Private equity funds (including venture capital) in United States

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

According to one source, Kirkland & Ellis LLP is 'hands-down, the industry leader with respect to representing the managers of private equity funds'. The team has 'a deep bench' with 'unrivaled market knowledge' which provides 'high quality client service'. In the New York office, practice head John O'Neil and Daniel Lavon-Krein advised Sycamore Partners on forming Sycamore Partners III, which held its final closing in June 2018 after raising $4.8bn. In another matter, the 'tenacious and disarming' Erica Berthou advised GSO Capital Partners, a new client for the firm, on the final closing of the multibillion-dollar credit GSO Credit Alpha Fund II. Another fundraising mandate handled in New York was Andrew Wright and Robert Blaustein's advice to Warburg Pincus on forming its first companion fund in the financial industry. Other New York-based contacts include John Budetti, Jordan Murray and Katrina Rowe. In Chicago, names to note include John Muno, who garners praise for his 'incredible market knowledge, combining practical business advice with the right mix of thoughtful strategy and perfect attention to detail'; Sarah Kirson and ‘tough negotiatorKatie St. Peters are also recommended. Stephanie Berdik and Sean Hill are key contacts in Boston. Ken Muller joined the San Francisco office from Morrison & Foerster LLP in May 2018.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Large-cap fund formation mandates and high-value asset manager M&A matters form the backbone of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's practice. Highlights included Barrie Covit and Washington DC-based David Greene advising The Carlyle Group on forming $18.5bn fund Carlyle Partners VII, which made investments in five industries across the US; Thomas Bell assisting Macquarie with the formation and fundraise of MIRA Infrastructure Global Solution (MIGS), the client's first globally diversified umbrella infrastructure fund; and Jonathan Karen advising Brightstar Capital Partners on its inaugural fundraise, which raised $710m. The client base includes Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, and KKR. Other key contacts include Peter Gilman, Glenn Sarno, Jason Herman and Parker Kelsey; Palo Alto-based Michael Nooney and Tom Wuchenich in Los Angeles are also names of note. Unless stated otherwise, all named attorneys are based in New York.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

The 'pragmatic' team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has been kept busy handling multibillion-dollar fund formation work, particularly Asia-facing funds. Elizabeth Lenas and Michael Gerstenzang continue to advise prominent managers such as TPG, TSSP and KKR with a range of fund formation matters. Lenas also advised an Asia-based manager on forming a $10.6bn fund. Gerstenzang and Adrian Leipsic assist Blackstone with a range of fund-related matters, and Robert Raymond, who advises Angelo, Gordon & Co, is another key name. The team is based in New York.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 'understand the full life cycle of private equity funds'. Highlights included Rebecca Silberstein advising Kelso & Company on forming Kelso Investment Associates X, a buyout fund with a $2.5bn target; David Schwartz assisting HarbourVest Partners with establishing the HIPEP VIII Investment Program with a $1.7bn target; and Andrew Ahern assisting Leeds Equity Partners with forming Leeds Equity Partners VI, a buyout fund which beat its $750m target. Jonathan Adler, who acts for sponsor-side clients, and counsel Cate Bae are key names. Other clients include Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Blackstone Alternative Asset Management and Credit Suisse. All named individuals are located in New York.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is very well known for assisting prominent names in the private equity industry with high-value, complex fund formation matters. Kenneth Rosh ('a very effective leader') and Jeremy Berry advised Fortress Investment Group with fundraising for Fortress Japan Opportunity Fund IV, a series of parallel funds focused on Japanese real estate-related investments. Rosh and Rebecca Neuschatz Zelenka, who is based in Washington DC, acted as counsel to Brookfield Asset Management on forming Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners III, a flagship real estate fund for the client. Other key figures in Washington DC include Matthew Howard and Richard Ansbacher, the latter of whom is noted for his expertise in representing global equity funds. All named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has established expertise in handling high-value buyout and debt fund work. Marco Masotti and Amran Hussein advised Roark Capital on forming two private equity funds -- Roark Capital Partners V, a flagship fund, and Roark Capital Partners II Sidecar, the client's first sidecar fund, which together raised $6.5bn in aggregate. The group is also assisting Apollo Capital Management with forming its first hybrid fund, Apollo Hybrid Value Fund, which has a $3bn target. Other clients include Blackstone, Crestview Partners and TowerBrook Capital Partners. Named individuals are based in New York.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP continues to handle a broad range of limited partner-side work, and has particular strength in secondaries transactions. David Tegeler and Sarah Cherry advised Greenspring Associates, a client for over a decade, on forming Greenspring IL Master, a fund of funds, and Greenspring Secondaries Fund III, which closed with commitments of $825m and $325m respectively. Robin Painter advised Silversmith Capital Partners on the closing of Silversmith Capital Partners II, which hit its hard cap of $670bn. Painter and Howard Beber also advised Nonantum Capital Partners on the closing of its debut fund Nonantum Capital I, with $350m in commitments. Other key names in the Boston office include Mike Suppappola, who is noted for his expertise in representing secondary fund managers in fund formation matters, and Stephen Mears, who handles venture capital mandates and work for institutional investors. In New York, Chip Parsons and Monica Arora are the names to note. In 2018 Malcolm Nicholls moved to Gunderson Dettmer LLP's Boston office.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP's team is very well known for assisting investor-side clients, and is also adept at handling sponsor-side mandates. In Boston, John Ayer and Peter Laybourn advised THL Partners on raising its eighth fund, which has a $3.5bn target. Debra Lussier is also a key contact. In the New York office, Morri Weinberg advised Index Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investments in the technology sector, on forming Index Ventures Growth IV and Index Ventures IX, while Marc Biamonte, along with Ayer, is instructed by CCMP Capital. Amanda Persaud has ‘tremendous in-depth experience and knowledge in this field’, and has expertise in manager spin-out matters. Other clients include Canada Pension Plan and Temasek. On the West Coast, Raj Marphatia in Silicon Valley is noted for his extensive M&A experience. Other clients include Harvard University, Stanford University, and PIMCO.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

From its base in New York, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s team is best known for handling high-value fund formation work for prominent managers. Jonathon Soler advised Crow Holdings Capital Partners on forming Crow Holdings Realty Partners VIII. Andrew Chizzik continues to advise Apollo Credit regarding its Apollo Credit Fund, and in another matter, assisted Brookfield Asset Management with its formation of Brookfield Infrastructure Debt Fund I, an $883.5m infrastructure debt fund acting as a primary investment vehicle for making mezzanine debt investments in North America. Stephanie Srulowitz and Soler advised American Securities on forming American Securities Partners VIII, LP, a $7bn buyout fund.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's 'passionate' team has been kept busy with debt fund mandates and high-value fund formations. In Washington DC, Fadi Samman advised Mubadala Capital on forming a co-investment fund regarding the client's and EIG Global Energy Partners’ (EIG) joint bid for Transportadora Associada de Gas (TAG), a 2,800-mile natural gas pipeline owned by Petrobras that spans ten Brazilian states. Ann Tadajweski is also a key contact. Stephen Vine and Prakash Mehta share leadership of the practice. Aside from Samman in Washington DC, named attorneys are located in New York.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Regulatory mandates are a core strength of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's practice, with fund formation work an additional area of expertise. Recent work includes Leor Landa advising China Investment Corporation, the Church Pension Fund, Ford Foundation, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, as well as a variety of family offices, on investments in private funds. Landa and Nora Jordan continue to advise Perella Weinberg Funds on hybrid funds. Lee Hochbaum, along with counsels Scott Beal and Oren Gertner, are notable names. In 2018 Ron Cami joined Waypoint as general counsel. Named lawyers are based in New York.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

The 'knowledgeable' and 'responsive' team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has been active in handling formation work for sponsor-side clients, particularly in the real estate and technology space. In the New York office, Shukie Grossman advised TCG Capital Management on forming its first private equity fund, TCG 2.0, which has a $500m target. Edward Nelson assisted Olympus Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, with forming Olympus Growth Fund VII, a leveraged buyout fund with an aggregate value of $3bn. Edward Sopher advised WndrCo, a venture formed by former CEO of DreamWorks Animation Jeffrey Katzenberg, on its $1bn fundraise for NewTV, a new media venture, which raised $1bn in a single closing. Los Angeles-based Jennifer Bellah Maguire has an excellent reputation for representing prominent sponsor-side clients in fundraising mandates. Maguire, Grossman and Sopher share leadership of the practice.


Goodwin's 'responsive and reliable' team has solid expertise advising sponsor-side clients on fund formation mandates, with venture capital and real estate funds making up a large part of the group's workload. In the Boston office, David Watson is advising Turner Impact Capital on forming Healthcare Facilities Fund, with a $250m target, which will develop healthcare facilities in under-served communities. Watson and Matthew Giles assisted LBA Realty with establishing its sixth fund, LBA Realty Fund VI, which closed with commitments of $900m. Thomas Beaudoin and James Donohue are other names of note in Boston. In Washington DC, Paul Verbesey assisted Charlesbank with forming Charlesbank Equity Fund IX, a $2.75bn private equity fund, and also handled the $675m Charlesbank Fund IX Overage Program, a co-investment vehicle. San Francisco-based Ian O’Donnell specializes in venture capital work. Verbesey and New York-based John Ferguson share leadership of the practice. Jonathan Axelrad has retired.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Noted for its 'deep expertise and insights into the fund formation and private equity business', Latham & Watkins LLP handles a broad range of fund formation mandates, with energy-focused funds being a particular sweet spot. In New York, Andrea Schwartzman handled the formation of Searchlight Opportunities Fund via a hybrid structure of debt investments and equity-related securities; in another matter, Kathleen Walsh and Matthew Chase assisted Onex Partners Manager with forming its fifth large cap private equity fund, which raised $7.2bn in commitments. In Washington DC, Barton Clark advised Juniper Capital Partners on forming Juniper Capital III, a fund investing in the oil and gas space. Another key figure is Nadia Sager, who splits her time between the San Diego and Los Angeles offices.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP reports an increase in sovereign wealth fund matters, and in this space, Peter Phleger in San Francisco advised Pantheon Ventures on a $2bn commitment into a customized fund from Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Japan. Paul McCoy, who operates out of the New York and San Francisco offices, represented the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a $50m investment in Warburg Pincus Financial Sector LP. Pension plan matters are another core area of strength; Louis Singer, who splits his time between London and New York, advised the New York City Comptroller's Office on the launch of a number of strategic partnerships, with an aggregate value of $3bn, between KKR and five New York City pension funds. Gerald Kehoe, who advises Lime Rock Partners, is a key contact in the Boston office.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Based in New York, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP's 'very experienced, pragmatic, responsive and business-oriented' team is well known for its expertise in real estate funds, and also handles more exotic mandates in the technology sphere. Marc Elovitz and Stephanie Breslow, who has an excellent reputation for hedge fund work, continue to advise Pantera Capital Management on forming funds investing in digital assets. Joseph Smith (noted for his 'great energy') is advising Hemisferio Sul Investimentos, a private equity firm focusing on the real estate market in Brazil, on the formation of HSI Special Opportunities II, which has a $400m target. Jason Kaplan advised Cerberus on raising $4bn for its' sixth flagship multi-strategy fund, Cerberus Institutional Partners VI. Other notable names include David Nissenbaum, Phyllis Schwartz and Omoz Osayimwese.

Clifford Chance

Primarily based in New York, Clifford Chance's funds team is well known for handling real estate and debt funds. Roger Singer advised Griffis Residential on forming Griffis Fund IV, its debut multifamily fund, and is currently assisting the client with forming Griffis Fund V. Michael Sabin advised Greystone on the formation and fundraise of its $750m inaugural real estate debt fund, the Greystone Senior Debt Opportunity Fund. Other clients include Exeter Property Group, Capital Dynamics, Colony NorthStar, and Berkshire Group. In 2018 Victor Levy joined from DLA Piper LLP (US).

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP reports an uptick in infrastructure fund mandates and Asia-related matters, particularly regarding venture capital fund investor work; tech-sector mandates in particular are another core strength. New York-based Quinn Moss and Dolph Hellman in San Francisco advised the San Francisco City and County Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS) on a €200m investment in Niam Nordic VII, KB, a Swedish limited partnership, which has a €1.1bn target and is investing in commercial and residential real estate in the Nordic Region. Hellman also advised the same client on its $35m investment in Versant Venture Capital VII, a fund investing in biotechnology companies focused on transformative therapeutics. Of counsel Yong-Nam Jun, based in Los Angeles, assisted with the formation of a joint venture fund between Hyundai Motor Company, SK Telecom and Hanwha, and Element AI, investing in companies and assets specializing in artificial intelligence. Other clients include Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF), New York Common Retirement Fund (NYCRF) and Capital Dynamics. Moss and Hellman jointly head the practice.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP is noted for its strength in real estate private equity work, and in this space, Lawrence Hass advised on the formation of Sterling Value Add Partners III, which closed at $495m to invest in retail real estate and mixed-use properties. In another matter, Thomas Rao acted as counsel on the formation of Hillcrest Credit and Income Fund II, a debt fund investing in real estate assets. Joshua Sternoff continues to advise Artemis Real Estate Partners on the formation of two new funds. Yousuf Dhamee is adept at handling fund formation and regulatory matters, while Siobhan Burke has established expertise in acting for limited partner clients. Other than Burke and Dhamee in Los Angeles, the team is based in New York. Other clients include Apollo Capital Management and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Tram Nguyen left the firm for Mayer Brown in 2019.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

At Shearman & Sterling LLP, the 'very knowledgeableLaura Friedrich ('smart, capable, and strong') advised Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity on the formation of TIIC 2 Master Fund, investing in transportation and social infrastructure assets, and assisted Brown Brothers Harriman, which has an aggregate value of $296bn under management, with forming BBH Real Estate Income Fund III. Friedrich was also part of a team that advised Actinver Capital Management on forming a private credit fund investing in private debt instruments, with a focus on Latin America. Other clients include the Development Bank of Japan, Shorenstein Properties and Qatar Investment Authority. Named lawyers are based in New York. John Reiss joined DLA Piper LLP (US) in 2019.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, John Caccia advised a leading global asset manager on forming a $350m private capital vehicle as part of its conversion to a public entity investing in US renewable opportunities, and also assisted Aquarian Capital with its registration as an investment adviser. Lawrence Frishman and Anastasia Rockas are also names to note. The team is based in New York.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP handles private equity fund formations and manager M&A deals. In New York, the 'very thoughtful' Arash Farhadieh assisted Insight Venture Partners with the closing of its tenth fund, which closed with commitments of $6.3bn. Phillip Isom assisted DoubleBlue Capital Management with the closing of both its inaugural Argentine credit fund, DoubleBlue Argentina Consumer Finance Fund I, and its parallel fund DoubleBlue Argentina Consumer Finance Offshore Fund I. Houston-based Michael De Voe Piazza and Lior Ohayon are also key names.

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP is known for its solid expertise in venture capital funds. John Dado and Shane Goudey assisted Redpoint Ventures with the closing of Redpoint Omega III, which raised $381m, while in San Francisco, Jordan Silber advised Qiming Venture Partners on the closing of its sixth fund, Qiming Venture Partners VI, which raised $935m. Craig Dauchy heads the practice, in which Mark Tanoury and Boston-based Nicole Peppe, who advises Norwest Venture Partners, are also key contacts. Unless stated otherwise, the team is based in Palo Alto.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP's funds practice is noted for its expertise in handling funds subject to European regulation; for example, New York-based Carl de Brito represented Crescent Capital Group as a sponsor for a group of levered and unlevered direct lending funds organized through an Irish QIAIF structure. David Vaughan in Washington DC and Russel Perkins in New York are key names. Other clients include Waterous Energy Fund, Australis Partners and Bregal Sagemount.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s practice is well known for handling sponsor-side fund mandates, however the investor-side practice was bolstered in 2018 by David Parrish and Nicole Brennig ('very commercial and responsive') joining the Austin office from Jackson Walker, L.L.P.. The firm's client base includes start-up venture capital firms, American and international sovereign wealth funds, endowments and pension plans. David Goldstein, Richard ReillyYasho Lahiri ('a superb negotiator and diligent in his work') and of counsel Carmen Wong are key names in New York. In 2018 Victor Levy moved to the New York office of Clifford Chance and Richard Ginsberg moved to Winston & Strawn LLP's Chicago office; however, in mid-2019 New York-based partner John Reiss joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP, and Adam Tope joined from Hogan Lovells US LLP.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s team is noted for 'its range of expertise and its solutions-oriented approach to the formation and operation of all types of private equity and venture fund structures, across all strategies and asset classes', including small business investment companies (SBICs). David Winter advised IFC on its investment in BECO Booster Fund II LP, a venture capital fund focused on investments in communications technology in the Middle East and North Africa. Bryan Ricapito has strength in advising sponsor-side clients on fund formation matters. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC. Adam Tope joined DLA Piper LLP (US)'s New York office in 2019.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates' 'reliable' team is adept at handing both private equity and venture capital mandates. In New York, Edward Dartley acts as counsel to private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners, while James Lee advised Patricia Industries on the acquisition of a $903m majority stake in Sarnova Holdings. In San Francisco, Sonia Gioseffi provides ongoing advice to impact fund Endeavor Catalayst. In another matter, Matthew Mangan in San Francisco and Seattle-based Mark Heine advised CRCM Ventures on forming venture capital fund CRCM Frontier Technology Fund I, investing in the media, virtual/augmented reality, and artificial intelligence industries. Scott Bernhart in Fort Worth is also a key contact.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's 'extremely effective' team is perhaps best known for representing sponsor clients from the infrastructure space in fund formation mandates. Practice head Lorna Bowen, Justin Storms and Andrew Ford are 'very smart, experienced and responsive' with 'excellent technical abilities'. The SoftBank Group is a key client. The team is based in New York.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP's funds team is noted for its expertise in handling investor-side mandates, as well as limited partner-side instructions and impact funds matters across a range of industries. Key contacts in New York include Parikshit Dasgupta, who advised an infrastructure fund on a fund formation mandate, James Mercadante, who has strengths in acting for fund managers and sponsor-side clients. Tysons-based Benton Burroughs has expertise in heavyweight limited partner matters, and New York-based associate Aaron Bourke is also recommended.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP’s 'very commercial, responsive and insightful' team is noted for its solid expertise in credit funds. Scott Naidech in New York is well known for representing US and international private fund sponsors in fund formation and launch matters; in the same office, regulatory expert Beth Kramer is 'very good at seeing issues that may not be apparent to others'. In Chicago, Bradley Mandel advised an investor on forming a multimillion-dollar fund-of-one for making venture-focused fund-of-funds investments with BVK. Also recommended are Meg Frey ('strategic and tactical'), and Megan Devaney. Clients include Invenergy, 50 South Capital Advisors and Frontenac Company. In 2018 Richard Ginsberg joined the Chicago office from DLA Piper LLP (US).

Bracewell LLP

Bracewell LLP’s Cheri Hoff, based in New York, leads a team that provides 'great client service' and is well known for its solid expertise in energy and regulatory mandates. Hoff acted for Rockland Power Partners II in a secondary transaction where interests in the fund were purchased by an investor. The University of Houston is a cornerstone limited partner client.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP's team is 'very knowledgeable and professional', and has been kept busy advising fund investors and sponsors on fund formation, launches and regulatory matters, among other areas. Carl Ruggiero continues to advise Merrill Lynch on the compliance and operation of a number of feeder funds, while Shaun Reader handled the formation and launch of the i80 Fund, an open-ended fund focusing on investment in loans; the fund has a $100m target. Sovereign wealth funds are another area of strength for the firm. Other clients include Brevet Capital Management, United Gulf Bank, Livingston Securities and HBM Partners. The team is located in New York.

McGuireWoods LLP

The 'pragmatic and experienced' team at McGuireWoods LLP reports an uptick in fund formation mandates, with a particular focus on rural development work; Mark Kromkowski is noted for his experience advising rural business investment companies (RBICs) and SBICs. Bryan Bylica and Kevin Boardman in Dallas are also key contacts. Other clients include Innova, Webster Bank and Merion Investment Partners.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s 'dedicated' team has significant strength in investor-side mandates, which are the exclusive focus of the practice. Clients include prominent state retirement schemes from a range of industries. Washington DC-based Robert Bodansky ('extremely proactive and commercial') and Jennifer Neilsson in Chicago and Steven Richman in Atlanta are also recommended.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP handles fund formation mandates, with a core focus on real estate fund matters. Andre Nance is well known for advising leading investment banks on launching feeder funds into prominent private equity funds. Other key names include Eric Requenez and Richard Madris. The team is located in New York.