  • “Paving the Yellow Brick Road: China’s New Rules for Pension Funds’ Overseas Investments,” China Law and Practice (June 2006)
  • “Unloading State-owned Shares: Third Time Lucky?” China Law and Practice (June 2005)
  • “New Capital Rules Bring China’s Banking Regulations up to Global Standards,” China Law and Practice (April 2004)
  • “Taking US-Listed Asian Companies Private; Look Before You Leap,” Asialaw (September 2003)
  • “China’s Post-WTO Reforms in Financial Services: Achievements and Challenges,” China Law and Practice (March 2003)
  • “Why Asian Companies Should Not Shun US Markets,” International Financial Law Review (December 2002)

“Michael DeSombre is ‘excellent technically’ and ‘very experienced.’ He has a good track record across a range of transactions, including major acquisitions, joint ventures and go-privates.” Chambers Asia 2017

Michael DeSombre is singled out by clients as "someone we can rely on 100% for the advice and service we need," and as an "exceptional negotiator who has a real depth of experience." Chambers Asia, 2015

"Qualified in Hong Kong and New York, Michael DeSombre enjoys a fine reputation in the Hong Kong M&A market as 'a smart guy and a strong lawyer.'" Chambers Asia, 2014

"Michael DeSombre is fluent in Mandarin and receives strong endorsement from peers for his 'very high-quality' private equity advice." Chambers Asia, 2014

“Michael DeSombre comes highly recommended by interviewees for his prowess in the corporate and private equity space. His ability to handle a broad spectrum of M&A matters across mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and across the region ensures that he receives instructions from significant clients.” 
Chambers Asia, 2013 

“In the field of Private Equity: Buyouts (International Firms), Mr. DeSombre ‘really understands this field very well. With his experience he can tell you what is reasonable and what is unreasonable to ask for during negotiations. He brings a good commercial sense to the deal.’”  
Chambers Asia, 2013

“Hong Kong-based lawyer Michael DeSombre is a ‘great lawyer and a pre-eminent corporate negotiator and strategist.’ He concentrates on leveraged buyouts and direct investments in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Who’s Who Legal, 2012

“Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s M&A practice has a heavy private equity weighting. In 2011, it represented Goldman Sachs on its $1.2bn acquisition of a stake in Taikang Life Insurance. In 2010, it acted for China Investment Corporation (CIC) on its minority investment in Triana Energy Investments. Michael DeSombre is a major Hong Kong name.” 
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2012

“Michael DeSombre is the standout partner having worked on a wide range of Asia private equity deals over the years.”
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2012