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 equity funds, such as Apax Partners, Ares, Blackstone, Centerbridge, Lexington, Patria, Silver Lake and TSSP. He has also represented sponsors in other asset categories such as real estate, mezzanine, energy/infrastructure and credit/distressed debt. In addition, 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; and has represented buyers, sellers and sponsors regarding the disposition of private fund interests.
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 & Partners consistently recognizes Michael in the top tier of Private Equity: Fund Formation lawyers in the United States in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business. 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 among Lawdragon’s 2020 “500 Leading Lawyers in America.”
Michael has served on panels at several industry conferences, including: American Investment Council’s 2017 General Counsels Day; “Raising a Private Equity Fund: Current Terms” (Practising Law Institute’s Private Equity Forum); “How to Negotiate Winning Partnership Terms and Conditions”; “Best Practices in PPMs and Roadshows” and “How to Raise Money and On What Terms?” (Private Equity Analyst Conferences); “Consolidation of Private Fund Managers — Challenges and Opportunities’; “Buying, Selling and Investing in Private Investment Fund Managers”; “Negotiating Fund Terms and Conditions”; “Employee Investment Arrangements”; “The Push for Standards in the Private Equity Business”; “Mergers and Acquisitions of Private Investment Firms”; “Trends in Private Funds,” “Convergence of Private Equity and Hedge Funds” and “The Impact of Illiquidity” (IBA/ABA Conferences on Private Investment Funds); “Private Equity Funds: Investment Constraints and Key Issues to Watch Out For” (City Bar Conference on Leveraged Buyouts and Other Private Equity Investments); “How to Effectively Manage Multiple Funds” “Current Issues Roundtable” and “Private Equity Funds: Partnering and Strategic Alliances” (IIR Conferences on Private Equity Fund Formation); and “The Regulation of Private Funds and Their Advisers” (Private Equity CFO Roundtable).
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).