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Michael W. Wolitzer
 

Michael W. Wolitzer

Partner
 
425 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017 
 
Email:
Phone: +1-212-455-7440
Fax: +1-212-455-2502

Named the “Lawyer of the Year” in Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law in New York City for 2018 by Best Lawyers, Michael Wolitzer has wide-ranging experience in private investing and alternative asset management. Michael is Head of the Firm’s Investment Funds Practice. He has represented well-known sponsors of investment funds such as Apax Partners, Ares, Blackstone, Centerbridge, Lexington, Patria, Silver Lake Partners and Sixth Street. In addition to private equity funds, he has represented sponsors in other alternative asset classes, including real estate, energy/infrastructure, secondaries and credit/distressed debt. He has represented global financial institutions in the establishment of their employee investment programs; has been involved in a number of acquisitions of, and investments in, private investment firms (including several minority stakes transactions); and has represented buyers, sellers and sponsors regarding the disposition of private fund interests, GP-Led Secondaries and other secondary private equity transactions. Michael serves on the editorial board of the PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook, as well as on the Board of the nonprofit Association to Benefit Children. He has previously served as Chairman of the Firm’s New Partners Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee.

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Work Highlights
  • Blackstone Infrastructure and Blackstone Property Partners investment programs
  • Blackstone in multiple fundraisings, including the establishment of the $15.8 billion Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII (the largest opportunistic real estate opportunity fund ever raised), the $17.5 billion Blackstone Capital Partners VII, the €8.5 billion Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V and Blackstone’s several billion dollar Tactical Opportunities Program (for which Simpson Thacher was “highly commended” in the Financial Times’ 2013 U.S. Innovative Lawyers Report)
  • Lexington Partners in the establishment of the $10 billion Lexington Capital Partners VIII, one of the largest secondary funds ever formed
  • Centerbridge Partners in the establishment of its inaugural $3 billion private equity fund, its $4.25 billion second private equity fund and its most recent $6 billion private equity fund
  • Apax in the establishment of their $7.5 billion global private equity fund, Apax Partners VIII
Education
  • Columbia Law School, 1989 J.D.
    James Kent Scholar, 1987–1988; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, 1986–1987, 1988–1989
  • Duke University, 1986 A.B.
    magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
Associations
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Private Investment Fund Forum, Executive Committee and former Chairman
  • PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook, Editorial Board
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • American Bar Association
  • International Bar Association, Member and former Co-Chairman, Committee on Private Investment Funds
  • Association to Benefit Children, Board of Directors
  • Duke University, Annual Fund Executive Committee
Admissions
  • New York 1990

Michael W. Wolitzer is a Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he is Head of the Investment Funds Practice. Michael’s practice focuses on private investing and other facets of “alternative asset management.” He has represented some of the largest and well-known sponsors of private investment funds, such as Apax Partners, Ares, Blackstone, Centerbridge, Lexington, Patria, Silver Lake and Sixth Street. In addition to private equity funds, he represents sponsors in other alternative asset classes such as real estate, energy/infrastructure, secondaries and credit/distressed debt. He has represented global financial institutions in the establishment of their employee investment programs; has been involved in a number of acquisitions of, and investments in, private investment firms (including several minority stakes transactions); and has represented buyers, sellers and sponsors regarding the disposition of private fund interests, GP-Led Secondaries and other secondary private equity transactions.

Michael is currently on the Editorial Board of the PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook. He was previously the Co-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Private Investment Funds of the International Bar Association and is a member of the Executive Committee (and former Chairman) of the Private Investment Fund Forum (a group comprising New York City attorneys who practice extensively in the private fund area). He has served on the Advisory Boards of the Private Equity Analyst (relating to its Survey of Private Equity Partnership Terms and Conditions), the Private Equity Investment Guidelines Group (www.peigg.org) and the Advisory Board of the Private Equity CFO Association. In addition, he is currently on the Board of Directors of the Association to Benefit Children (www.a-b-c.org).

Chambers consistently recognizes Michael in the top tier of Private Equity: Fund Formation lawyers in the United States in Chambers USA and Chambers Global. He has also been named a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 United States and IFLR1000, the 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” for Private Funds/Hedge Fund Law (New York Area) by Best Lawyers, one of Who’s Who Legal Private Funds “Thought Leaders 2018,” “Global Private Funds Lawyer of the Year” for 2013 and one of the “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” for 2014 by Law Business Research’s International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers. Michael was also recognized in Euromoney’s 2010 Expert Guides, “The Best of the Best 2015,” as a Top 10 U.S. private equity lawyer in the Private Equity Manager’s “The Legal Power 30” and frequently among Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America,” most recently in 2021.

An established thought leader in the private funds space, Michael regularly serves on panels at several industry conferences. He has spoken at events hosted by the American Investment Council, Big 4 Accounting Firms, Harvard Business School, various Bar Associations and Practising Law Institute, as well as industry conferences and trade organizations. With decades of experience, Michael has shared keen insights on fund formation topics and cutting-edge trends in the private equity industry including: how to effectively manage multiple funds across different strategies; “long-term” fund structures; best practices in private placement memoranda and employee investment arrangements; the convergence of private equity and hedge funds; asset management mergers and acquisitions and GP minority stakes transactions; the increasing use of supplemental capital by fund sponsors; and the regulation of private funds and their advisors, among others.

Michael has been a Partner at Simpson Thacher since 1998. He has previously served as Chairman of the Firm’s New Partners Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. He received his A.B., magna cum laude, from Duke University in 1986, where he was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Michael received his J.D. from The Columbia University School of Law in 1989, where he was a James Kent Scholar (1987–1988) and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar (1986–1987, 1988–1989).

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