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Deals & Dealmakers

Fried Frank partner Stuart Gelfond loses battle with cancer

Fried Frank corporate partner and co-head of the Firm’s Capital Markets Practice Stuart H. Gelfond died on Thursday, August 30, 2018, after a long battle with cancer.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Mr Gelfond graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School at the age of 16 and received a BS, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (’83) and a JD from New York University School of Law (’86), where he was selected for the Order of the Coif.

Mr Gelfond  joined Fried Frank in 1986 and was promoted to partner in 1993 at the young age of 30.
Having spent his entire career at Fried Frank, Mr Gelfond was a thought leader, mentor and friend to many.


During the course of his career, he represented every major investment bank as well as a number of prominent corporations. He was known among his colleagues as a prolific writer of client memos and his self-titled “Gelfond Practice Memos,” which espoused the importance of striving to be a better lawyer and a better person.

One of his most memorable practice memos was “All I Really Need to Know to Practice Law I Learned as a First Year Associate,” written as an ode to Robert Fulghum’s book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Ironically, for a lifelong Mets fan, another popular practice memo he wrote was, “How to be the Mariano Rivera of Closing Deals.”

In a statement, the company said, “Stuart was a fantastic lawyer and a wonderful partner and friend. His determination and courage in his battle with cancer were inspirational and he will be greatly missed. The firm’s thoughts and condolences are with Stuart’s family, including his wife, Laura, and children, Jack, Alex, Allie, Sophia and Lillie.”

The family requested that donations be made to Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, where Mr Gelfond spent many summers as a child, and would later work as a counselor and eventually serve as the chairman of its board.

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