Best Lawyers works with leaders in the legal marketplace to keep our practice area lists current, allowing clients and referring lawyers to more easily locate the precise expertise they are seeking.
View region-specific practice areas by first selecting a country from the drop-down below.
Private Equity Law
Private Equity Law Definition
Private equity firms are entities formed by investment professionals who deploy capital on behalf of individual and institutional investors. These types of investors can typically commit large sums of money for sustained periods of time with the goal of selling the companies with a significant profit.
Private equity investment is about long-term return, so structuring the investment terms to achieve that is vital. Private equity lawyers provide advice throughout the investment lifecycle, from deal structuring to exit, advising clients on how to structure and document a variety of transactions including fund formations, acquisitions of listed or privately held companies, and exit strategies and dispositions of previously acquired companies or investments.
In addition to forming investment vehicles and in Spain incorporating Entidades de Capital Riesgo (ECRs), private equity law encompasses a wide range of legal matters for companies owned by private equity firms, known as “portfolio companies”. Private equity firms turn to their counsel to assist their portfolio companies with bolt-on acquisitions and other investments, corporate restructuring and recapitalizations, shareholders and partners agreements, and general corporate advice.
Private equity law also includes representing investment groups in “leveraged buyouts”. These acquisitions funded by a large portion of debt, can be highly complex, as, in parallel with the negotiation and documentation of the acquisition transaction itself, the private equity firm concurrently must negotiate and document a complex debt transaction, which can involve multiple lenders and several layers of financing.
These transactions require a level of services of the highest calibre, first class M&A capabilities, an in-depth knowledge of tax and employment law, management incentive schemes, and securities law, managing diligence efficiently, proven financial expertise, creative deal structuring, and experienced counsel in all type of exits (trade sales, secondary buy-out, initial public offerings, recaps, and securitisation).
The private equity lawyer must combine strong technical legal skills with commercial understanding and pragmatism, remaining focused on the client’s objectives throughout the deal and beyond. They must be able to organize, articulate, and harmonize multiple parallel workstreams, communicate among widely disparate transaction participants (principals, legal specialists, lenders, accountants, investment bankers, and transaction counterparties), be used to tight deadlines and high-pressure negotiations, and keep all of those pieces on track and coordinated for closing.
These practice areas are open for nominations but are not yet included in our publications.
Click here to download a PDF of all Practice Areas.