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Big deals, contributions define Davidson

By: TONY ANDERSON//February 16, 2011//

Big deals, contributions define Davidson

By: TONY ANDERSON//February 16, 2011//

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Bruce C. Davidson – Quarles & Brady

Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo by Kevin Harnack
Photo by Kevin Harnack

Throughout the 40 years of his corporate finance and securities practice, Bruce C. Davidson, a retired partner at Quarles & Brady, represented clients large and small. He has handled transactions worth billions of dollars, led the firm’s corporate finance/securities team, and still found time to give back to the profession and to the community.

In 2004, Davidson handled a $3.7 billion stock-for-stock merger for a company that used to be headquartered in Milwaukee. The corporation spun off its dental division to the West Coast and the rest of the business moved to headquarters in New Hampshire. In 2006, he was also involved in a $2.2 billion transaction related to the sale of part of the business.

The biggest challenge when dealing with a transaction of that magnitude, he said, is the amount of things happening at the same time with many deadlines and strict requirements if it’s a public company. Added to that is the large number of people involved in the transaction.

“Usually several law firms are involved, you are working with the accountants, and representatives of the company,” Davidson said. “You are conducting due diligence; you are writing disclosure documents; you are working on the definitive agreements. … You just have a lot going on.”

He is quick to note that the largest transactions are not always the most difficult.

“As you might expect, sometimes the smaller transactions have as many or more issues as the larger ones,” he said. “Because the corporate housekeeping might not have been kept up as well as in a larger company or attention might not have been paid to certain matters.”

In addition to the help he provided corporate clients, Davidson has taken time to give back to the profession through his work on State Bar and American Bar Association committees. He also has been involved in providing continuing education programs for lawyers in the Midwest through the Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate & Securities Law Institute held at Northwestern School of Law. Since 1984, Davidson has served on the institute’s planning committee and executive committee.

Davidson’s efforts have gone beyond the legal profession and into the community as he has guided Quarles’ United Way campaign.


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