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Cadwalader Adds PE Lawyers

Stewart Kagan and Geoffrey Levin have joined law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP as partners focused on private equity. Kagan was previously with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, while Levin was with Kirkland & Ellis.




Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, one of the world's leading law firms, announced that Stewart A. Kagan and Geoffrey W. Levin, both private equity lawyers, will join the firm as partners in the Corporate Department of the New York office.

“The arrival of Stewart and Geoff marks another important step in our efforts to build a market-leading private equity practice. We have continued to diversify our services and expand our corporate capabilities and are now well-poised to assist private equity transaction participants in creating and taking advantage of the opportunities that will become available as we emerge from the credit crisis,” said Christopher White, the Chairman of Cadwalader.

“Stewart and Geoff bring significant expertise in acquisition financing on behalf of private equity sponsors, their portfolio companies, and financial institutions. Stewart also provides counsel on all types of credit facilities, distressed debt investments and restructuring matters; while Geoff has a wealth of M&A and fund formation experience. We are pleased to welcome them to our corporate team, one that has substantially expanded in recent years with the arrivals of private equity specialists Ron Hopkinson and Kevin O'Mara, and that enjoys a reputation for work on high-profile public M&A deals and complex financing transactions. Their broad experience provides an excellent complement to our practices,” said Louis J. Bevilacqua, Chairman of Cadwalader's Corporate Department.

“Cadwalader has seized the opportunity to form a world class private equity team to complement its existing top tier public company M&A and finance practices. This team provides, and will continue to provide, the experience, technical skills, and business acumen that clients require,” said Mr. Kagan.

Mr. Levin noted, “I am delighted to help Cadwalader develop a leading private equity group. I am eager to join Stewart, Ron, Kevin and all of the other Cadwalader lawyers who contribute to this area. This is an exciting and unique opportunity to build a team with bright, creative, and innovative people with the support of a truly outstanding institutional platform.”

Mr. Kagan focuses on leveraged buyouts, commercial bank financings of all types, high yield debt, and distressed debt investing. He has negotiated over $40 billion in committed financings for acquisitions, consolidations, and working capital. He also frequently represents private equity sponsors with regard to the financial restructuring of portfolio companies, debt covenant compliance, and general corporate matters. His experience includes transactions throughout the world. A frequent advisor to a top tier private equity firm and its portfolio companies, Mr. Kagan represented the firm in connection with, among other transactions, the over $7 billion in debt financing of an acquisition of a residential real estate services firm and the $1.8 billion in debt financing for the acquisition of a global logistics company. Mr. Kagan will be joining Cadwalader from Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP. Prior to Akin, he was a partner at O'Melveny & Myers LLP in New York. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, in 1980 from Harvard University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from Yale University in 1985. He is a member of the New York and Connecticut Bars.

Formerly a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Mr. Levin regularly represents private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in structuring and negotiating complex business transactions, including domestic and international mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, public-to-private transactions, recapitalizations, and venture capital and growth equity investments. He also has extensive experience as general partner counsel in the formation of domestic and international private equity funds. Recent representations include CVC Capital Partners in the Euro 1.6 billion public takeover of Univar N.V., a Euronext listed world leader in chemical distribution; CVC Capital Partners in the formation of their European and Asian private equity funds; Metavante Corporation in the financing of its spin-off from Marshall & Ilsley Corporation; and an investor group and management in the $200 million sale of a manufacturing company to a private equity firm. He received his B.B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1990 and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1993. He joined Cravath, Swaine & Moore as an associate in 1993 and Kirkland & Ellis in 1995, where he became a partner in 1999.

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, established in 1792, is one of the world's leading international law firms, with offices in New York, London, Charlotte, Washington and Beijing. Cadwalader serves a diverse client base, including many of the world's top financial institutions, undertaking business in more than 50 countries in six continents. The firm offers legal expertise in antitrust, banking, business fraud, corporate finance, corporate governance, environmental, healthcare, insolvency, insurance and reinsurance, intellectual property, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, private client, private equity, real estate, regulation, securitization, structured finance, and tax. More information about Cadwalader can be found at