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In the market for legal work on big bank mergers, Edward Herlihy of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and H. Rodgin Cohen of Sullivan & Cromwell don’t leave much work for anyone else. But one lawyer who has found a way to gain entry to the club is Lee Meyerson of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Throughout his career, Meyerson, 48, has developed some of the most enviable relationships in the financial sector. Last year they paid big dividends. In the largest U.S. M&A deal of 2004, Meyerson represented J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in its $58 billion stock merger with Bank One Corp. And in one of the most unusual deals of the year, he represented TD Bank Financial Group in its purchase of a majority interest in the Banknorth Group Inc. That deal, valued at $3.8 billion, involved three forms of merger consideration and the maintenance of two different corporate boards. The seeds of Meyerson’s involvement in those deals were planted years ago. The relationship with TD began in 1996, when the company called on Meyerson to help it buy discount brokerage house Waterhouse Investor Services Inc. Meyerson’s ties to J.P. Morgan Chase dates back even further, to 1991, when his client was Manufacturers Hanover Corp., one of Chase’s corporate forebears. Deep and long-lasting relationships like those have put Meyerson in a position to take advantage of the consolidation in the financial sector that accelerated in the late ’90s. The long windowsill along his office wall is lined several rows deep with plaques, each signifying a deal, mostly for financial institutions. Read the full dealmaker profile and the complete corporate scorecard by subscribing to The American Lawyer.

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