Mr Seth Traxler > Kirkland & Ellis LLP > Chicago, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
United States
Seth Traxler photo


Seth Traxler co-leads Kirkland’s global Technology & IP Transactions practice. He serves as lead counsel in complex or strategic deals where technology assets or opportunities are core to the deal’s value proposition.

Seth helps clients negotiate joint ventures, strategic alliances, outsourcing and service agreements, acquisitions/sales, licenses, development and collaboration agreements, and other strategic commercial contracts. He also works closely with the Kirkland Corporate/M&A Practice on the technology and IP aspects of corporate transactions.

Seth’s long and successful track record has earned him a ranking for six consecutive years in the IAM Patent 1000, which noted that his “tech-intensive M&A experience is virtually second to none” and called him “a master craftsman of complex, international deals of all stripes.” He was also recognized for “Technology: Transactions” and “Patents: Licensing” in the 2018 and 2019 editions of The Legal 500 United States. He is a Recognized Practitioner in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA.

Seth also helps lead Kirkland’s Data Security & Privacy Practice. His experience includes advising Boards of Directors when clients experience significant security breaches.

Seth serves as a Director of the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation and serves on the Firm’s Technology Committee.


Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1997; University of Kansas, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1993.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Intellectual property > Patents: licensing

Kirkland & Ellis LLP‘s extensive track record acting for licensors and licensees alike nourishes the practice with strong capabilities to negotiate mandates with a deep understanding of both perspectives. In addition to negotiating license agreements, the group is well versed in other commercial arrangements that are often implemented alongside of patent licensing deals, including joint development agreements, supply agreements, and service and technical assistance agreements. The team offers additional expertise in the development and implementation of patent licensing programs, often by way of corporate transactions. Key practitioners include David MacDonald in New York, who has a focus on pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; Chicago-based trio Russell Levine, Adam Petravicius, and Seth Traxler, who leads the technology & IP transactions practice; and Shellie Freedman in New York, whose background in molecular and cell biology provides her with additional insight into life sciences transactions.

United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Technology transactions

Kirkland & Ellis LLP‘s technology transactions group provides critical support to the firm’s market-leading corporate and private equity teams, which regularly act on IP and technology-driven corporate acquisitions, sales, SPAC mergers and IPOs. The volume of deal activity is unmatched by most firms and might lead to the team’s standalone skillsets being overlooked. The practice has long had a major focus on business process and technology outsourcing agreements, and its lead lawyers are equally adept at IP licenses, collaboration agreements and strategic alliances. A notable example was the firm’s advice to McDonald’s on its deal with IBM concerning the development of its Automated Order Taking technology and subsequent spinoff of McD Tech Labs. Key partners include Seth Traxler, Neil Hirshman and Matthew Lovell in Chicago for IP and technology-related outsourcings and transactions. San Francisco-based partner John Lynn is also highly experienced in related corporate and technology transactions.

United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Media and entertainment: transactional

Experts in transactions with intangible assets as their core, the team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a go-to for financial services company Blackstone on investments into the music sector, but also handles matters pertaining to video games and content production. From Chicago, Seth Traxler leads investments into media companies and recently advised The Carlyle Group in their acquisition of British video game studio Jagex. In New York, Shellie Freedman employs her expertise in agreements centered around IP and technology. Rory Wellever, previously at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, joined the Chicago office in June 2021; a specialist in software-related cases, he has worked substantially on matters for Blackstone.