Lynn J. Watkins

Partner
Lynn J. Watkins concentrates his practice in corporate and securities, as well as finance, where he has extensive experience in representing his clients in a range of complex financial transactions.
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Lynn has successfully represented both private and public companies in their acquisitions and divestitures. He has counseled institutional clients in connection with their investments in alternative investment vehicles. Lynn has also guided private equity funds in their formation and helped ensure their compliance with securities laws. He has significant experience in working with start-ups on a range of critical and sophisticated financial transactions.

Lynn also represents financial institutions and borrowers in a variety of financing matters, including secured and unsecured term note placements and mezzanine financings.

Client Work

  • Frequent representation of an institutional asset manager in connection with the formation of private equity fund-of-funds and separate account vehicles, negotiation of investments in alternative investment vehicles (including venture funds, mezzanine funds and leveraged buy-out funds) and Investment Adviser Act of 1940 registration and compliance.
  • Representation of private equity sponsor in connection with the formation of a mezzanine private equity fund with commitments in excess of $500 million.
  • Representation of institutional endowments in connection with their private equity and hedge fund investments.
  • Frequent representation of an institutional provider of private capital to middle market companies in secured and unsecured term note placements.
  • Serving as outside corporate counsel for an education solutions provider of school turn-around services, online education, school design services, and school management services in connection with management agreements, services agreement, licensing agreements, and national and international joint ventures.
  • Representation of a middle market private equity fund in connection with its acquisition of a manufacturer of disposable food utensils; its acquisition of a manufacturer of high efficiency lighting and formation of a holding company platform; and its acquisition of a fabricator and distributor of rigging products and supplies.
  • Representation of a Fortune 100 corporation in connection with its acquisition of a food manufacturing facility, as well as in connection with several sales of lines of branded food products.
  • Representation of a Fortune 100 equipment manufacturer in connection with the sale of its software and consulting division.
  • Representation of a Fortune 500 bank in connection with its acquisition of a portfolio of residential mortgages.

Boards, Memberships & Certifications

  • American Bar Association, Institutional Investors Committee
  • National Bar Association, Corporate Law Section Executive Committee
  • Cook County Bar Association, Director
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Program class of 2017
  • National Association of Securities Professionals
  • Camp of Dreams, Board of Directors

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Presentations

  • "Getting off to a Great Start: Commonly Negotiated PE Fund Terms," Chicago Private Equity Forum, Chicago, IL (May 4, 2016)
  • “Institutional Limited Partners Association Private Equity Principles: A Guide For Improving GP/LP Relations,” (co-presenter) Muller & Monroe Asset Management’s Back Office Exchange, Chicago, Ill. (Oct. 14, 2011)
  • “Dodd-Frank’s Impact on Private Equity Funds and Other Recent Legal Developments,” Muller & Monroe Asset Management’s Back Office Exchange, Chicago, Ill. (Nov. 2, 2010)

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers (2023)
  • Most Influential Black Lawyers, Savoy Magazine (2022)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2021)
  • Emerging Lawyer, Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s Leading Lawyers (2016-2020)