Vanderbilt Law Professor Larry Soderquist dies, Was a frequently cited authority on corporate and securities law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Larry D. Soderquist, one of the nation’s most respected securities law scholars and director of the Corporate and Securities Law Institute at Vanderbilt Law School, died on Aug. 20 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Soderquist, 61, was a professor of law at Vanderbilt University. He had been seriously injured in an automobile accident in early July.

The author of numerous books and articles on securities law, Soderquist was often quoted in the national media whenever securities regulations or corporate law were in the news. He authored Understanding the Securities Laws, the most widely distributed book of its kind, and saw its publication last year in the People’s Republic of China. He was co-author of Securities Regulation, now in its fifth edition, and author of Investor’s Rights Handbook, a 1993 book targeted to average investors. He also was author of two novels set on a university campus, The Labcoat, published in 1998, and The Iraqi Provocation, in 2003.

“Larry was a great teacher, a respected scholar and a vital member of our community,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee. “His loss will be felt most of all by his family, but also by his colleagues at the law school and his many former students. This is a sad moment for our university.”

Added Vanderbilt Law School Dean Edward Rubin, “We were all saddened by Larry’s death. The law school benefited greatly from his 25 years of distinguished service on our faculty, and he leaves a legacy of scholarship and other professional and personal accomplishments.”

Soderquist, who had been a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1981 after a year as a visiting professor. He most recently taught courses in securities regulation and corporations, and he led a seminar in advanced corporate problems. His academic career was preceded by five years at the Wall Street law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he was an associate. Until his death, he was counsel to the national law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, where his legal practice extended to matters of capital formation services, venture capital and private placements.

Since 1988, he had edited the Practising Law Institute’s Corporate and Securities Law Library and moderated its Securities Law Listserv. Soderquist’s distinction was recognized in 1999 by Harvard Law School when it appointed him the inaugural holder of the Joseph Flom Visiting Chair in Law and Business.

He was a member of the Nashville, Tennessee and American bar associations, a member of the American Law Institute and of the American Council on Germany.

A native of Ypsilanti, Mich., he was a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1966, and he earned his J.D. from Harvard in 1969. Soderquist earned a doctor of ministry degree from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind., in 1998 and was an ordained minister who preached occasionally, was Belle Meade’s first police chaplain, volunteered as a chaplain at the Veteran’s Administration hospital and conducted graveside services for indigents buried by Metro Social Services.

Soderquist was a decorated Army captain during the Vietnam War. He held numerous military positions, including as chief intelligence officer on a general’s staff. During the Cold War, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Moscow State University.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Ann; two sons, Hans Soderquist of New York, New York, and Lars Söderkvist of Chicago, Ill.; his mother, Emma Soderquist of Zephyrhills, Fla.; and his sister, Delores Brehm of McLean, Va.

A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 3900 West End Ave. Visitation at the church will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, and Saturday following the service.

Media contact: Susanne Hicks, (615) 322-NEWS

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