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Sidley Austin Adds Jones Day Partner to Growing M&A and PE Group

Aug. 8, 2022, 4:26 PM

Sidley Austin continues to build out its M&A and private equity prowess with the addition of Justin Macke in New York.

Macke comes over from Jones Day where he became partner in 2020. He works with private equity firms and public companies in a wide array of transactions, including M&A, corporate governance, shareholder activism and SEC matters.

He’s has worked on several high-profile deals, including Sherwin-Williams’ $11.3 billion acquisition of Valspar, Lord Corporation’s $3.7 billion sale to Parker-Hannifin, Associated Estates’ $2.5 billion sale to Brookfield Asset Management, Exelis’s $4.8 billion sale to Harris Corporation, Cintas’s $2.2 billion acquisition of G&K Services, and OM Group’s $1.03 billion sale to Apollo Global and Platform Specialty Chemicals.

Sidley had been known in the corporate world for its public companies M&A work, but over the last decade has invested heavily in expanding its private equity practice through key lateral hires in one of Big Law’s most competitive and lucrative spaces.

The firm’s private equity initiative has gotten great traction over the last three to four years, growing from $300 million in revenue in 2019 to $450 million in 2021 and is on track to exceed that in 2022, said Brian Fahrney, global co-head of Sidley’s M&A and private equity practice, in an interview with Bloomberg Law.

In the first quarter of 2022, Sidley recorded its best three months in terms of deals value in nearly four years and over the first half of 2022, the firm has advised on 203 deals worth $117.6 billion, placing it among the top 10 legal advisers by principal by volume, according to recently released Bloomberg league tables.

Sidley has also advised on 122 global private equity deals worth $31 billion over the first six months of 2022, according to Bloomberg data.

Such success has allowed the firm to recruit “top-shelf talent” like Macke, Fahrney said.

Seeing from afar what Sidley has been building “was very impressive,” said Macke, who joins the firm as a partner in its M&A and private equity practices.

“It became clear to me that this would be a fantastic place to continue to build my own practice with people that I was excited to potentially practice with,” Macke said.

“Justin will be an integral part of our global firm and our New York practice as we continue to capture more deals in the PE space and grow our work for public companies,” said Mike Schmidtberger, chair of Sidley’s executive committee, in a statement.

Macke’s move to Sidley was brokered by Sabina Lippman and Mary Copeland of global legal recruitment firm, Lippman Jungers Bala.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com