Stephen L Ritchie is a partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis. His practice is concentrated in the areas of complex business transactions, with a particular focus on structuring, negotiating and managing the legal aspects of mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, recapitalisations, venture capital and growth equity investments, restructurings and workouts. He has also served as lead counsel in the representation of numerous portfolio companies of private equity funds.
Praised by clients for achieving ‘remarkable results on divestitures’ and by peers as ‘one of those great lawyers who is easy to work with’, Mr Ritchie has been recognised by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of corporate law, M&A and private equity every year from 2006 to 2019. He was also named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Chicago leveraged buyouts and private equity law Lawyer of the Year. He has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year from 2007 to 2019, and as one of Illinois’ Super Lawyers every year from 2005 to 2006, and 2008 to 2019. He has been recognised by The Legal 500 United States, from 2012 to 2018, for his work in private equity buyouts.
Mr Ritchie has handled many private equity, LBO, venture capital and M&A transactions for GTCR, TCV, CHS Capital, Chicago Growth Partners, Evergreen Pacific Partners, William Blair Capital Partners, Wind Point Partners, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Solera Holdings, Inc, and others.
He is a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, teaching ‘Private Equity Transactions: Issues and Documentation’ (from 2011 to the present), and is a member of the American Bar Association..
The past year has shown once again the resilience of the private equity market and the creativity of private equity dealmakers. Given PE funds' creativity and available capital, private equity will likely continue to play an important role in the global economy and will further expand its reach and influence, even in the face of potential political, regulatory and economic challenges. As private equity has grown, it has also faced increasing regulatory scrutiny throughout the world.