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Peter R. Douglas

LAKEVILLE — Peter R. Douglas, 72, a retired attorney who practiced corporate law in New York City, died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack at his home in Lakeville on Feb. 9, 2023.

A graduate of Deerfield Academy, Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Peter became one of the youngest partners at Davis Polk & Wardwell, a Wall Street law firm. He was widely admired for his intellect, humor and charm. His law practice focused mainly on mergers and acquisitions for both domestic and international clients, and among many other accomplishments he was the inventor of the “Pac-Man” defense against hostile corporate takeovers and numerous novel transaction structures and held a patent for a pricing formula in exchange offers. He retired from the law firm in 2012.

Peter was born on June 3, 1950, in Northampton, Massachusetts and grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He was the son of John W. Douglas, who headed the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Division under Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and Mary St. John Douglas, a medical researcher and first woman trustee of Princeton University. His grandfather, Paul H. Douglas, served as three-term U.S. senator from Illinois from 1949 to 1967.

Peter had a special fondness for fast cars and for a brief time held a track record at the now defunct Bridgehampton race course. During his retirement, he focused his energies on woodworking, nature photography and automobiles.

Peter and his wife established a part time home in Lakeville in 2004 and relocated to Lakeville full time in 2012 following Peter’s retirement. Peter is survived by his wife, Ulrika Ekman, and his three children, Matthew of Miami Beach, Florida, Alexander of San Francisco, California and Anna, a junior at Georgetown University; by his sister, Kate Douglas Torrey of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and by many Douglas and St. John cousins. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.

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