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Overview

Attorneys working in private equity generally focus on one of two areas: M&A or investment management, though some do both. Private Equity M&A attorneys represent investment funds in acquiring and disposing of “portfolio” companies or minority ownership interests in such companies. Investment management attorneys assist in the formation of private investment funds and advise funds on complying with applicable regulations. The day-to-day work of funds attorneys includes preparing offering materials, negotiating with prospective investors, preparing partnership and LLC agreements, advising on and documenting management and compensation arrangements, and closing fund formation transactions.

Featured Q&A's
Get an insider's view on working in Private Equity from real lawyers in the practice area.
Lisa Lathrop, Partner
Jones Day

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

I work with Jones Day’s private equity clients during the full life cycle of their portfolio company investments. As a first step, I advise the client in a transaction to acquire companies. When the private equity client owns a company, I work closely with that company’s management team to achieve their business and growth objectives by consummating additional acquisitions and negotiating commercial contracts. I also have the opportunity to coordinate with my colleagues across practices and offices to provide counseling on everyday issues that arise in operating a business. Doing so gives me the opportunity to continue to learn about many different areas of the law. Finally, I work alongside the private equity client in its sale of the portfolio company.

What types of clients do you represent?

Jones Day represents many of the leading private equity funds across the globe. My practice focuses on the representation of those clients and their portfolio companies. I also work with our strategic M&A clients to help them understand negotiating positions that may be unique to private equity buyers or sellers.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Most of the transactions I work on are leveraged buyouts (i.e., the purchase of a controlling interest in a company in which a portion of the purchase price is paid with debt financing). A typical acquisition transaction starts with structuring the investment in a manner that complies with the private equity fund’s agreement with its investors. There are many parties and competing interests involved in negotiating a private equity transaction. In addition to negotiating with the seller, I will negotiate with the lenders that provide the debt-financed portion of the purchase price, the co-investors that help the private equity sponsor fund the equity portion of the purchase price, and the members of the management team at the company being purchased in connection with their employment and investment arrangements. Jones Day’s private equity clients invest in a wide range of industries across many jurisdictions, so each transaction is unique and provides an opportunity to be creative and solve problems.

How did you choose this practice area?

I knew I wanted to be a corporate lawyer, but private equity chose me, and I couldn’t be happier about that! When I was a junior associate, I worked on a wide range of M&A transactions. At that time, Jones Day did not have a separate private equity practice. After I had been at the firm for approximately two years, its Private Equity practice was developed, and because I was working with some of our largest private equity clients, private equity became my designated practice. I didn’t object to that because I enjoyed the work, and it gave me the opportunity to continue working with some of my mentors. In choosing a practice area, I believe equal weight should be given to the substance of the practice and to the colleagues you will be working with in that practice. Being satisfied with both is key to a successful career.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

The typical day includes adapting to the unexpected. As the primary coordinator of the deal negotiations, I have to remain flexible and ready to pivot to a new task or jump in to solve an issue at a moment’s notice. While no two days are ever the same, each one is fast-paced and includes some combination of conference calls, video calls, emails, negotiations, document drafting, and internal meetings and collaboration with colleagues. Often, my day ends with a call to clients or colleagues on the other side of the world as they are waking up to begin the workday in Asia or Australia.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

Most of the knowledge needed to be a private equity lawyer is obtained on the job. Jones Day spends a lot of time on formal training, not only for our newest associates, but also for the associates moving on to the next stage of their careers. In addition, there is no substitute for learning by doing and observing. For a junior associate, taking the time to listen to senior lawyers negotiate, along with asking questions about the reasons for drafting changes, is an invaluable way to learn and the first step in developing your own negotiation and drafting style. Paying attention to detail, drafting precisely, and problem solving are skills that will help a junior associate leave a lasting impression on senior attorneys and clients alike.

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

The timelines in private equity transactions are often very compressed and will only become more challenging as technology improves. The competitive pressures of deal auction processes often require documents to be produced and problems to be solved under tight time pressures. Jones Day’s dedication to serving our clients, our intensity of effort, and our ability to collaborate with colleagues across the globe are key to successfully meeting the time pressures required to help our clients be successful.

What do you like best about your practice area?

I have always appreciated the people I work with, both my colleagues and the clients, as well as private equity’s connection to business. As a junior associate in private equity, I had the opportunity to work with clients directly very early in my career. I had daily interactions with my peers at private equity funds and established relationships, including friendships that still exist today. As the junior deal team members, we learned how to negotiate transactions side by side and developed a rapport that continues to exist now that we lead deal teams together. Although I like private equity’s connection to business, I (like many of Jones Day’s private equity lawyers) do not have a business background. I like to say that I obtained my business degree by working with private equity funds every day. Most of the clients I work with are not lawyers; therefore, when an issue arises in a transaction or there is a dispute over a deal term, I have to use business terminology rather than legal jargon to explain why the issue is relevant and how the matter could impact the business going forward. The learning curve was steep, but I have a deeper appreciation and understanding of operating a business now than I had before I worked in private equity.

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area?

Junior lawyers in private equity perform a variety of tasks, all critical to the closing of transactions. The junior lawyer is responsible for understanding the diligence (i.e., background information) of the acquisition target, perhaps the most important part of any transaction. The junior lawyer will be called upon to explain the acquisition target’s business in order to identify issues and will be asked to help draft the agreements in a manner that protects the client’s interests. Junior lawyers also are involved in drafting ancillary and closing documents and helping to coordinate the closing of the transaction.

How important is it to understand your client’s business, and how can junior attorneys gain this insight?

Understanding your client’s business is critical for client service and effective advocacy. In negotiating transactions, there is no universal right or wrong position, but there is a position that is right for your client. Without an understanding of the client’s business, you are not able to satisfy the client’s objectives or address the client’s concerns. Put in the extra effort to understand the client by reading publicly available information; discussing the client with colleagues who have prior experience with the client; and, most importantly, really listening when the client speaks. In the private equity space, it is also essential to understand the private equity industry in general. Even if you work on the M&A side of private equity rather than the fund-formation side, a deep understanding of how private equity funds are structured and operate will make you a more effective M&A private equity attorney.

Lisa Lathrop, Partner—Private Equity

Lisa Lathrop acts as the principal lawyer for private equity funds during the full life cycle of their portfolio company investments, from acquisition through disposition. During nearly 20 years of practice at Jones Day, Lisa has worked on a wide variety of deal structures in jurisdictions around the globe. Her extensive experience also includes the representation of privately held businesses and other strategic buyers and sellers in connection with their M&A activity.

Kevin J. Sullivan, Partner
Weil

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

Weil has been one of the pioneers of private equity law and is recognized by the industry as one of only a small number of elite market leaders in this field. We represent many of the highest-profile private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, and pension funds, as well as family offices and other equity financial investors. We have deep experience across all of the major private equity asset classes, including buyouts, growth equity, real assets, asset management, credit and special situations. We advise our clients on the full life cycle of investments—from formation through exit. We are regularly involved in some of the largest, most complex private equity acquisitions and related financings.

We are a truly global platform with private equity lawyers across the United States, Europe, and Asia who work together to provide a seamless service to market-leading players of all sizes and across all industry sectors.

What types of clients do you represent?

Weil advises more than 300 private equity clients worldwide, including 9 out of the 10 largest global private equity funds as ranked by PEI 300 2020. I handle a significant amount of work and have a longstanding relationship with Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm with approximately $49 billion in assets under management. I also manage several other client relationships, including with Apax Partners, Brighton Park Capital, Guidepost Growth Equity, Susquehanna Growth Equity, TA Associates, TCV, Thompson Street Capital Partners, and Tower Three Partners.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

I have a diverse transactional and corporate counseling practice with emphasis on leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, and growth equity investments in the United States and abroad. I have significant expertise advising on transactions in the technology industry, particularly software deals. Over the last two years, I have advised Providence Equity Partners and Providence Strategic Growth and their portfolio companies on more than 50 transactions in the technology industry.

How did you choose this practice area?

I was attracted to the private equity industry for two reasons. First, I like variety, and the private equity practice is incredibly diverse. Private equity firms engage in a wide range of transactions—leveraged buyouts, minority investments, joint ventures, take-privates, PIPEs, SPACs, divestitures, exit transactions, IPOs, and more—and in a wide range of industries. I also like that private equity is relationship based. It involves helping clients over the life cycle of investments and developing relationships with deal team members and portfolio company management teams who you work with—sometimes, over many years. I enjoy the personal relationships that grow out of working with clients over an extended period of time.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

Because we have so many private equity clients around the world, we can expect that almost every week will bring new projects involving sponsor clients and their portfolio companies. But there is an element of unpredictability because it’s not always possible to know which industries those projects will come from on a particular day or week. That keeps us very sharp and ready at all times for any eventuality and type of investment anywhere in the world. We spring into action to make sure that our clients’ deals close with speed, efficiency, and the best solution possible, and we are in constant contact with them as the process unfolds. Private equity is a relationship-driven business, and I spend a significant amount of time building and nurturing my client relationships, having my clients know and trust the other team members, and making sure the Weil team stays ahead of the curve and keeps our clients up to date on market developments.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

I look for lawyers who have excellent instincts and judgment and who like to work collaboratively as part of teams. There is no particular set of classes or experience required to become a part of our team. Above all, we value good judgment, hard work, innovation, and the ability to think on your feet and outside the box. You will learn by participating in transactions led by partners who find great satisfaction in grooming lawyers for a career in private equity. We have developed our own in-depth training program—Weil’s Private Equity Institute (PEI)—that all of our associates and counsel participate in throughout their careers. We also train our associates by giving them substantive and significant work at a very early stage of their careers and by mentoring and coaching them. Naturally, any training or skills you have in business and the corporate world will be very useful because when we advise clients, we pride ourselves on doing it through the prism of deep knowledge, not only of private equity, but also of the target company’s business.

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

I think one of the most challenging (and fun) aspects of transactional work is the need to find solutions that work for both parties at all times. The lawyers, accountants, and other advisors on both sides have to cooperate with each other to identify the issues at hand; come up with solutions that, hopefully, benefit both parties (or at least do not harm one party while benefiting the other); and make sure those solutions do not create some other issue in the transaction. I constantly have to think on my feet, draw from my vast experience, and run the arguments that both sides can make to get to the right place. It is like a giant puzzle, where all the pieces have to fit in order to make it work.

What do you like best about your practice area?

On the client side, my favorite part of private equity is the relationship-driven nature of the business. Over the course of my career, I have developed real bonds and true friendships with many of my clients. I am incredibly proud that I have been able to help my clients grow their businesses significantly. I also really enjoy being steeped in the technology industry and have had an opportunity to work on deals involving many different cutting-edge technologies. It gives me a lot of street credit with my kids. 

On the Weil side, I feel very fortunate to lead such a talented and diverse group of lawyers. From first-year associates to the most senior partners, we truly operate as one team.

What misconceptions exist about your practice area?

I think one of the common misconceptions is the view of private equity and the people who work in it as “ruthless.” This does not reflect the reality I see every day. The private equity perspective is really one of making companies better and more valuable. They come to the table looking to make a deal that will ultimately help the acquisition grow. Our clients really team up with first-in-class management of portfolio companies and allow those companies endless opportunities to grow—which is what I have learned to love about private equity work. Buying a company, helping the company grow through additional acquisitions, and then helping to sell it is one of the most satisfying processes you can go through as an attorney and business partner to a client.

What are some typical career paths for lawyers in this practice area?

Many Weil Private Equity associates become counsel and/or partners at the firm, and a number of our former private equity lawyers have gone to work on the legal teams at several of our private equity clients, including Jim Westra (General Counsel of Advent International) and Sharlyn Heslam (General Counsel of Berkshire Partners).

Kevin J. Sullivan, Partner & Co-Head of Weil’s U.S. Private Equity Practice—Corporate

Kevin J. Sullivan is co-head of Weil’s U.S. Private Equity practice, co-managing partner of the Boston office, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Sullivan joined the firm in 2002 with the opening of the Boston office and has a diverse transactional and corporate counseling practice with emphasis on leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, and growth equity investments in the United States and internationally. Mr. Sullivan has represented both private equity sponsors and management teams in leveraged buyouts and minority investments both in the United States and abroad. He is widely recognized as a leading lawyer for Private Equity by Chambers USA, IFLR1000, and Legal 500.

Germaine Nicole Gurr, Partner
White & Case LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

I am a partner in White & Case’s global M&A practice group, specializing in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and corporate venture investments. My practice supports corporate and private equity clients in connection with their acquisitions, disposals, and joint ventures. Clients rely on our advice to help them understand and assess these strategic options and to execute their most complex transactions. The global depth and breadth of White & Case’s global M&A practice allows me to support my clients in both their domestic deals and in their most complex multijurisdictional transactions. Ultimately, my role is to work with clients to provide solutions using our knowledge and experience to create deal structures; win auctions; design acquisition and disposal programs; and implement productive strategies for acquirers, sellers, or acquisition targets.

What types of clients do you represent?

I work with a variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to private equity and financial sponsors. My clients are generally seeking advice on myriad topics, from support on a small, minority investment into a venture-backed company to a carve-out and divestiture of a business within a multibillion-dollar corporate group, where the business may be embedded in more than 20 countries around the world. Our global M&A team has successfully established a roster of premier clients, representing both corporations and private equity sponsors. Just over the last several months, I have advised (i) Fortune 500 companies, like Schneider Electric (in conjunction with Temasek), on its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Larson & Toubro’s electrical and automation business in multiple jurisdictions around the world; (ii) private equity sponsors like Sole Source Capital on its acquisition of Dallas Plastics and Supply Chain Services; and (iii) corporate venture capital sponsors, like SE Ventures with its strategic investments in companies like Volta, Station A, and AutGrid.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Our deals often require us to manage complex, multijurisdictional transactions and work seamlessly alongside teams of White & Case lawyers from around the world. Transactions can take many forms, but a good recent example is my representation of Schneider Electric in connection with its successful acquisition of Larson & Toubro’s electrical & automation business, which resulted in a material acquisition for the client and its strategic goals and was a decade in the making. The transaction required the White & Case teams to provide 24/7 support to the client given the multiple jurisdictions involved, complexity of the governance and regulatory issues that needed to be addressed, and the new issues that arose as a result of changes in law and closures arising from COVID-19. Ultimately, the goal was to bring the transaction to a successful closing by August 31, 2020, or else risk the deal not closing at all. Our 24/7 approach and our ability to leverage the expertise and availability of our offices around the world allowed us to bring this transaction to a successful closing for the client.

How did you choose this practice area?

I entered law school having worked in corporate finance for several years. During my time working in corporate finance, I was fortunate enough to work with two multinational corporations that went through significant strategic transactions: one a listing on the NASDAQ following a merger with another telecommunications company and the other an acquisition by a Fortune 500 company that led to the integration of its enterprise resource planning system. As a member of the Corporate Finance department for both of these telecommunications companies, I was a member of the teams engaged internally to work on these strategic transactions. I noticed that the key corporate members of the transaction were the company’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and general counsel—with perhaps a key business executive involved from time to time as well. It was then that I realized that I wanted to have a role to play in a company’s key strategic decisions and that a legal education combined with a background in finance could better situate me to provide corporations and financial sponsors with support and advice on their key corporate transactions as a member of a global M&A practice.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

Most of my work days are spent thinking through situations and problems with clients and working together with my other team members, the client’s other advisors, and the client to find solutions and to get deals done. For example, on any typical workday, I wake up on or around 5:00 a.m. because I find that the first couple of hours of the morning are the quietest time and allow me to gather my thoughts for the day, as well as to finalize projects, draft documents, and respond to email correspondence without interruption. Typically, the rest of the morning until the afternoon is consumed with conference calls and meetings and breaks in between that are filled working on discrete matters that need to be addressed during the working day. The meetings and calls are generally times that allow me to connect with other team members and client teams working on transactions, such as mergers, investments, joint ventures, carve-outs, or something else. We generally use these meetings as opportunities to provide our comments or advice on a particular matter or document and to think strategically as a group on how to respond on the matter or document to a counterparty. While these meetings take up a great part of the day, they are important, especially during the recent pandemic, to keep teams connected. It is always important to recharge and take breaks throughout the workday. Following a day of calls, I generally try to take a break with my family, and I use the late evening hours—once my children have fallen asleep—to catch up on any documents or projects that may require long blocks of time to focus, similar to those matters addressed in the early morning hours.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

An attorney is hired generally to assist clients in working through difficult projects/questions/matters and to find solutions. As such, it would be beneficial for anyone seeking or interested in becoming a practicing attorney, and certainly an M&A attorney, to seek opportunities to think through and solve problems—whether as a customer service provider or as a student working in a legal aid clinic, the skill set is similar. One needs to learn not only how to identify issues, but, more importantly, how to solve problems, think outside the box, and be creative. In addition, as an attorney in a transactional practice supporting corporations and private equity sponsors, it may also be beneficial for attorneys to have a firm understanding in business practices, business organizations, and financial matters.

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

The most challenging aspect of practicing as a transactional M&A/private equity attorney is time management. A transactional practice, especially one in which an attorney is working to close deals, requires an attorney to be available around the clock when a deal is in action or in the process of signing or closing. This can be exhausting and does require a level of mental stamina to make it through with grace until the transaction signs or closes. On the flip side, an attorney with this type of transactional practice also needs to be comfortable taking advantage of the times in which the workload may not be as intense or demanding—it’s an ebb and flow. Learning how to feel comfortable and not guilty taking time when you have it available is an art that is required to maintain your physical and mental health.

What do you like best about your practice area?

I enjoy the people and the time you have to spend getting to know your clients and team members. As mentioned previously, an M&A/private equity transactional practice has its ebbs and flows of work, and when it is ebbing, everyone is busy. As a team, you learn to work together and to rely on each other to reach the desired outcome for your client. This type of hard work and teamwork gives you the opportunity to connect with people. Your shared experience and hard work on a transaction bring you together, as you support one another through long nights and difficult problems that need to be solved. You see the humanity of your team members in these moments, and that makes the work more rewarding.

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area?

Junior attorneys and team members are truly the frontline on any project and have incredibly important roles to play. A junior attorney on a merger, acquisition, or divestiture is often tasked with conducting due diligence, identifying issues that may arise from a due diligence review, and articulating those issues to the team in order to address them with the client and oftentimes in the documents that are being negotiated with the counterparty. For example, on a recent transaction where we represented a buyer in the acquisition of a company, the junior attorney ran a lien search that uncovered a number of tax liens on the business. The sellers had purchased the assets of the business only two years prior and had to carve out these tax lien liabilities from that transaction. However, under successor liability, the sellers had not appreciated that the company that purchased all the assets of the business would likely still be liable for those old taxes even if the sellers carved them out from its deal. We explained this to both the buyer (our client) and sellers and required that the sellers have the liens paid off prior to the acquisition of the company by our client.

How important is it to understand your client’s business, and how can junior attorneys gain this insight?

It is very important to understand your client’s business; without this understanding, an attorney risks providing ineffectual and incorrect advice to their client. Junior attorneys can gain insight into a client’s business by taking the time to (i) look at and read the client’s website or the website of a business/company that a client may wish to acquire; (ii) review the financial statements, especially the notes to the financial statements, of a client or of a business/company that the client may wish to acquire; and (iii) read books and articles about the industry or business in which the client is situated. Working to gain this type of insight into the client or the businesses that it looks to acquire will assist the junior attorney in being a key asset to the team and the client.

Germaine Nicole Gurr, Partner—Global M&A

Germaine Gurr is a partner in White & Case’s global M&A practice in New York. Germaine advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities offerings, capital raising opportunities, joint venture and commercial transactions, and general corporate matters. She also regularly advises global companies on legal and business considerations in corporate and commercial transactions, operational structuring and management, and compliance and governance matters. Germaine has extensive experience in the energy industry, as well as the infrastructure, software, information technology, retail, health care, education, and telecommunications sectors. Germaine previously served as vice president and deputy general counsel at a global Fortune 500 energy management and automation company where she was responsible for and managed all of the company’s corporate transactions and corporate governance matters. Germaine was named “M&A Legal Advisor of the Year” by The M&A Advisor in 2020. She is also listed in Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Guide and Euromoney’s Expert Guide for Corporate/M&A in the United States in 2020.

Monica Arora, Partner
Proskauer Rose LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

The Private Investment Funds group at Proskauer is the leading practice of its kind in the marketplace. Our robust, interdisciplinary offering enables us to best service our asset management clients. The breadth of our client base is truly unique and is one of the most compelling aspects of this work. I work on multi-billion dollar fundraises for institutional asset managers—as well as with startups comprising a few investment professionals with strong track records looking to raise debut investment vehicles.  

Overall, we advise more than 500 global fund sponsors across the asset classes on matters including fund formation, secondary transactions, internal governance, co-investment arrangements, spinouts, reorganizations and fund restructurings, separately managed accounts, and other specialized mandates. We also represent a range of institutional investors on their alternative investment programs, including in the secondaries market.

Servicing the broad range of sponsor types, investment mandates, and product offerings entails an understanding of our clients’ long-term business objectives and internal culture. Having a pulse on our clients’ needs is what enables us to provide the most value—from advising on clients’ internal arrangements to establishing the terms applicable to third-party investors being admitted to their investment vehicles, and everything in between.

What types of clients do you represent?

We represent leading private equity sponsors in almost every industry, sector, and geography. We advise across the asset class—including buyout, growth equity, venture capital, credit, infrastructure, funds of funds, and real estate and real assets. The sponsor clients themselves range from large institutional asset managers and banks to boutique investment firms.

We also represent leading institutional investors across the globe. These investor clients include sovereign wealth funds, large family offices, pension plans, insurance companies, and other strategic investors.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

One of the most compelling aspects of this work is the diversification of our client base which allows me to work on multi-billion dollar fundraises for institutional asset managers and also with startups that are composed of a handful of investment professionals with a strong track record who are looking to raise a debut investment vehicle. The experience of working with both types of clients and transactions have been incredibly rewarding.

How did you choose this practice area?

I knew early on that I enjoyed transactional work. I was immediately hooked once I was introduced to private funds work. I was given responsibility early, including drafting, and from the beginning, was intimately involved from start to finish of a transaction. I was part of the strategy calls with the decision-makers of the client as a junior associate, and this became even more compelling as I gained seniority and was given even more responsibility. I was also drawn to the dynamic of the deal where negotiations on terms was a critical part of the transaction, and there was ultimate alignment on completion. In most cases, at the end of a deal, each of the parties was contractually bound to each other, with aligned interests for 10-plus years (i.e., the life of the private investment fund).

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

A typical day includes skillfully managing numerous active transactions in different parts of the deal cycle, which means strategically sequencing and prioritizing drafting, negotiations, structuring discussions, and lots of phone (and Zoom) calls!

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

I believe that transactional work is best learned on the job. The ability to communicate and operate with your team, your client, opposing counsel, and other counterparties is critical. 

Understanding how to create value and leverage for your client is what we do on a day-to-day basis. Some of these skills are demonstrated in negotiation classes. An understanding of finance and accounting is always helpful as well.

What do you like best about your practice area?

The people are the best part of my practice. Because the work we do is core to the very essence of what our clients do, we typically forge very close relationships with the people who are architecting the business—not only now, but also for their vision of the business in decades to come. Understanding this vision to implement legal frameworks, and thereby contributing strategic value to our clients’ businesses, is incredibly satisfying.

What is unique about your practice area at your firm?

The diversity of the Private Investment Funds group at Proskauer is unparalleled. We represent large, sophisticated institutional clients with billions of dollars of assets under management as well as startup clients who are seeking to raise a fraction of this amount, in each case across a variety of asset classes. We are a leader in the secondaries market as well. The variety of transactional work available within the practice area is unique and can be an attractive feature for junior lawyers who may not yet know what they want to do.

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area?

A junior lawyer would generally prepare the initial drafts of the primary agreements for the transaction. This is a particularly unique opportunity for significant drafting experience at an early stage. Junior lawyers also draft the ancillary documents, including side letters that reflect the negotiations with investors—which helps to prepare for the eventual leading of the negotiations themselves.

What are some typical career paths for lawyers in this practice area?

The private funds area has been booming since I started my legal career 20 years ago and has grown exponentially on a yearly basis. The demand for lawyers with private funds experience continues to increase. This means that there is a tremendous opportunity to rise to leadership positions within law firms, as well as to attain influential in-house legal positions.

Monica Arora, Partner—Corporate: Private Investment Funds

Monica Arora is a partner and co-head of the Private Funds group at Proskauer. She advises asset managers across the full spectrum of investment fund matters with particular expertise within the areas of buyout, private credit, distressed debt, growth equity, infrastructure, and real estate funds, including the establishment of bespoke fund structures, joint ventures, and other strategic arrangements for sponsors globally.

Monica is a thought leader who frequently speaks on panels at various industry-related events and is also a prominent and engaged member of the private funds community, including as a committee member and contributor on the New York City Bar Association’s Private Investment Funds Committee and a member of the Editorial Board of Law360 Private Equity.

Monica’s leadership in the firm extends well beyond her role in the department as she is a key member of numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is also actively engaged in a number of charitable boards outside of the firm. Monica lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

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