Mr John O'Neil > Kirkland & Ellis LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10022
United States
John O'Neil photo


John is a globally recognized leader in the private equity field. He heads Kirkland & Ellis’ Investment Funds Group, the firm’s leading-edge global platform that provides innovative and bespoke legal strategies to sponsors and funds of all kinds. John is also a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. John is a founding member of the firm’s Private Funds Crisis Management Group, which guides investment fund sponsors, advisory boards, and other market participants through some of their most challenging situations. As the go-to advisor to some of the world’s most dynamic funds, John leverages more than two decades of industry knowledge to achieve optimal results for his clients in day-to-day operations and extraordinary events and transactions, including “key person” events, investor defaults, and spin-outs. John is a global thought leader on private equity market trends, firm leadership and culture, and community engagement. John also serves on the boards of the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation, and the Constellation Fund, an organization that fights poverty in the Twin Cities community.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Investment fund formation and management > Private equity funds (including venture capital)

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘well recognized as one of the leading law firms in this area’; a national offering comprising more than 520 specialized attorneys ‘consistently provides outstanding work and advice, even under very challenging or urgent circumstances’. Given the department’s historical role in ‘developing many of the legal principles and precedents that enabled the private funds sector to grow to its present size’, there is ‘rarely an issue that the practitioners have not seen and successfully navigated’. The group is instructed by a roster of more than 700 private equity sponsor clients, all of whom benefit from its ‘unequalled experience with fund formation, structuring, taxation and operations’. The New York office is a key base, fielding not only practice head John O’Neil but also a plethora of recommended senior attorneys, including Erica Berthou, Andrew Wright, Nicole Washington and Katrina Rowe. 2021 has also seen significant expansion at this location: Matthew Block from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Mark Boyagi from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Brad Friedman from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP are just some of the notable recent arrivals. In addition, a new acquisition has cemented the team’s presence in Boston, where Luzia Vaczy, formerly of Proskauer Rose LLP, is now based. Over in Chicago, Bruce Ettelson and Katie St. Peters remain the core contacts.