The PDI Fund Formation League Table

    Our debut ranking reveals the private debt industry’s top law firms by number of closed funds advised on and total capital of underlying vehicles.

    Kirkland & Ellis dominated Private Debt Investor’s inaugural Fund Formation League Table, the industry’s only ranking of law firms by number of funds advised on and the underlying aggregate capital of funds closed.

    The Chicago-headquartered firm topped the list both by aggregate value, at $41 billion, and total number of funds, with 18 vehicles.

    Kirkland & Ellis advised on funds including the $8.75 billion Blackstone Capital Opportunities Fund IV, $16 billion Oaktree Opportunities Fund XI, the $3.3 billion Thoma Bravo Credit Fund II and the $2.4 billion Lynstone Special Situations Fund II over the qualifying period.

    The PDI Fund Formation League Table covers 122 funds that had a final close date between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022. Data was tracked by PEI Group’s team of researchers and verified by the law firms. Only lead counsels for the funds were included in the ranking for aggregate value.

    Commenting on the ranking, John O’Neil, a New York-based partner at Kirkland & Ellis who leads the firm’s investment funds practice group, said his firm is seeing increased interest in and activity from managers over a wide variety of credit strategies, as well as structured equity, capital solutions and other investments that offer attractive yields but also downside protection. Continuation funds are also extremely active, he added.

    At least 63 private debt funds have been formed by the top-ranked law firms over the qualifying period. By aggregate value of funds closed, private debt funds advised on by the top 10 firms in the ranking gathered approximately $106 billion between them.