Willkie is one of the few major law firms with extensive domestic and international experience in virtually every type of private equity transaction ranging from cross-border multibillion dollar leveraged buyouts to early-stage venture capital financings. As a recognized leader in private equity transactions, fund formation and regulatory compliance Willkie regularly represents private equity investors, issuers and financial advisers in all aspects of domestic and international private equity transactions.
Due to the firm’s longstanding representation of many international private equity and venture capital institutions, our attorneys routinely work on sophisticated private equity transactions such as leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, spin-offs, growth equity investments, venture capital financings, going-private transactions, recapitalizations and dispositions. We also represent a number of institutionally backed private enterprises (including portfolio companies of our private equity and venture capital fund clients) in connection with their financing, M&A and general corporate needs. Our experience covers a broad cross-section of industry sectors, including manufacturing, financial services, insurance, technology, software, retail, real estate, gaming, biotechnology, medical devices, communications and media.
Willkie’s Corporate Practice covers all aspects of private equity transactional activities, including mergers and acquisitions, direct equity investments, secondaries, PIPEs, debt (bank, high-yield and mezzanine), finance, dispositions, restructurings, recapitalizations, "club" deals, joint ventures and management compensation issues. With integrated practices in the United States and Europe, our attorneys regularly provide our institutional and sponsor clients with imaginative and business-focused counsel with respect to legal, business and management issues that arise in private equity transactions.
Our corporate transactional attorneys are able to draw on experience in a broad range of areas including tax, regulatory, real estate, antitrust, bankruptcy, intellectual property, ERISA, litigation and environmental matters. From our offices in New York, Washington, Houston, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan and Rome, we routinely advise private equity deal sponsors on all aspects of the relevant transactions, including debt and equity financing, deal and tax structure, merger and acquisition negotiation and documentation, due diligence, management arrangements, antitrust compliance, deal implementation and ultimate disposition and refinancings.
Willkie also represents a number of private fund portfolio companies and management teams, both in connection with their negotiations and relationships with institutional private equity investors and with respect to their daily operating legal needs such as M&A, general corporate, litigation, tax, intellectual property, employee benefits and financing advice. Our attorneys regularly work closely with entrepreneurs and management during every stage of the private company lifecycle, including start-up, seed funding, venture capital financing, debt financing, acquisitions, public offerings and dispositions.
Willkie is ranked on a global-wide basis by Chambers Global 2021 for Private Equity, and was named “Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law Firm of the Year” by U.S. News Best Law Firms 2021. In 2018, Willkie was honored as “Private Equity Team of the Year” at the IFLR Americas Awards. Willkie was also recognized for its lead role in IFLR’s “2019 Private Equity Deal of the Year” (Brookfield Business Partners/Westinghouse Electric Company) and “2018 Private Equity Deal of the Year” (Hudson's Bay Company/Rhône Capital). The firm is regularly cited among the foremost private equity deal counsel both domestically and internationally.