Mr Jon Ballis > Kirkland & Ellis LLP > Chicago, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
United States


Jon Ballis is Chairman of Kirkland’s Executive Committee. He has long been recognized as one of the leading private equity attorneys in the United States, with Chambers USA recognizing him in every edition since 2004 and The Best Lawyers in America listing him in every edition since 2006. Private Equity Manager named him one of the top 10 private equity lawyers in the country and The Legal 500 U.S. selected Jon as one of only 10 private equity lawyers for its elite “Leading Lawyers” list.

Clients describe Jon as a “go-to guy in the marketplace,” a lawyer with “stellar legal judgement,” and someone with the ability “to take a big picture, strategic perspective on transactions.”

During his career, Jon has handled matters on behalf of many of the leading private equity firms in the country, including Bain, Blackstone, Centerbridge, Cerberus, Hellman & Friedman, KKR, Madison Dearborn, Pritzker Group, Silver Lake, TPG, and Thomas H. Lee.


Civic Committee, Commercial Club of Chicago, Economic Club, Vision for Tomorrow Foundation, Illinois Holocaust Museum, Anti-Defamation League


Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1994; Lehigh University, B.A., with High Honors, 1991.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > Private equity buyouts

(Hall of Fame)

Jon BallisKirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP remains a powerhouse, handling a steady stream of sponsor-led private equity deals throughout the bulge-bracket and middle market on behalf of the major players in the field, including KKR, Blackstone, Bain, and BC Partners, among others. The firm has a strong presence across the US, with active offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and further is able to work in collaboration with its global platform alongside integrated finance, tech, and regulatory teams. Alongside buyouts and exits, the team also advises on complex and innovative arrangements, including SPAC deals and continuation fund transactions, leveraging its fund formation capabilities for the latter. Key names in the team include global chairman Jon Ballis in Chicago, an authority on private equity issues who continues to act on major deals for the likes of Cerberus and TPG, Peter Martelli, who has led buyouts and portfolio company deals for Blackstone and BC Partners, and Eunu Chun, an experienced dealmaker with expertise across the life-cycle of private equity investments. Jennifer Perkins has a strong record in domestic and cross-border buyouts and exits, with standout work on behalf of KKR. Laura Steinke joined the firm from Ropes & Gray LLP in September 2021, and is noted for her international expertise and prolific deal count. Jonathan Benloulou divides his time between Los Angeles and Dallas, and specializes in asset manager M&A. Also in Los Angeles, Damon Fisher is a key name for SPAC deals. Attorneys are in New York unless otherwise stated.