Image: Brian F. Richards

Brian F. Richards

Partner, Corporate Department


Phone: 1(312) 499-6070
Fax: 1(312) 499-6170


Brian Richards is a partner in the Private Equity and M&A practices at Paul Hastings and is Chair of the Firm’s Global Private Equity Practice.

Brian has 30 years of experience leading complex domestic and international transactions, including leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions and growth equity investments, in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, distribution and services. The volume and breadth of Brian’s experience is relatively unmatched in the middle market. Brian leads transactions of all sizes, including several transactions in 2021 alone over $1 billion in enterprise value, the largest being $3.6 billion in enterprise value.

For several years, Brian has been one of only three Band 1 practitioners in Private Equity in Chicago according to Chambers USA, and for 15 years has been recognized as a leading private equity attorney by a number of legal publications including Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America and Illinois Super Lawyers.

According to Chambers USA: "Brian Richards is a private equity expert." "Brian Richards is a strong presence in the market who is notably active representing private equity clients in the sale of companies. He regularly handles international mandates." Quotes in Chambers USA from clients include: "He immediately gains the respect of everyone in the process due to his insight, ability to grasp detailed business issues and good bedside manner." "He finds solutions which are innovative, practical and a win for both sides." "He has the ability to think through difficult client answers and provide practical suggestions to go with legal advice." Quotes in Chambers USA from peers include: "He knows every aspect of a deal. He’s very personable and cuts through issues very fast." Brian is "very commercial and practical" and is praised by peers as "a fantastic lawyer to work opposite."

Brian is actively involved in charitable organizations which provide educational opportunities and hope to low-income children in Chicago, including Holy Trinity High School and The Big Shoulders Fund. Brian is also a frequent speaker regarding private equity and mergers and acquisitions and has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois Gies College of Business and has spoken at Northwestern University Law School, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and events hosted by numerous private organizations.


  • Listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leader in his field (2007–2018), in Illinois Super Lawyers (2009-2018) and in The Best Lawyers in America (2010–2018)
  • Recognized by Practical Law Company as one of the leading private equity lawyers in the United States


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1992, Order of the Coif
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, B.S., 1989 


  • Represented Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company in connection with:
    • The acquisition of the following portfolio companies: Health-E Commerce, Absolute Dental, Spectrum Professional Services, Medical Solutions, himagine solutions, Maxor National Pharmacy Services, Paragon Medical and Sunrise Senior Living; and
    • The sale of the following portfolio companies: Paragon Medical, Medical Solutions, Dentistry For Children, RSA Medical, ISG Holdings, Origin and Sunrise Senior Living.
  • Represented Cortec Group in connection with:
    • The acquisition of the following portfolio companies: Groome Transportation, ICON Eyecare, Urnex, Canadian Hospital Systems and Cranial Technologies; and
    • The sale of Barcodes, Cranial Technologies and Performance Health & Wellness.
  • Represented Pfingsten Partners in connection with:
    • The acquisition of the following portfolio companies: South-Tek Systems, Diamond Assets, Sign-Zone, Kith Kitchens, Dynapower, Burton Saw, Industrial Lighting Products, Des-Case and ZSI-Foster; and
    • The sale of the following portfolio companies: Industrial Lighting Products, Des-Case, Arrowhead, TPC Wire & Cable, Hy-Bon Engineering, Powervar, Curt Manufacturing, Marlen International and Garretson Resolution Group.
  • Represented Industrial Growth Partners in connection with:
    • The acquisition and the sale of FMH Aerospace;
    • The acquisition of Brown Machine and Royal Die; and
    • The acquisition by its portfolio company, Climax Portable Machine Tools, of H&S Tool.
  • Represented Madison Industries in the acquisition of seven businesses in the industrial solutions sector from Kennametal, as well as the acquisition of the following companies: Seakeeper, SageRider, Therma-Stor, ALS Oil & Gas, Reelcraft, The Drucker Company, QBC Diagnostics, National Biological Corporation, Accu-Glass, Ferry Industries, Extrude Hone, Hydra Stop and Task Force Tips.
  • Represented Filtration Group, a Madison Industries company, in connection with the following acquisitions: Facet, Multisorb, Clear Edge Filtration, Porex, Purafil, Kaydon Custom Filtration, Buffalo Filter, AG Industries, Air Flow Technology and Jonell Filtration Products and in connection with the sale of Buffalo Filter.
  • Represented Madison Capital Partners in connection with the sale of Money Mailer, Krauss Maffei and CoAdvantage and a division of Cablecraft.
  • Represented May River Partners in connection with its acquisition of the following portfolio companies: BJM Pumps, MECA, Hi-Tech Manufacturing, Pride Engineering and Hunt Valve.
  • Represented Grey Mountain in connection with its acquisition of platform company Mann Lake and a subsequent add-on acquisition.
  • Represented Flexera Software in its acquisitions of B|DNA and Palamida.
  • Represented Parallel49 Equity in connection with its acquisition of Kinetrex Energy.
  • Represented ATI Physical Therapy, a private equity-backed company, in connection with 25+ acquisitions.
  • Represented Baird Capital in connection with its acquisition of Kason Corporation.
  • Represented Victory Park Capital in connection with the restructuring of, and investment in, Mi Pueblo Foods.
  • Represented Millennium Trust Company in its sale to Parthenon Capital Partners.
  • Represented Japan-based Misumi Group Inc. in the acquisition of Dayton Progress Corporation.



    • Active in several philanthropic organizations dedicated to improving opportunities for inner-city children
    • Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, Holy Trinity High School

    Practice Areas

    Mergers and Acquisitions
    Private Equity
    Life Sciences and Healthcare
    ESG & Impact




    Illinois Bar


    University of Virginia, School of Law, J.D. 1992
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. 1989

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