Neal Aizenstein has joined Cooley’s mergers and acquisitions practice group in the firm’s newly launched Chicago office. Most recently serving as chair of DLA Piper’s Chicago corporate group, Aizenstein is known for his strong leadership and decades advising companies and boards of directors on high-profile transactions with public and private companies.
“It’s an honor to welcome Neal to Cooley as a key member of our global M&A practice,” said Jamie Leigh, partner and co-chair of the firm’s M&A group. “Neal is a remarkable M&A practitioner with extensive experience counseling leading, multinational public companies across all industries. We look forward to joining our networks to strengthen our M&A platform, Chicago footprint and innovative client services.”
“Neal brings to Cooley his collegial nature, a dedication to the mentorship and professional development of younger lawyers, and a hands‐on approach to dealmaking,” added Barbara Borden, who co-chairs Cooley’s M&A group. “His commitment to team building, mentorship and office community building is renowned within the legal and business industries and will help shape our next-generation talent.”
“I’m excited to join Cooley’s elite M&A group and growing, global buy-side practice, particularly as the firm builds out its Midwest presence,” said Aizenstein. “Cooley’s unique platform and exceptional M&A trajectory over the last several years, coupled with the opportunity to join a team of experienced dealmakers who share my commitment to fostering a diverse group of talent and the next generation of leaders, is the ideal next step in my career.”
Aizenstein’s arrival follows a 10-person corporate launch team and a trio of litigation and cyber/data/privacy partners who joined Cooley in Chicago earlier this year. As the first elite Silicon Valley law firm to open an office in Chicago, Cooley’s 17th office is home to high-growth, disruptive companies, a burgeoning venture capital community, and some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the thriving Midwest ecosystem. Cooley’s world-class transactional team has worked on 1,500+ M&A deals for an aggregate value of $520+ billion since 2017, and has guided leading companies and private equity sponsors in some of the market’s largest and most complex transactions. The 180+ member M&A group spans 17 major business and technology centers in the US, Europe and Asia, and represents all categories of participants in transactions.
Outside of practice leadership, Cooley’s M&A team has continued to set the standard for gender parity in dealmaking. According to a report by the UC Irvine Law Review, of the 20 firms handling the most significant public M&A transactions from 2014 to 2020, Cooley is the only firm granting the same number of lead positions to women and men across M&A deals.