David Lax

Managing Principal, Lax Sebenius LLC

Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Negotiation Project

Professor, Advanced Negotiation Workshop, Harvard Negotiation Institute

Co-founder, Negotiation Roundtable

Co-founder, Strategic Negotiation program, Harvard Business School


In his position at Lax Sebenius LLC, David Lax assists companies and governments with complex negotiations and competitive bidding, advising on negotiations such as commercial contracts, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and large mergers and acquisitions across a wide range of industries. He has helped to guide high-stakes negotiations such as the $30 billion industry-consolidating merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo, the Verizon Wireless bid for personal communications service spectrum licenses, an international oil company’s exploration and development agreements with host governments, and a corporation’s settlement of a multi-billion-dollar shareholder class-action lawsuit. His clients include a broad range of companies and governments.

After serving as a professor at Harvard Business School, Lax worked as an investment banker representing labor unions. He then joined the direct equity investment operation of a wealthy Canadian family, where he was involved in transactions such as venture capital investments, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures, privatizations, and financings. He currently serves on the boards of a privately held health care company and a privately held company that provides services to resource extractive industries, and he was chairman of the board of a privately held oil and gas company.


A.B., Princeton University

Ph.D., Harvard University

Research interests

3-D negotiation, negotiation campaigns, systematic approaches to improving organizations’ negotiation capabilities, strategic reasoning

Selected publications



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