Blair Connelly

  • Partner
  • 1271 Avenue of the Americas
  • New York, NY 10020
  • USA
  • T +1.212.906.1200


Blair Connelly, Global Vice Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Securities Litigation & Professional Liability Practice, is a partner in the New York office where he focuses his practice on M&A litigation, securities litigation, and corporate governance.

Mr. Connelly has represented issuers, financial institutions, boards of directors, and individuals in numerous high-profile securities, merger and takeover disputes and indemnity claims, and has had extensive involvement in large, complex internal investigations, derivative actions, class action lawsuits, and SEC investigations.

Mr. Connelly has been recommended by The Legal 500 US for Financial Services Litigation and Defense M&A Litigation, and is recognized as a key litigator in M&A Litigation. He has served on the firm’s Finance Committee, Associates Committee, Paralegal Administration Committee and its Training and Career Enhancement (TACE) Committee, where he ran the firm’s Deposition and Trial Advocacy training programs.


Mr. Connelly's experience includes representing:

  • Larry Ellison (Executive Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, Oracle Corporation) and Safra Catz (CEO, Oracle Corporation), in derivative litigation before the Delaware Court of Chancery; Mr. Connelly is part of the team defending Mr. Ellison and Ms. Catz in a challenge to Oracle’s US$9.3 billion acquisition of NetSuite, Inc.
  • Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in a suit by bondholders seeking to recover approximately US$4 billion on a series of convertible notes; prevailed on motion to dismiss before the Delaware Court of Chancery, and won affirmance at the Delaware Supreme Court (AG Oncon, LLC v. Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2019 WL 2245969 (Del. Ch. 2019), aff’d 2020 WL 119648 (Del. 2020))
  • Certain directors and officers of Books-A-Million, Inc., in a shareholder class action in the Delaware Court of Chancery, challenging a take-private merger; obtained dismissal of all claims (Vance v. Books-A-Million Inc., C.A. No. 11343-VCL (Del. Ch. 2016)); and won affirmance of that ruling before the Delaware Supreme Court (Rousset et al. v. Anderson et al., Case No. 515,2016 (Del. Supr. 2016))
  • Allergan, Inc. in litigation before the Delaware Court of Chancery and the United States District Court for the Central District of California arising from the US$53 billion hostile takeover attempt by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and activist investor Pershing Square Capital Management; Mr. Connelly was part of the team that successfully challenged Valeant’s undisclosed trading with Pershing Square before the takeover bid was announced
  • Plains Exploration & Production Co. and its directors in the Delaware Court of Chancery in litigation challenging its US$6.6 billion merger with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.; defeated plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction seeking to delay the closing and require additional disclosures in its entirety (In re Plains Exploration & Production Co. Stockholder Litigation, 2013 WL 1909124 (Del. Ch. 2013))
  • K-Sea Transportation Partners, L.P. and certain of its directors in the Delaware Court of Chancery in an action challenging the US$600 million merger transaction between K-Sea and Kirby Corporation; defeated shareholder plaintiffs’ motion to expedite the case in aid of a motion for preliminary injunction (In re K-Sea Transp. Partners L.P., 2011 WL 2410395 (Del. Ch. 2011)), and subsequently obtained dismissal of all claims (In re K-Sea Transp. Partners L.P., 2012 WL 1142351 (Del.Ch. 2012)) and prevailed in a landmark ruling by the Delaware Supreme Court. (Norton v. K-Sea Transp. Partners L.P., 67 A.3d 354, 2013 WL 2316550 (Del. Supr. 2013))
  • An industrial conglomerate in a breach of contract and fraud litigation against Hoechst Aktiengesellschafft arising out of a US$1.5 billion asset purchase agreement. Obtained partial summary judgment for client on its indemnity claim (Industrial Conglomerate v. Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft, 727 F. Supp. 2d 199 (SDNY 2010))

Thought Leadership

  • US Congress Affirms and Expands SEC’s Disgorgement Authority in Annual Defense Spending Bill -  January 04, 2021
  • Delaware Court Nixes Deal Due to Seller’s Failure to Operate in “Ordinary Course” During COVID-19 -  December 21, 2020
  • Securities Litigation Trends During Covid-19 -  September 30, 2020
  • US Supreme Court Upholds SEC’s Authority to Seek Disgorgement -  June 24, 2020
  • COVID-19: Due Diligence Considerations for M&A Transactions -  May 13, 2020
  • Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Validity of Federal Forum Selection Bylaws For Securities Act Claims -  March 19, 2020
  • Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Ab Initio Requirement Under MFW -  May 28, 2019
  • How Much Is A $30 Million Settlement Worth? -  March 13, 2017
  • Business Judgment Rule Applies to Merger Approved by Informed, Disinterested Stockholders -  October 06, 2015
  • Delaware Courts’ Recent Decisions on Appraisal May Discourage Opportunistic Appraisal Arbitrageurs -  February 20, 2015
  • Forum Selection Bylaws Gain Additional Support in California  -  December 29, 2014
  • Entire Fairness in Controlling Stockholder Transaction: In re Orchard Enterprises, Inc. Stockholder Litigation -  March 11, 2014
  • Delaware Court of Chancery Holds Forum Selection Bylaws Valid and Enforceable -  July 08, 2013
  • Obtaining Business Judgment Deference in a Controlling Stockholder Take-Private -  May 31, 2013
  • Delaware Supreme Court Addresses Master Limited Partnership Issues -  May 29, 2013
  • Lyondell Chemical Co. v. Ryan: Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Court of Chancery and Orders Summary Judgment On Issue of Directors’ Personal Liability for Bad Faith Failure to Comply with Revlon -  April 3, 2009
  • US Securities Fraud Litigation - How Long Is The Extraterritorial Reach? -  December 2008
  • The Latest Word on the Extraterritorial Reach of US Securities Fraud Litigation -  November 3, 2008
  • Virginia “Rocket Docket” Deemed Proper Venue for Securities Fraud Actions Based Upon Filing of Financial Statements with SEC through EDGAR -  January 11, 2008
  • US Federal Court Refuses to Exercise Jurisdiction over Claims by Non-US Purchasers of Shell Securities -  December 6, 2007
  • Recent Judicial Decisions Involving Stock Option Dating and Timing Issues -  May 1, 2007
  • Delaware Court of Chancery Addresses Stock Option Dating and Timing Issues -  February 8, 2007
  • D&O Insurance Issues Arising From Stock Options Dating and Timing Issues -  June 27, 2006
Named a Leading Lawyer for M&A Litigation: Defense in The Legal 500 US, which called him “the person to go to for complex cases.”The Legal 500 US 2019-2020
Bar Qualification
  • California
  • New York
  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1994
  • BA, Georgetown University, 1991
  • Energy & Infrastructure
  • Financial Institutions
  • Securities Litigation & Professional Liability
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • Activism Defense
  • Creditors Rights & Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Insurance Counseling & Recovery