‘Poison pill’ inventor to launch Davies Fund Lecture at Osgoode

Martin Lipton, the New York City lawyer who invented the “poison pill” defence against hostile takeovers, will deliver the Inaugural Davies Fund Lecture at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 12.30pm in Osgoode’s Moot Court Room. Members of the York community are invited to attend.

Right: Martin Lipton

Poison pill is the nickname for any tactic utilized by a company to try to prevent a hostile takeover by making the target company unattractive to the potential buyer. One common defence tactic is the “flip-in”. It allows all of the shareholders except the potential buyer to purchase shares at a discount to the current market price. This effectively dilutes the equity ownership of the hostile party, making a takeover much more difficult.

Lipton, a founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, who specializes in advising major corporations on mergers and acquisitions, will discuss “Merger Waves of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries.”

His talk is the first in a series in a new business law lecture program made possible by the support of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. Davies is one of Canada’s leading commercial law firms, practising nationally and internationally. The lecture program is designed to create excitement for business law within Osgoode’s student community and help the law school better connect with the broader legal and business community in Toronto.

Lipton served as apecial counsel to the City of New York during its fiscal crisis from 1975 to 1978. He holds a BSc in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an LLB from New York University School of Law. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and chairman of the Board of Trustees at New York University.