Cooley adds new debt finance partner

Patrick Flanagan has joined the global law firm’s New York office, where he will represent lenders and investors in acquisition financings for tech and life sciences based companies.

Cooley has hired a new partner in its debt and private equity finance team, the firm said on Monday.

In his new position at the law firm, which specialises in working with technology companies, Patrick Flanagan will represent investors and lenders in leveraged buyouts and acquisition financings for tech, life sciences and emerging companies, he told Private Debt Investor.

Flanagan, who will be based in the firm’s New York office, added that he may also handle other areas like growth financing, pre-initial public offering financings and restructuring. He said the tech space is “right in Cooley's wheelhouse”.

“Given the unique nature of these companies and the novel diligence and business issues that they present, PE clients and lenders need a depth of understanding that goes beyond what the traditional PE law firms can provide,” Flanagan said.

Flanagan has advised a significant amount of domestic and international leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition, second lien, mezzanine, asset-based, recapitalisations, and leveraged buyouts over the last 15 years, according to a statement released on Monday.

He joined Cooley from Shearman & Sterling, having previously worked with Cooley partners Ron Hopkinson and Eric Schwartzman at Latham & Watkins, the statement said.

Flanagan is the latest addition to the firm’s debt and equity practice. Cooley added partners Ron Hopkinson in New York, Stephen Rosen in London and Eric Schwartzman in Palo Alto, California in 2016, according to the statement.

Many tech companies are seeking debt, Flanagan said, because of historically low interest rates it allows companies to access additional capital “without having to give up a portion of control that selling equity would”.

He added that tech companies are well positioned when looking for debt investments due to “such a large supply of capital in the current market that needs to be deployed”. Flanagan pointed specifically to direct lenders and private debt funds.