Firms To Watch: Private equity buyouts: middle-market (Up to $500m)

Massumi + Consoli LLP has continued to expand its nationwide capabilities by hiring a New York-based consortium of lawyers in 2023 to match the firm’s growing workload in middle-market tech, retail, and infrastructure transactions.

Private equity buyouts: middle-market (Up to $500m) in United States

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)‘s ‘robust team of subject matter experts‘ serves a diverse roster of private equity sponsors that ranges from middle-market funds, including Stellex and 5th Century, to blue-chip funds such as Accel-KKR and Carlyle. A deep bench of experts across the country enables the practice to handle a large caseload of transactions, ranging from platform deals, strategic partnerships and high-profile exits to advice on mergers and add-ons for growth and portfolio companies concentrated especially in the tech, healthcare, and industrial sectors. The team is also increasingly active in advising investors on buyouts in the energy space, owing particularly to the sector expertise of New York-based lawyer Ilya Bubel. Atlanta lawyer Joseph Silver  leads the firm and has extensive experience handling a wide range of transactions for venture capital and private equity funds as well as for target and portfolio companies. Further key contacts include New York-based leveraged buyout expert James Kelly, Chicago lawyer Harris Eisenberg, who handles acquisitions and exits as well as recapitalizations, and broad transactional expert Gerry Williams, who practices from Atlanta. In Chicago, Benjamin Galea joined the team from Winston & Strawn LLP in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Silver

Other key lawyers:

James Kelly; Ilya Bubel; Gerry Williams; Harris Eisenberg; Joydeep Dasmunshi; Eric Grossman; Dan Rollman; Benjamin Galea; Clayton Culler


‘High-quality legal advice.’

‘Ilya Bubel and Clayton Culler have been key contributors to our efforts with sharp insight and excellent responsiveness. They have consistently kept an open mind on seller sticking points and identifying fair, low-risk concessions when applicable.’

‘DLA features a robust team of subject matter experts with a strong background in both formal education and industry experience. Responsiveness across the firm has been consistent and top-notch. We have leveraged the firm from complex transactional M&A needs to employment agreements and general counsel.’

Key clients

5th Century Partners

ABRY Partners LLC


Baird Capital

Bregal Investments, Inc.

Centroid Investment Partners LC

Columbia Capital, LLC

Exaltare Capital Partners, LLC

Excolere Equity Partners

Frontenac Company, LLC

Grove Mountain Partners

ICV Partners, LLC

Keystone Capital

LLR Partners, Inc.

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners

MSouth Equity Partners LP

Renovus Capital Partners

RLJ Equity Partners, LLC

Shore Capital Partners, LLC

Stellex Capital Management

The Carlyle Group

Wicks Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Represented Grove Mountain Partners and portfolio company Unique Indoor Comfort Holdings in the sale of Unique Indoor Comfort Holdings to Ace Hardware.
  • Advised Shore Capital Partner on several private equity deals.
  • Advised Stellex Capital Management on its acquisition of G2 Web Services, Lundquist Consulting, and Fintellix India Private Limited from TransUnion.


Goodwin fields a large team of private equity specialists across the country who handle a prolific volume of growth investments, take-private acquisitions, and carve-outs for middle-market private equity sponsors, though the team is also capable of guiding blue-chip clients through the full investment lifecycle. The team places a particular focus on venture capital investments and buyouts in the tech space and maintains close relationships with a number of tech-focused sponsor clients, including TA Associates and JMI Equity. Life sciences form another area of emphasis for the practice, which is co-led by Boston-based healthcare transactions expert John LeClaire alongside San Francisco-based tech M&A specialist Brian McPeake and New York lawyer Chris Nugent, who handles transactional and governance matters for a wide range of sponsor clients. Washington DC lawyer Joshua Klatzkin, who advises both funds and target companies on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth investments, and Santa Monica-based Katherine Baudistel , whose expertise spans public and private M&A as well as VC-backed financings, are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

John LeClaire; Chris Nugent; Brian McPeake

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Klatzkin; Katherine Baudistel; Andy Lock; Michael Kendall; Stuart Rosenthal; Ilan Nissan; Chris Wilson; James Moriarty; Cammy Contizano; Amy Keller


‘Goodwin’s PE practice is a great partner for us – they know our business well, understand how to think through key risks while also being commercially minded to making sure we get the deals done. They have advised us through a lot of tough situations and I trust the Goodwin team to give us great, thoughtful counsel.’

‘They are commercial and great technical lawyers.’

‘Depth and versatility. No matter what volume and variety of transactions and special projects we are taking on, they are able to help and provide sophisticated legal advice. ’

‘Brian McPeake has reached an unparalleled level of excellence at speaking to business teams. Amy Keller is a great negotiator, adept at running a deal.’

‘A+ lawyers providing A+ client service. Lawyers are super smart, experienced, and thoughtful. They are practical and able to evaluate complex legal issues from a business perspective. They represent the client well during negotiations and are able to navigate and understand relationships without creating unnecessary friction during a deal process. They work hard and are always available to meet tight timelines. ’

Key clients

TA Associates Management, L.P.

Webster Equity Partners

Primus Capital

Bregal Sagemount

Behrman Capital

Ampersand Capital Partners

JMI Equity

Frazier Healthcare

InTandem Capital


Work highlights

  • Advised TA Associates Management on its acquisition of wildfire science and tech company Technosylva.
  • Advised JMI Equity on its strategic investment in Apptegy, a provider of a software-as-a-service platform and K – 12 services to educational institutions.
  • Advised United Digestive, a portfolio company of Frazier Healthcare Partners, on its sale to Kohlberg & Company.

King & Spalding

Energy and infrastructure transactions form a standout area of focus for the team at King & Spalding LLP, which is active in transactions that span the middle- and upper-market and encompass portfolio company mergers, joint ventures, platform and add-on acquisitions, and exits for private equity funds seeking to dispose of oil and gas assets and invest in renewable assets. Practice co-head Jonathan Melmed acts as a key contact for energy-related matters and is a key contact for SPAC mergers and strategic investments, while Atlanta-based co-head Rahul Patel extends the team’s area of expertise to encompass deals in the tech and logistics sectors. Enrico Granata is a key contact for cross-border public and private M&A as well as for joint ventures and restructuring matters, while Adam Hankiss handles growth investments and buyouts in the infrastructure space. Unless otherwise stated, all lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Melmed; Rahul Patel

Other key lawyers:

Enrico Granata; Adam Hankiss; Aaron Hullman

Key clients


Axium Infrastructure

Brookfield Renewable

Carlyle Power Partners

D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments

Lotus Infrastructure Partners

Macquarie Capital

Morguard Corporation

Vida Capital Inc.

WM Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised D.E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and various affiliates on the sale of a 75% indirect equity interest in the 149 MW Big River solar project.
  • Advised Instar Asset Management and its portfolio companies on several strategic transactions.
  • Advised Lotus Infrastructure Partners on multiple strategic transactions to liquidate previous investments in natural gas assets and deploy capital into renewable natural gas assets.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP‘s diverse private equity caseload spans bulge-bracket and middle-market transactions, with the team particularly active on sports buyouts and joint investments in the former market segment while guiding its core middle-market clients through a large volume of growth investments, strategic partnerships, and leveraged buyouts. The team frequently collaborates with the firm’s global network to handle cross-border deals in sectors such as life sciences, financial services, and tech, and it is also increasingly active in handling add-on acquisitions for portfolio companies active in the energy and industrials sectors. Todd Hentges, an expert on carve-out and SPAC transactions, co-leads the team from Orange County together with New York lawyer Christina Melendi, who maintains close relationships with key sponsor clients such as Freeman Spogli, and Philadelphia-based Kevin Shmelzer, who is experienced with both platform and add-on deals. In New York, Allison Gargano is noted for her advice on transactions in the sports and entertainment sectors, and Alec Dawson handles a wide range of domestic and international M&A.s

Practice head(s):

Christina Melendi; Todd Hentges; Kevin Shmelzer

Other key lawyers:

Alec Dawson; Jon Morris; Mark Stein; Adam Prince; Allison Gargano

Key clients

Ares Capital

Artemis Capital Partners

Energy Capital Partners

Freeman Spogli

Guardian Capital

Kohlberg & Co.

LLR Partners

Lovell Minnick Partners

MSD Capital

New State Capital Partners

Next 3 GFC Investors LLC

Palladium Equity Partners

Platinum Equity

Prudential Capital Partners

Renovus Capital Partners

Siguler Guff

Work highlights

  • Represented AmerisourceBergen in its partnership with TPG to acquire OneOncology.
  • Advised Lovell Minnick Partners on its majority growth investment in ACU-Serve Corp and on the acquisition financing.
  • Advised Freeman Spogli on its partnership with NearU Services.

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster excels at advising middle-market funds as well as a large roster of target and portfolio companies on growth investments and leveraged buyouts in the TMT sector, especially in connection with agritech, digital infrastructure, and healthcare tech transactions. The team is also noted for its deep-seated expertise in SPAC mergers, PIPE deals, and take-private transactions, and it frequently leverages its global firm network to guide its clients through cross-border investments. New York lawyer Mitchell Presser is an expert on public and private transactions in the food and agriculture sector and co-leads the team with San Francisco-based Patrick Huard, who maintains close relationships with clients such as Alpine Investors and handles a very broad range of buyouts and exits. San Francisco lawyer Susan Mac Cormac primarily handles investments in the energy space, while Omar Pringle, who is based in New York, is well-regarded for his expertise in the tech and life sciences sectors. Also in New York, Aly El Hamamsy is a key contact for restructurings and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Mitchell Presser; Patrick Huard

Other key lawyers:

Susan Mac Cormac; Omar Pringle; Aly El Hamamsy


‘Strong team, great knowledge and expertise. We trust MoFo with our most challenging deals.’

‘Patrick Huard has been a trusted partner to me and my team.’

‘Amazing people. Attentive partners and strong associates beneath. Capable of scaling and providing a comprehensive suite of solutions. We view the MoFo team as our business partners vs our lawyers. Very much feel they are on our team and putting the client first.’

‘Patrick Huard and his team have helped build many of our platform investments. They are truly business partners to us who think commercially.’

‘The practice has a much more tailored approach and less of a mass market feel, which, when you are talking about strategic advice, is incredibly important. While incredibly sophisticated and understanding of complicated situations, they also have an extremely well-grounded and logical approach the helps clients get to the right answer.’

‘Mitchell Presser specifically is one of the most creative, well grounded and logical individuals I’ve met, and I would call on him for advice in almost any situation. He also surrounds himself with individuals who are cut from the same cloth so that the team is generally on the same page and pulling the oars in the same direction.’

‘Quality of team throughout. Partners are fantastic, but also draw on an incredibly strong set of associates that have allowed them to scale with our needs. Really love the all-in-one solution set across our needs. We think of our MoFo team as equally important to anyone who’s a full-time employee in building our companies.’

‘Patrick Huard – always available, providing valuable insights and commercial recommendations as opposed to just presenting facts. Patrick is a true business partner for us.’

Key clients

AgroFresh Solutions


Alpine Investors

Altamont Capital Partners

Anzu Partners

ATN International

Crescent Cove Advisors LP

Doxim, Inc.

Emerson Collective


Fidelio Capital

FoodChain ID

Fremont Macanta

Generate Capital Inc

Generation Investment Management

Huck Capital/Ventures

Main Post Partners

Marrone Bio Innovations

MGG Investment Group

Odevo AB

Palladium Equity Partners

Presidio Investors

Paine Schwartz Partners

Pivotal Investment Corporation II

Pulse Agri Investments

Qatalyst Partners

Rubicon Technology Partners

San Francisco Equity Partners

Seller X

Silver Crest Acquisition Corporation

Sky Harbour

SoftBank Group

Special New Fruit Licensing


Vector Capital

Virgo Investment Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Special New Fruit Licensing in connection with its combination with International Fruit Genetics to form Bloom Fresh International.
  • Advised AgroFresh Solutions Inc in connection with its go-private buyout deal with a private equity firm.
  • Advised Alpine Investors and portfolio company Trilon Group on several transactions.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP‘s team benefits from firmwide strengths in fund formation, growth investment, and venture capital matters, allowing the practice to handle a wide variety of private equity-linked transactions. Key areas of focus for the team include fund mergers and de-mergers, such as abrdn’s recent sale of its US private equity and venture capital business to HighVista Strategies, sponsor-backed joint ventures and strategic partnerships in growth areas such as the sports and media sectors, and high-profile exits across a diverse range of industries. Practice heads Daniel Ganitsky, Lauren Boglivi, and Michael Ellis jointly lead the team from New York, with Ganitsky and Ellis handling a wide variety of public and private M&A, restructuring, and corporate governance matters, while Boglivi focuses on private equity-backed transactions in the sports and entertainment sectors. In Los Angeles, leveraged buyout experts Kristian Herrmann  and Christopher Ahn are highly recommended, while structured private capital expert Steven Peck is a key contact in the Boston office.

Practice head(s):

Lauren Boglivi; Michael Ellis; Daniel Ganitsky

Other key lawyers:

Kristian Herrmann; Christopher Ahn; Steven Peck; Ben Orlanski


‘Ben Orlanski is the best! Great at listening to everyone and pulling us all together.’

Key clients

Lincoln International


abrdn Inc.

Women’s Tennis Association

National Football League

32 Equity


Newbury Partners

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP continues to maintain an active presence in middle-market private equity transactions, with a roster of blue-chip domestic and international investors, regional sponsors, and sovereign funds relying on the team to guide them through a consistently high volume of platform and add-on acquisitions as well as through impactful sales and divestitures. The team maintains offices across the country benefits from the firm’s integrated sector expertise in entertainment and media matters, which allows it to handle a large number of growth investments in this space. Consumer goods are another area of focus for the team, owing particularly to the expertise of New York lawyer Christopher Sheaffer, who co-leads the team with M&A and recapitalization expert Bradley Schmarak, who is based in Chicago, and New York-based contact Mark Pedretti, who is noted for his cross-border transactions and financing expertise. In Pittsburgh, private equity and venture capital expert Matthew Mohn is a further name to note.

Practice head(s):

Mark Pedretti; Bradley Schmarak; Christopher Sheaffer

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Mohn; Anatoliy Rozental; Nicholas Gibson; Jennifer Cheng


‘Jennifer Cheng, a partner at Reed Smith is my main contact. She and her colleagues that she assigns to work with us do a great job (technical skills, client service, communication, meeting deadlines).’

Winston & Strawn LLP

Leading middle-market private equity funds such as The Jordan Company, Wind Point, and Vistria retain longstanding relationships with the team at Winston & Strawn LLP, which has a penchant for handling leveraged buyouts and growth investments in sectors such as software, food, healthcare, and defense. Integrated antitrust, real estate, tax, and IP expertise further allows the team to guide funds through the entire transactional lifecycle and handle a diverse range of portfolio company-related matters, including cross-border mergers, add-on acquisitions, and take-private deals. The team is active across the country and is jointly led by New York-based public and private M&A and corporate governance expert Brad Vaiana, Dallas lawyer Matthew Stockstill, who focuses on cross-border PE acquisitions and exits alongside fund formation matters, and transactional and debt finance specialist Eva Davis, who practices from Los Angeles. Further key contacts include private equity and capital markets expert Matthew Bergmann in Chicago and de-SPAC specialist Dom DeChiara in New York.

Practice head(s):

Brad Vaiana; Matthew Stockstill; Eva Davis

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Bergmann; Dom DeChiara; David Lange; Timothy Kincaid; Brendan Mace; Eric Kaufman; Lilli Scalettar; Bryan Ikegami


‘Superb ability to problem solve and create out-of-the-box solutions to complex issues. The team is communicative, deadlines are adhered to, and little to no follow up is ever needed. All around, this team makes doing deals so much more enjoyable by taking the best care and attention to us.’

‘This team is one of the best M&A deal teams that I’ve ever worked with and goes above and beyond in terms of client service – always meeting deadlines; creating and executing upon novel solutions to novel and complex issues; advising and counseling us instead of just doing what they are told; they truly feel like an extension of our internal team.’

‘The team has a breadth of experience and works to factor in our unique hot button issues when integrating their best practices.’

‘Eva Davis, Brendan Mace, and Bryan Ikegami excel in client management and business judgment.’

Key clients

ACON Investments

Arbor Investments

Argand Partners

Bregal Investments

Century Park Capital Partners

Charger Investment Partners

CORE Industrial Partners

Court Square Capital Partners

Diversis Capital

Eos Partners

Frontenac Company

GenNx360 Capital Partners

Industrial Opportunity Partners

The Jordan Company

Kainos Capital

Norwest Equity Partners

The Pritzker Group

Revelstoke Capital Partners

Shore Capital Partners

Star Mountain Capital

Stellex Capital

The Vistria Group

VMG Partners

Tyree & D’Angelo Partners

Water Street Healthcare Partners

Wind Point Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised The Jordan Company on its acquisition of Soteria Flexibles Holdings and its subsidiaries.
  • Represented Eos Partners in its acquisition of Gulf Pacific and Southwest Spice.
  • Advised Canada-based Beringer Capital on its acquisition of VeraData Holdings.


Akin combines integrated regulatory, financial, and transactional expertise to offer clients comprehensive advice in connection with buyouts, growth investments, and strategic partnerships in regulated sectors such as energy, tech, and industrials. In addition to working with established middle-market funds and investment managers, the team regularly represents portfolio and target companies in their sales to major private equity sponsors such as Apollo and EQT. Bespoke platform deals in emerging spaces of the market represent a key specialism of the team, which has advised on the buy- and sell-side of fund mergers, IP transactions, and sports team buyouts. Sergio Urias is a key contact for these bespoke transactions and practices from the New York office, which is also home to leveraged buyout and take-private expert Amy Wollensack and practice head Zachary Wittenberg, who specialises in corporate transactions. Dallas-based Thomas Yang handles energy M&A, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Zachary Wittenberg

Other key lawyers:

Sergio Urias; Michelle Chan; Amy Wollensack; Thomas Yang; Wes Williams

Key clients

Paine Schwartz Partners

Mill Rock Capital

Kinderhook Industries

Halyard Capital

Sheridan Capital Partners

Mubadala Capital

Eagle Point Credit Management

Elite Sports Equity

Tug Hull Inc.

FireBird Energy LLC

Double Eagle Energy

CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

Amberjack Capital Partners

Brinkmere Capital Partners

Ballou Fire Systems LLC

CPGH Holdings

Princeton Equity Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Tug Hill Inc. and its affiliates in connection with the sale of upstream and midstream assets from oil and gas producer Tug Hill and pipeline company XcL Midstream to EQT Corporation for $5.2bn.
  • Advised Mubadala Capital and its portfolio company Thrive Foods on an agreement to acquire Groneweg Group, also known as Freeze-Dry Foods.
  • Advised Paine Schwartz Partners on its strategic growth investment in Elemental Enzymes.

Choate, Hall & Stewart

Choate, Hall & Stewart‘s Boston-based practice counts middle-market private equity and venture capital funds as well as public and private target companies in its client roster and is noted for its ability to act on both sides of growth investment transactions. Integrated expertise in healthcare and tech allows the team to guide sector-focused sponsors through all stages of their investments, while the ability to draw on internal tax and employment capabilities enables it to also handle complex mergers and joint acquisitions. Growth equity investment and leveraged buyout expert T.J. Murphy co-heads the practice together with Lee Feldman and venture capital specialist Sarah Camougis. Brian Lenihan’s private equity expertise encompasses both M&A and financing transactions, while Daniel Riley’s workload spans buyouts, growth equity deals, and capital markets matters.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Camougis; T.J. Murphy; Lee Feldman

Other key lawyers:

Brian Lenihan; Daniel Riley


‘The team is very detail-oriented and truly cares about its clients’ success.’

‘They are patient, thoughtful, hardworking, diligent and industrious.’

Key clients

BV Investment Partners

Century Equity Partners


Cove Hill Partners

Great Hill Partners

Long Ridge Equity Partners

Riverside Partners

Silversmith Capital Partners

Spectrum Equity

Summit Partners

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight recently expanded its capabilities in life sciences transactions through a merger with Tennessee-based healthcare boutique Waller Landsen Dortch & Davis in March 2023, adding to a team of private equity specialists with a strong presence in the South that maintains close relationships with established regional sponsors such as Falfurrias Capital and Warren Equity. In addition to its healthcare work, the team handles a prolific volume of middle-market buyouts, recapitalizations, growth investments, and exits in sectors such as energy, defense, and tech. Healthcare and financial services expert David Barkus and cross-border M&A specialist George Mencio are based in Miami and jointly head up the team together with Tampa-based lawyer Robert Grammig, who focuses on public M&A. Charlotte lawyer Rick Bange is a key contact for leveraged buyouts and growth equity matters, while Chattanooga partner Roddy Bailey, who joined the team as part of the March 2023 merger, handles both venture capital and private equity work. In Boston, Rebecca Wilsker is especially recommended for matters in the tech sector.

Practice head(s):

David Barkus; George Mencio; Robert Grammig

Other key lawyers:

Bryan Gadol; Aaron Slavens; Rick Bange; Roddy Bailey; Rebecca Wilsker; John Gilson; Mike Miller; Jordan Taylor; Omari Sealy


‘Fantastic group, great people, deep capabilities. Very commercial and really understand the business issues and how they connect to legal issues.’

‘Always available, fantastic customer service approach, high integrity, and fun to work with. John Gilson and Mike Miller deserve special callout.’

Key clients

Audax Private Equity

Boyne Capital

Broadtree Partners

Everlane Equity Partners

Falfurrias Capital Partners

Kaho Partners

M/C Partners

Pine Tree Equity Partners

SkyKnight Capital

Warren Equity Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented Warren Equity Partners in connection with eight transactions, including four platform investments and four add-on acquisitions.
  • Advised SkyKnight Capital on three transactions, including two platform investments and an exit transaction.
  • Advised Broadtree Partners in connection with two platform acquisitions and one exit transaction.

Kramer Levin

Kramer Levin maintains a robust presence in middle-market transactional work driven both by its relationships with middle-market sponsors such as Atlantic Street as well as by its work for leading funds including BlackRock. The team is active on a large volume of add-on acquisitions and portfolio company mergers, especially in the tech and financial services sectors, and it is also capable of advising clients on fund mergers and strategic partnerships owing to the expertise of practice head Ernest Wechsler, who is noted both for his transactional and his governance expertise. Further key contacts in the team include Adi Herman, who is noted for his experience handling take-private acquisitions and carve-outs, Jonathan Goodman, who maintains close relationships with key client Stone Point and its portfolio companies, and Howard Spilko, who handles M&A and joint ventures. All listed contacts are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Ernest Wechsler

Other key lawyers:

Jon Goodman; Adi Herman; Howard Spilko; Zachary Jacobs; Eitan Tabak

Key clients

Allied Benefit Systems, LLC

Atlantic Street Capital

Avenue Capital Group


Focus Financial Partners

Francisco Partners

Nuveen Asset Management, LLC

Onboard Partners LLC


Stone Point Capital LLC


Work highlights

  • Represented BlackRock in connection with its equity investment in Human Interest, a full-service 401(k) provider.
  • Advised Onboard Partners LLC, a portfolio company of Stone Point Capital, in connection with Onboard’s acquisition of Aliaswire Inc.’s Payvus small credit card issuing and capital management business.
  • Advised Allied Benefit Systems, LLC, a portfolio company of Stone Point Capital, on its acquisition of Medxoom, Inc.

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP is noted for its high-level expertise in healthcare transactions, representing a series of middle-market sponsors in their platform acquisitions, add-on transactions, and exits in addition to handling recapitalization and joint venture work. The team, which is headed up by experienced Pittsburgh-based M&A expert Thomas Zahn, is also very active in the growth equity space and places a focus on advising independent sponsors and growth companies on the launch of investment and fundraising rounds. Dallas lawyer Jon Finger is a key contact for this line of work and handles transactions across a diverse range of sectors, including manufacturing, tech, and energy. Further key contacts in the team include Geoffrey Cockrell, who primarily handles middle-market healthcare deals from the Chicago office, and Gregory Hawver, who is also based in Chicago and focuses on public and private M&A as well as governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Zahn

Other key lawyers:

Jon Finger; Geoffrey Cockrell; Gregory Hawver


‘Flexibility in dealing with complex situations and deals.’

‘Greg Hawver: tireless worker, creative thinker.’

Key clients

Revelstoke Capital Partners

Trinity Hunt Partners

Falfurrias Capital Partners

Summit Park

LLR Partners

Compass Group Equity Partners

Assured Healthcare Partners

Drum Capital

Banner Ventures

Sverica Capital Partners

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP‘s New York-based team combines shareholder activism and private equity expertise and is particularly noted for its ability to handle PIPE transactions and preferred equity investments, guiding a series of LPs as well as middle-market sponsors such as Lovell Minnick and Mill Point through deals in the tech, financial services, and insurance sectors, among others. The team is also very active in traditional buyouts, handling buy- and sell-side deals for both sponsors and portfolio companies, and it maintains an active practice in connection with venture and growth investment transactions. PIPE and shareholder activism expert Eleazer Klein co-heads the team with public and private M&A expert Brian Miner. Benjamin Kozinn is a key contact for take-private acquisitions and growth investments, while Adriana Schwartz is noted especially for her preferred equity work. M&A expert Damian Petrovic joined the team from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in October 2023.

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Kozinn; Jeffrey Simons; Michael Flynn; Adriana Schwartz; Damian Petrovic

Key clients

AB CarVal Investors LP

APCO Holdings

Acorn Bioventures

Avoro Capital Advisors

Blue Torch Finance, LLC

Caligan Partners LP

Cerberus Capital Management LP

Deep Track Capital LP

Foundry Digital LLC

Inclusive Capital Partners, L.P.

LLR Partners

Laurion Capital Management LP

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Lovell Minnick Partners LLC

Mill Point Capital LLC

Perceptive Advisors LLC

Staple Street Capital

Starboard Value LP

The WindAcre Partnership LLC

Warner Pacific Insurance Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised the WindAcre Partnership on its negotiation and entry into a consortium that took Nielsen Holdings private.
  • Advised Lovell Minnick Partners on its majority investment in S&S Health.
  • Represented National Auto Care in a series of acquisitions.

Arnold & Porter

The team at Arnold & Porter has longstanding experience guiding both domestic as well as Canadian and European private equity funds through their entire transactional life cycles, with an integrated team capable of handling the financing and M&A aspects of platform acquisitions, add-on transactions, and exits. In New York, capital markets and M&A expert Stephen Koval and life sciences specialist Lowell Dashefsky jointly head up a practice which particularly in handling PE-backed transactions in regulated industries, including national security and financial services. Washington DC contacts include Andrew Varner, who is noted for his cross-border expertise, and Matthew Owens, who primarily advises sponsors on investments in the tech and government contracting spaces. San Francisco lawyer Edward Deibert handles both private equity and venture capital transactions.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Koval; Lowell Dashefsky

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Varner; Matthew Owens; Edward Deibert; Carlyn Williams; Ronald Levine; Derek Stoldt; David Menchel

Key clients

Core X Partners

GMF Capital

DC Capital Partners

K&L Gates

K&L Gates‘ private equity team comprehensively guides middle-market private equity funds such as Incline Equity and Falfurrias Capital through their investment lifecycles by offering transactional, finance, and regulatory advice in connection with growth investments, PIPE transactions, and leveraged buyouts as well as with high-value exits. The practice also specialises in handling mergers and add-on transactions for private equity-backed portfolio companies. The team is led by Rick Giovannelli, an authority in cross-border private equity and debt finance transactions, from the Charlotte office, which is also home to cross-border M&A expert Kevin Stichter. Curt Anderson and Christopher Thel, who joined the Pittsburgh office from Dentons Cohen & Grigsby in January 2023, bolster the team’s strengths in private equity transactions within the manufacturing, consumer, and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Rick Giovannelli

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Stichter; John Blair; Curt Anderson; Christopher Thel; John Wingerter; Leah Baucom; Michael Hutson; Mary Scott Kennedy

Key clients

CG HoldCo, LLC et al.

Falfurrias Capital Partners

Incline Equity Partners

Lincoln Park Capital Fund

Pike Street Capital

St. Cloud Capital Partners III SBIC, L.P.

Work highlights

  • Represented Incline Ascent Fund in its leveraged buyout of Smile Source, structured as a merger.
  • Advised Falfurrias Capital Partners on its investment in Brainlabs, a full-service media agency.
  • Represented affiliates of Soundcore Capital Partners, as well as its portfolio company Custom Goods, in connection with the sale of Custom Goods to affiliates of Angeles Equity Partners.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP‘s ‘extremely hands-on, responsive, and attentive‘ private equity team benefits from a firmwide focus on M&A in regulated industries such as government contracting, aerospace, infrastructure, and tech, which enables it to advise both innovative target companies and specialist funds on growth equity transactions, venture capital-backed financing rounds, and leveraged buyouts. New York lawyers Stephen Amdur and Jarrod Murphy both serve as key contacts for public and private M&A in sectors such as infrastructure, sports, and life sciences and jointly co-head the group together with Allison Leopold Tilley, who handles tech transactions from the San Francisco office. Matthew Swartz and Nicole Islinger are based in Northern Virgnia and are well-disposed to advise on defense and government contracting matters, frequently guiding middle-market funds through platform transactions in this space. Also in Northern Virginia, Steven Kaplan is a key contact for early-stage capital raises and growth investments.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Amdur; Allison Leopold Tilley; Jarrod Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Swartz; Steve Kaplan; Nicole Islinger; Drew Simon-Rooke


‘Extremely hands-on, responsive, and attentive. Solutions-oriented. Extremely knowledgeable about the nuances of M&A in the aerospace/defense/government technology sector. Great tax and corporate finance resources, which saved a deal when financing broke down at the last minute.’

‘Matthew Swartz is outstanding. Solutions-oriented, invests in knowing his clients and their objectives, offers utmost integrity. Transparent about the pros and cons of a position.’

‘No other firm can be compared the professional ability, the responsiveness and the clarity Pilsbury provides. ’

Key clients

The Raine Group

CleanChoice Energy

Ullico Infrastructure Fund

Cognita School

Keany Produce and Gourmet

Meridix Creative

Boathouse Capital

IMB Partners

Clairvest Group

Synaptech LLC

Blackhawk Aerospace

Perpetual Capital Partners

Culmen International

XOR Security

Joint Research and Development

Soar Technology, Inc.

Troutman Pepper

Troutman Pepper‘s practice handles both fund formation and transactional matters on an integrated basis for a client roster of middle-market private equity and venture capital funds and is particularly well-situated to advise on investments and buyouts in the tech, financial services, and healthcare sectors. The team also works with a series of target and portfolio companies on sell-side transactions and is well-regarded in advising start-ups and scale-ups on inbound investments and series financings. Philadelphia-based lawyer Bruce Fenton, an expert on leveraged buyouts, mergers, and recapitalizations, heads up the practice, which maintains offices across the country and is also home to Wilmington-based private and growth equity expert Matthew Greenberg, Charlotte lawyer Alec Watson, who has experience handling a wide range of private equity deals, as well as public and private M&A expert Nicholas Stawasz, who practices from Boston.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Fenton

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Greenberg; Todd Boylan; Alec Watson; Andrea Farley; Nicholas Stawasz