Neil Torpey JD '85
Neil Torpey joined Paul Hastings in 1990 as a lateral associate from Mudge Rose. He had no plans of becoming an international lawyer but as Paul Hastings developed its national base and eventually became a global enterprise, Mr. Torpey discovered that he had many occasions to travel all over the world - Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Paris, London, and throughout Asia - in optimizing his practice in mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, and private equity. Today he is a corporate partner and Chair of the thriving Hong Kong office, as well as vice-chair of the Global Corporate Department. Mr. Torpey notes that his chief responsibility of building the firm's Asia business has "allowed me to be a businessman as well as a lawyer. It has given me a real opportunity to use a different skill-set." Although he allows that visiting different countries has been exciting, Mr. Torpey cites the complex nature of his work as its most satisfying and challenging aspect: "International transactions involve legal principles from many different jurisdictions and the lawyer must take all pertinent laws into account. He or she has to know many bodies of law, so there is always the intellectual challenge of keeping up with the law and with deal technology and deal structures. We’re always working to keep up."
Economic recession has affected his practice but in Asia the work in capital markets continues to be robust. "Private equity is coming back but it's still relatively modest compared to capital markets work," Mr. Torpey says. "Asia is doing better economically than the U.S. and will come out of the recession more quickly. Hong Kong was the leading IPO market in the world last year, and we're doing a lot of those deals. The fact is, we've set aside private equity and M&A to do IPOs."
~contributed by John A. Lauricella
Special to Cornell Law School