Yale '62 - Obituaries - Joseph Alsop Chubb

Joseph Alsop Chubb

Born: October 23, 1940
Died: December 11, 2001

Joseph Alsop Chubb was born on October 23, 1940 in New York City to Percy Chubb II and Corinne Alsop. He was descended from a long line of Yale forbearers including his father Class of 1931, grandfathers Hendon Chubb '95S, Joseph Alsop '98S, and uncles T.C. Chubb '22, S.J.O. Alsop '36 and J. deK Alsop '37. His brothers Hendon II '54 and Percy III '56 preceded him at Yale.

Joe prepared at St. Paul's. He was a history major, on the Dean's List, and awarded an Honorary National Scholarship his freshman year. He was a member of J.E. (where he was on the soccer team), and Manuscript, Challenge and the Senior Class Council. He was also treasurer of Books for Africa in 1961.

After graduating, Joe received his LL.B at Yale Law School in 1966. He had a distinguished career as a lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell, which he joined in 1968. He became a partner in 1974, was head of the London office from 1978-79 and 1984-90, and was the founding head of the Financial Institutions Group from 1990-93. He also practiced in the Paris office from 1979-81. He was senior counsel to the firm from 1993 until his untimely death on December 11, 2001 at Lechlade Mill, Gloucestershire, England. He died from a brain tumor, which was discovered at the end of August, 2001.

Joe's practice at Davis Polk consisted of a wide range of credit and capital markets transactional and bank regulatory advisory work, and was one of the pioneers in U.K. privatizations. His chief clients included J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Banco Santander. He developed a reputation for frightening intelligence, untiring independence and plain talk. He inspired both fear and deep loyalty among a generation of lawyers at Davis Polk, who viewed him as the standard-setter for professional excellence and integrity.

During much of his career at Davis Polk, he was a member of the Banking Law Committee of the Section on Business Law of the International Bar Association, where he chaired the Subcommittee on Bank Regulation from 1992-94. He was also a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he served as on the Banking Law Committee from 1976-78 and the London Subcommittee of the Special Committee on Relationships with European Bars from 1985-90.

Between graduating from law school and joining Davis Polk, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law, in 1966-67 and Minority Counsel to the Subcommittee on the Standing Rules of the United States Senate (1967-68).

During the last decade of his life, Joe increasingly devoted himself to public service in Lechlade, England. He was a member of the Lechlade Town Council and the Board of Governors of the local primary school, St. Lawrence C. of E. School, and was elected Chairman of the Governors in 2001. He insisted on carrying out his duties as Chairman, even after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He focused particular attention on children with learning difficulties, bringing them puzzles and reading books with some of them. His many young friends often rode their bikes to his house unannounced and enjoyed playing in his garden.

He was also involved in local environmental issues. His garden, which included a pond, a stream, a waterfall and a half-acre maze of hedges shaped like a foot, was included in the National Garden Society=s list of distinguished gardens. He planted acres of nettles, fruit trees and other vegetation that helped sustain and restore rare populations of wild butterflies and birds. He was the Secretary of the Lechlade & District Society, which focused on planning and zoning issues, and he eagerly made his garden available to local charitable groups for their usage.

His hobbies included reading books of all kinds, especially mathematics and science, cooking inventive meals and traveling. He signed up for a class on the theory of relativity at Oxford the summer before he died, and took several cooking courses in France and England, including a week-long course on French baking, in his last two years.

He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Sarianne Durie, and a step daughter, Aletta van Barthold, age 20. He is also survived by all five of his siblings, Hendon, Percy, Corinne Chubb Zimmerman, James Chubb and Caldecott Chubb.