Kirkland & Ellis LLP
With over 30 years of experience, Bruce I. Ettelson, P.C. is widely recognized as a leading private investment funds lawyer who has been on the forefront of the industry's evolution since its early years. He is the founder of the Firm's dedicated Investment Funds Group, which was ranked in 2021 by Chambers & Partners as Tier 1 in the U.S., Asia-Pacific, United Kingdom and globally.
His practice focuses on structuring and forming premier private equity funds and their management companies. Bruce has represented more than 150 private equity firms in the formation of more than 1,000 private equity funds. He is also involved in the structuring and formation of private equity funds associated with commercial and investment banks; representing investors in making and monitoring investments in private equity funds; representing buyers, sellers, management teams and fund sponsors in their investments in the secondary market; and acting for private equity clients in general corporate counseling.
The Legal 500 U.S. has recognized Bruce as a leading lawyer in the Private Equity Funds category every year since its first edition in 2007 and in 2017 he was one of less than 500 lawyers in all practice areas to be in the inaugural class inducted into The Legal 500 U.S. Hall of Fame. In the 2020 edition, Bruce was one of seven private funds attorneys to be listed in the Hall of Fame. According to The Legal 500, clients have described Bruce as “extremely knowledgeable,” and "a very strong partner, [and a] first choice for fund formation," with an "almost encyclopedic knowledge of private equity."
Additionally, Chambers & Partners has ranked Bruce in the top tier or as a senior statesman for Private Equity: Fund Formation in its Chambers USA guide every year since the introduction of the private equity fund formation category in 2005. According to Chambers, clients have described Bruce as an "absolutely top-notch, dynamite attorney" who is "more knowledgeable about the private equity market than anyone else in the business." They have also noted that he’s a “great problem solver” and "there's almost no issue he hasn't seen and skillfully solved with his 20-plus years of fund formation experience. He is particularly adept at investor negotiations." Bruce is also ranked in the top tier in Chambers Global in the area of Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation - USA, where clients note that he is a "go-to person for mission-critical fund issues as well as being one of the industry's best fund lawyers."
Bruce has been recognized by Lawdragon as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers In America. He also has been recognized as one of the top 30 private equity practitioners in the country by Legal Media Group’s The Best of the Best USA. He was named Best Lawyers© 2016, 2018 and 2022 Private Funds / Hedge Funds Law "Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago.
Bruce is a frequent lecturer, speaker, and panel moderator and has also published numerous articles on private equity and fund formation matters. He currently serves on the Boards of the Ravinia Festival Association and of the American Jewish Committee of Chicago and on the Hillels of Illinois Governing Committee, and on the Investment Committee for the Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. He recently served as a Vice Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and on the University of Chicago Law School Visiting Committee.