The Senior Chairman of the Firm—and an archetype of combining a distinguished legal career with civic duty—Dick Beattie has served Simpson Thacher’s clients and has been a leader at the Firm for many years. He counsels boards on governance issues, investigations and litigation involving corporate officers and other crisis situations. He has also long advised private equity clients on mergers and acquisitions, as well as on leveraged buyouts, a transaction structure which he helped to pioneer. Dick has participated in some of the largest, most important financial transactions of his generation—including JPMorgan Chase’s $58 billion acquisition of Bank One, the merger of AOL and Time Warner and the merger of WellPoint Health Networks with Anthem.
Dick’s record of public engagement dates to the Carter Administration, in which he served as general counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was a special advisor to the Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration, and served as the President’s emissary for Cyprus as well. Dick serves as a director of the Carnegie Corporation, the National Women’s Law Center, Harley-Davidson and Heidrick & Struggles. He is also Chairman and Founder of the nonprofit New Visions for Public Schools. The American Lawyer in 2013 named Dick as one of the “Top 50 Innovators” in the last 50 years for his role in developing the legal structures for the private equity industry from its earliest days. He was also honored by The American Lawyer in 2011 as a Lifetime Achiever in recognition of “outstanding private sector success and a devotion to public service” and by The Legal Aid Society with its Servant of Justice Award. Prior to law school, he served four years in the Marine Corps as a jet pilot.
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- Smithfield Foods in its $7 billion strategic combination with Shuanghui International, at the time the largest Chinese takeover of an American company
- Independent directors of the Dow Jones Company in its $5.6 billion sale to the News Corporation
- JPMorgan in its $58 billion merger with Bank One Corporation
- America Online in its merger with Time Warner
- WellPoint Health Networks in its $16.4 billion sale to Anthem
- KKR in its $25 billion acquisition of RJR Nabisco, one of the seminal leveraged buyout transactions
Top 50 Innovator, The American Lawyer (2013)
Lifetime Achiever, The American Lawyer (2011)
Servant of Justice Award, The Legal Aid Society (2011)
Bank Street College Honorary Doctorate of Education and President’s Medal
The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Judge Simon H. Rifkind Award
University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1968 LL.B.
Dartmouth College, 1961 B.A.
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 1968–Present
- New York City Board of Education, 1987–1988
- Mayor Koch's Commission on Special Education, Chairman, 1985–1986
- Mayor Koch's Commission on the Reorganization of New York City Human Resources Administration, Chairman, 1984
- United States Department of Education, Counsel to the Secretary and Director of Transition, 1980
- United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, General Counsel, 1978–1979
- Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Executive Assistant, 1977–1978
New York 1969
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York 1972
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York 1972
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit 1975
U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit 1977
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit 1979
U.S. Supreme Court 1978
Richard Beattie is Senior Chairman. He specializes in counseling boards of directors and non-management directors on governance issues, investigations and litigation involving corporate officers and other crisis situations. He also specializes in mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts. He has participated in some of the larger and more complex financial transactions, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $58 billion acquisition of Bank One Corporation, the merger of America Online and Time Warner and the merger of WellPoint Health Networks with Anthem Inc.
Dick has a long record of public service. During the Carter Administration, he served as General Counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and in 1980, as Director of the Transition and Counsel to the Secretary of Education, he was in charge of organizing the U.S. Department of Education. During the 1980s, Dick served on the New York City Board of Education. He has served as a Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and during 1995-1997 was President Clinton’s Emissary for Cyprus.
Dick is also Chairman of the Board and founder of New Visions for Public Schools, a not-for-profit organization that develops and implements programs to affect system-wide improvements in public education in New York City. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Harley-Davidson, Inc., Heidrick & Struggles, the Carnegie Corporation and the National Women’s Law Center, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Vice Chairman of the Board of Overseers and Managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Chairman of the Board of Managers of Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases.
Dick is the recipient of a Bank Street College Honorary Doctorate of Education and the President’s Medal, The Legal Aid Society’s Servant of Justice Award and The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Judge Simon H. Rifkind Award.
Dick joined Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 1968 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to law school, he served for four years in the Marine Corps as a jet pilot after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1961.