Mr Steven Napolitano > Kirkland & Ellis LLP > Chicago, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
300 NORTH LASALLE
CHICAGO, IL 60654
United States

Position

Steve represents private equity funds, family offices and public and private corporations in connection with leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, going private transactions, growth equity financings, senior and mezzanine debt financings, joint ventures, recapitalizations and restructurings. He also has substantial experience representing private equity sponsors, corporations and senior management teams in connection with a broad range of management equity arrangements. In addition, he regularly counsels corporations and their boards of directors in connection with general corporate law, corporate governance, business and fiduciary duty matters.

Steve has particular experience with private equity, merger & acquisition, joint venture, financing and restructuring transactions in the heavily-regulated for-profit healthcare industry, where he has served as lead counsel in numerous private and public transactions involving complex federal and state healthcare regulatory considerations.

Previously, Steve served as the Co-Chair of DLA Piper’s U.S. Private Equity Practice and was a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and Policy Committee. Steve has spoken extensively on private equity and mergers and acquisitions topics throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Education

Boston University School of Law, J.D., Editor, American Journal of Law & Medicine, American Jurisprudence Award recipient, G. Joseph Tauro Scholar; University of Notre Dame, B.A., Economics, Omicron Epsilon Delta.

Lawyer Rankings

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is widely praised for its ability to build strong teams across the US and, despite its willingness to bring in lateral hires, it ‘has done a phenomenal job of moving people through the ranks and institutionalizing its client base‘. It advises more than 450 private equity firms worldwide and a high proportion of the world’s largest private equity houses, with clients include Bain Capital, Blackstone, The Carlyle Group, KKR, Madison Dearborn, Thoma Bravo, TPG and Warburg Pincus. It consistently ranks at the top of the various buyout league tables by value and by volume. The team delivers ‘excellent commercial and business judgment‘, ‘a depth and breadth of team‘, ‘strength across disciplines‘ and ‘loyalty and accessibility‘. ‘Knowledge of market terms provides a significant competitive advantage‘, the team is ‘very strong in structuring creative solutions to complex transactions‘, is able to ‘synthesize complex issues into quick efficient conversations‘ and has ‘an ability to focus efforts on issues that drive monetary value‘. It advised Bain Capital on the $1.2bn sale of BMC Software to KKR and represented Apax Partners on the $2bn sale of its ownership stake in GlobalLogic to Partners Group. Jon Ballis is chairman-elect of the firm, in private equity he ‘understands all the issues, but also has a bed-side manner‘: ‘he can read the situation very well and is willing to push back on his clients and focus them on what they should focus on‘. New York’s Eunu Chun  ‘is always a pleasure to work with‘ and fellow New York partner Peter Martelli is another impressive figure who advises the likes of Blackstone, Pamplona Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners. Stephen Ritchie is ‘a really good lawyer‘ and Los Angeles partner Rick Madden is ‘incredibly competent‘, ‘very efficient with his time‘ and clients ‘trust his judgement implicitly‘. Matthew Steinmetz, Walter Holzer, Sanford Perl, Richard Campbell and New York’s Sean Rodgers, Michael Weisser and Leo Greenberg are also highly rated. It has also brought in further lateral hires, including New York’s Jennifer Perkins from Latham & Watkins LLP and Steven Napolitano and Brendan Head from DLA Piper LLP (US). Further, Los Angeles-based Michael WoronoffMonica Shilling, and Jonathan Benloulou joined from Proskauer Rose LLP in 2019. Named partners are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

DLA Piper LLP (US)‘s geographic coverage and commitment to the middle market has ensured a growing pipeline of deals, most notably in the Southeast of the country, where Joseph Silver and new global private equity co-chair Joe Alexander are located in Atlanta and Miami respectively. Key clients include ABRY Partners, ICV Partners, RLJ Equity Partners and Baird Capital Partners. It advised ABRY Partner on the sale of Datapipe to Rackspace Hosting and its controlling shareholder Apollo Global Management. Chicago’s Robert Davis and Atlanta partner Gerry Williams are also highly rated. Former co-chair of the private equity department Steven Napolitano and the former co-managing partner of the Chicago office Brendan Head departed for Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2018;  Daniel Eisner, a former co-chair of the private equity department has also left the firm to launch OilCoin, a cryptocurrency based on oil reserves.