Blair Connelly is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins 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 is 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 is a member of the firm's Finance Committee, and has served on the firm’s Paralegal Administration Committee and its Training and Career Enhancement 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))