February 21, 2023

Willkie has been profiled by Law360 as a 2022 Fund Formation Practice Group of the Year.

In a feature article, Law360 highlights Willkie’s notable fund formation work over the past year, and interviews partners Phil Isom, Chair of the Private Funds practice; and Lior Ohayon, Co-Chair of the firm’s Asset Management Department, on the success of the group, areas of focus and upcoming trends in the industry.

The profile highlighted the wide array of fund formation matters Willkie led over the past year, including a $20 billion fundraise for Insight Partners’ 12th flagship fund, its largest to date, as well as the ongoing structuring and fundraising of PAI Partners VIII, PAI’s flagship fund. Other representations featured include Warner Music as a co-investor in a $750 million music royalties fund, Monarch Alternative Capital in the formation of a $650 million real estate fund, and Banneker Partners LLC in the formation of its $550 million Fund II, among others.

Both Phil and Lior noted one of Willkie’s key strengths is the ability to work seamlessly across the firm's global offices to get deals done. "The big thing that we do well is we have a very cohesive and coordinating group of lawyers who work well together and know each other," Phil said.  

In discussing trends on the horizon, Lior and Phil noted that many PE firms are considering music and publishing assets as a source to diversity holdings into non-correlated asset categories. The firm has a significant corporate practice in Los Angeles and expects to be involved in the establishment of additional investment funds for L.A.-based managers, including media and entertainment-related funds, Lior said.  

Willkie has a US-based team of approximately 50 PE fund formation lawyers based in its New York, Houston, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles offices, as well as premier fund formation practices in Paris and London. The group is part of Willkie’s preeminent Asset Management Department, which numbers over 110 attorneys across seven offices in the United States and Europe. Willkie’s Asset Management Department is co-chaired by Margery Neale and Lior Ohayon.  

Law360 selected Willkie as a 2022 Practice Group of the Year from a competitive pool of more than 900 nominations, honoring the firm as one of six named for achievements in the Fund Formation category. The award series focuses on landmark matters and general excellence across various practice area categories.

Read the full profile here.