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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Michael Woronoff

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Position

Michael Woronoff is a transactional partner in the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He represents purchasers, sellers and financial advisors in public and private merger and acquisition transactions; underwriters, issuers, selling security holders, private investment funds and other investors, in public and private debt and equity financings; debtors, creditors, other stakeholders and financial advisors in in-court and out-of-court restructuring transactions; and public and private entities and individuals with respect to various corporate and securities law matters, including SEC reporting obligations, corporate governance, and strategic alliances.


United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Within: M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has cemented its formidable standing in strategic M&A, alongside its market leading position in private equity buyouts. It has built an impressive depth of experience in public M&A, cross-border transactions, contested deals, activist defense work and take-private transactions. The firm has pursued a fervent campaign to hire lateral partners in recent years, with M&A and securities specialist Sean Wheeler joining its Houston office in 2018, while private equity and M&A expert Jennifer Perkins moved to New York; both were partners at Latham & Watkins LLP. In addition, Michael Woronoff, Monica Shilling, and Jonathan Benloulou joined the Los Angeles office from Proskauer Rose LLP in 2019, while insurance M&A specialist and 'impressive technical expert' Rajab Abbassi joined the team from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. The team is 'exceptionally dedicated', with 'a deep understanding of commercial issues' and filled with 'top-quality partners and associates' that combine to provide a 'one-stop-shop service'. It has 'broad transactional experience, with deep knowledge of market precedent' and can 'work seamlessly with numerous overseas counsel as well as the target's counsel'. The department advised Blackstone Group, as the controlling stockholder of Invitation Homes, on the company's $11bn combination with Starwood Waypoint Homes. It also advised Akzo Nobel on the $12.5bn sale of its Specialty Chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and GIC. Moreover, it represented The Scripps Family, the controlling shareholders of Scripps Networks Interactive, on the $14.6bn sale of Scripps to Discovery Communications. David Fox is a seasoned professional with enormous big-ticket M&A experience. Daniel Wolf is another big name to note, while Sarkis Jebejian and Peter Martelli are also highly respected in the market. Jonathan Davis is another increasingly prominent partner; he and Eric Schiele are praised for providing 'direct, pragmatic and useful advice'. Houston partner David Castro is 'extremely hardworking', 'very knowledgeable' and has 'deep experience in large transactions' in the oil and gas space. Houston's Chris Heasley is 'a rising star' along with Anthony Speier who has 'great M&A and energy expertise'. Partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Following publication of the 2019 guide, David Klein, who handles public and private M&A and private equity deals, joined the firm from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

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Private equity buyouts

Within: 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 Woronoff, Monica Shilling, and Jonathan Benloulou joined from Proskauer Rose LLP in 2019. Named partners are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

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