Neil W. Townsend is a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department and Co-Chair of the Private Equity Practice Group. Neil handles the full spectrum of private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions of public and private companies and public and private securities transactions. He represents financial sponsors in the structuring, negotiation, financing, implementation and restructuring of leveraged buyouts. He also advises on the design of tax-efficient equity and equity-based executive compensation plans, and on the negotiation and implementation of private investment and PIPE transactions. He has represented buyers and sellers, investors, lenders, executives and principals in all aspects of these transactions.

Additionally, Neil assists public and private companies in a broad range of strategic, capital raising and restructuring transactions. He also advises boards of directors and investors in distressed companies in restructuring, sale and interested-party transactions.

Neil’s clients include private equity and mezzanine investment funds; public and private corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, particularly in the high-technology, business and financial services, healthcare, industrial, consumer products and energy services industries; and venture capital funds, banks and other financial institutions and other sources of capital.

Chambers USA (2023) ranks Neil among the leading practitioners for Private Equity: Buyouts (New York), and he has been consistently recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his work in the area of Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law. Additionally, he is recognized by Legal 500 US (2023) as a “Leading Lawyer” for Private Equity Buyouts.

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Prior to joining Willkie, Neil was a partner and co-leader of Bingham McCutchen’s Private Equity Practice Group.

Neil is a member of the American, Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations.

  • Thurston Group, LLC and portfolio company Gen4 Dental Partners in connection with Gen4’s new $315 million credit facility
  • CapVest Partners in its acquisition of Recochem
  • Second Nature Brands, a portfolio company of CapVest Partners LLP, on its acquisition of Sahale Snacks from The J.M. Smucker Co.
  • Dubin Clark in its sale of portfolio company InProduction to ZMC
  • FFL Partners and portfolio company ProService, a leading provider of bundled HR solutions, in the sale of ProService to Silver Lake
  • Accordion, a private equity-focused financial and technology consulting firm and portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, in its acquisition of Merilytics
  • Second Nature Brands, a portfolio company of CapVest Partners, in its acquisition of Brownie Brittle
  • FFL Partners and its portfolio company Accordion in a majority growth investment in Accordion by Charlesbank Capital Partners and Motive Partners
  • FFL Partners in its investment in Perlman Clinic, a leading independent provider of primary care in the Greater San Diego market
  • FFL Partners and Two Sigma Impact in their acquisition of a majority stake in Community Medical Services
  • FFL Partners in its sale of Church’s Chicken®, one of the world’s largest quick service chicken restaurant chains, to High Bluff Capital Partners and investment funds managed by FS Investments
  • FFL Partners in its $100 million investment in Velocity Global, in connection with Velocity Global’s acquisition of global workforce management provider iWorkGlobal
  • NL1 AcquireCo Inc., an entity led by FFL Partners and CDPQ, in its acquisition of New Look Vision Group, a provider of eye care products and services
  • Midwest Dental, a portfolio company of FFL Partners, in Midwest Dental’s sale to Smile Brands Inc.
  • CURO Group in connection with the merger of Katapult Holding, Inc. with FinServ Acquisition Corp., a SPAC
  • FFL Partners and its portfolio company EyeCare Partners in the sale of ECP to Partners Group
  • FFL Partners and Icynene-Lapolla in the acquisition of Icynene-Lapolla by Huntsman Corporation
  • FFL Partners and its portfolio company Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) in the sale of CPI to Wendel, named 2019 Middle Market Deal of the Year by Buyouts
  • FFL Partners, through its portfolio group Laurel Solutions, in the cross-border acquisition of Servelec Technologies
  • Friedman Fleischer & Lowe LLC in its acquisition of Strategic Investment Management, C.H.I. Overhead Doors, Transtar International and Iracore International, and in its subsequent sale of CHI
  • Calvert Street Capital Partners in its acquisition of International Oilfield Services and Lagniappe Health Services
  • Dubin Clark Company, Inc. in its acquisition of Sentient Medical Systems, Merex Aircraft and B&M Racing
  • Speedy Cash and Iracore International in numerous high-yield note offerings
  • Wave Systems in numerous registered and unregistered equity offerings and acquisitions



Villanova University, J.D., 1990 Tufts University, B.S., 1987

Bar Admissions

New York Massachusetts

Court Admissions

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Events & Speaking Engagements