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How big and complex of a deal was the $35.5 billion sale of AIG’s Hong Kong-based Asian life insurance unit to the U.K. insurer Prudential P.L.C.? Big enough that Debevoise & Plimpton, AIG’s lead counsel on the sale, rented an apartment in Hong Kong for John Vasily, the firm’s lead partner on the matter, and flew Vasily in a six-day span late last month from New York to London to Hong Kong and back again to New York (with a stop, of course, in London) to close the deal.

“The plane was the only place we slept,” Vasily says, referring to himself and Andrew Borodach, the AIG in-houser (and former Debevoise associate) who traveled with him for much of the last-minute negotiations.

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