Duke Law mourns loss of Martin E. Lybecker

September 7, 2017Duke Law News

Martin E. LybeckerThe Duke Law community is mourning the loss of Senior Lecturing Fellow Martin E. Lybecker, a longtime member of the extended faculty, who died suddenly on Sept. 2. He was a partner Perkins Coie in Washington, D.C., where he chaired the Investment Management practice and co-chaired the Family Office Services practice.

Lybecker’s area of specialization included representing investment companies and their boards of trustees, investment advisers, broker-dealers, depository institutions, insurance companies, and several financial services trade associations. A noted authority on the Investment Company Act of 1940 and banking regulation, he was a former chair of the American Bar Association Section of Business Law and of the Committees on Developments in Investment Services and Banking Law. He was a member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the editorial board of The Investment Lawyer.

Lybecker joined the extended faculty in 2000 and last taught Financial Services: Mutual Funds and Asset Management in 2014. “Teaching, and teaching at Duke particularly, was a deep and rewarding passion for him,” wrote James Cox, the Brainerd Currie Professor of Law in a tribute to Lybecker, who he knew for almost 40 years as an attorney, colleague, and friend. “But the rewards he received pale in comparison for those Duke Law School garnered because of his exceptionalism as a professional, a teacher and as the full person that he was.”

Cox praised Lybecker’s “encyclopedic knowledge” and “commanding understanding” of the financial regulatory system.  “The basis for Marty’s national stature was evident to anyone by the time he would be midway through the third sentence explaining an emerging problem or regulatory policy,” he wrote. “I frequently found myself puzzling over how Marty could have such a command of regulatory developments at the SEC, the FED, the Treasury, the Comptroller of the Currency, the FDIC, to mention just a few of the financial regulatory branches and know just what happened with every National and American baseball team last night. Marty was the ultimate baseball fan so much so that his regulatory harangues easily moved from the FED to the diamond to currency flows without missing a beat.”

“Marty always represented for me the quintessential wise counselor, the kind of indispensable lawyer any business person would be extremely fortunate to have,” said Lawrence Baxter, the William B. McGuire Professor of the Practice of Law. “A gentleman of even temper, fine judgment, exquisite courtesy and humor, and immense experience in the world of financial, particularly securities regulation, I always relished his visits to the Law School for his classes and for our occasional lunches together. Marty’s knowledge of the asset management industry will also be badly missed by all of us.”

In a tribute released by his firm, Lybecker was remembered as “a truly exceptional lawyer.” Prior to joining Perkins Coie in 2010, he was a partner located in the Washington, D.C. offices of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Ropes & Gray, and Drinker Biddle & Reath. He served as associate director of the Division of Investment Management at the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1978 to 1981. He also taught at Georgetown University Law Center, State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of North Carolina.

Lybecker received a B.B.A. in Accounting and a J.D. from the University of Washington, an LL.M. (in Taxation) from New York University, and an LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Graduate Fellow of the Center for the Study of Financial Institutions and the Securities Markets.

Lybecker is survived by his wife, Andrea, and two sons, Neil and Carl.