Cohen, H. Rodgin

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COHEN, H. RODGIN (1944– ), U.S. lawyer. Born in Charleston, W. Va., Cohen graduated from Harvard University in 1965 and Harvard Law School three years later. He also earned a law degree from the University of Charleston in 1998. After two years in the Army, Cohen joined the old-line law firm Sullivan & Cromwell in 1970 and was assigned to the firm's banking practice. For more than 30 years, Cohen was a sought-after counselor to chief executives of the industry's largest institutions, including the Bank of New York, First Union, and Societé Générale, advising on 10 of the 15 largest bank mergers in the 1990s. As part of a team in late 1980, Cohen represented several banks in the exchange of billions of dollars worth of frozen Iranian assets for American hostages held in Iran. He was involved in the consolidation wave, including the mergers of Chemical and Chase Manhattan, Wells Fargo and Norwest, and First Union and Corestates. He became chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell in 1999. The firm had more than 525 lawyers and its clients included Disney, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft, making it one of the most profitable law firms in the United States.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]