Image: Brian F. Richards

Brian F. Richards

Partner, Corporate Department


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


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

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, technology, distribution, and services. The volume and breadth of Brian’s experience is relatively unmatched in the middle market. In 2021 alone, he led more than 30 transactions of all sizes, including several multibillion-dollar deals.

For several years, Brian has been one of only three lawyers ranked Band 1 for 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, 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." "Brian is just the very best both in terms of responsiveness and sophistication." 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 regularly quoted in the media and is also a frequent speaker regarding private equity and mergers and acquisitions.  Brian 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.

Brian is actively involved in charitable organizations that provide educational opportunities to low-income children in Chicago, including Holy Trinity High School and The Big Shoulders Fund.


  • Recognized as a highly regarded lawyer by the IFLR1000 (2023)
  • Recognized as a top ranked Private Equity M&A lawyer in Chambers (2007‑2023).
  • Recognized as a recommended lawyer in The Legal 500’s M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Private Equity Buyouts guide (2023)
  • Recognized as a Top Rated Mergers & Acquisitions Attorney by Illinois Super Lawyers (2009-2021).
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America (2010‑2021).
  • 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 Cortec Group and its portfolio companies in dozens of transactions, including the recent sale of Groundworks to KKR.
  • Represented Madison Industries in dozens of transactions, including the recent $3.6 billion acquisition of Nortek Air Solutions and the recent acquisitions of UV Resources, United Air Cool, Sterile-Aire, NovelAire, and Airexchange.
  • Represented Filtration Group, a Madison Industries company, in dozens of transactions, including the recent acquisitions of Molecular Products and Columbus Industries.
  • Represented Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company and its portfolio companies in dozens of transactions, including the recent acquisitions of Home Care Delivered and Bond Orthodontics, the recent sales of himagine and HealthPRO Heritage Spectrum Professional Services and various recent transactions involving Health Management Associates and Medical Solutions.
  • Represented Industrial Growth Partners in numerous transactions, including the recent sale of Royal Die and the recent acquisition of AEM.
  • Represented Pfingsten Partners in dozens of transactions.
  • Represented May River Partners in dozens of transactions, including the recent sale of Hunt Valve and the recent acquisition of PaperTech.
  • Represented Grey Mountain in numerous transactions, including the recent sales of Dimex, 48Forty, and Kronos.
  • Represented Flexera in several transactions, including the recent acquisition of Revulytics.
  • Represented Parallel49 Equity in connection with several transactions, including the recent sale of Kinetrex Energy.
  • Represented Bertram Capital in the recent sale of Spectrio.
  • Represented Arrow International in the recent recapitalization involving Platinum Equity.



    • 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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