Samantha Koplik, 38
Dechert’s Samantha Koplik stands out for her skill in devising innovative financing for private equity firms, as well as public and private companies, and providers of senior and subordinated debt. She has steered the financing aspects of deals such as Court Square Capital’s acquisition of energy services company Veregy from Bow River Capital.
Koplik has been praised for her “tenacity and sense of purpose”, not just in terms of deal execution, but also in her support of diversity and societal initiatives. This includes advocating for the advancement of women in private equity and beyond, and aiding immigrant survivors of domestic violence in her role as pro bono practice group leader in Dechert’s New York office.
Koplik was also behind the successful launch of Dechert’s PE Boot Camp, a training programme for junior and mid-level private equity-focused associates.
Randi Lally, 38
Corporate partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
A corporate partner in Fried Frank’s mergers and acquisitions and private equity practice, Randi Lally provides regular counsel to industry heavyweights such as Permira, Dyal Capital Partners, OMERS and Goldman Sachs.
Recent representations include Aleris, a private equity-backed rolled aluminium products manufacturer, on its $2.8 billion acquisition by Novelis, and RedBird Capital Partners on its formation of OneTeam Partners in collaboration with National Football League and Major League Baseball players associations. She has also displayed her skills in the GP stakes space. This includes providing counsel to Goldman’s Petershill unit in connection with its seed investment in Arctos Sports Partners.
Lally is a member of Fried Frank’s Governance Committee, Women in Private Equity group and co-chair of the Recruiting Committee.
Whitney Lutgen, 35
Partner, MJ Hudson
Whitney Lutgen joined MJ Hudson’s private funds legal practice in 2017 and quickly built a name for herself working across co-investments, fund formation and advising on LP commitments, as well as secondaries transactions, fund restructurings and carried interest agreements. She was promoted to partner earlier this year.
Lutgen is understood to have been instrumental in advocating greater female representation at the firm, establishing and managing MJ Hudson’s advocacy programme for women, named ‘Be the Best’. She has also been involved in gender diversity efforts in the wider private equity community, such as contributing to not-for-profit organisation Level 20’s Women in Private Equity report.
Lutgen moved to MJ Hudson from Kirkland & Ellis, where she was an associate in the private funds group. Prior to this, she was an associate at private markets manager Partners Group.
Brian Parness, 36
Partner, private equity, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Brian Parness has the distinction of featuring in two Private Equity International rankings, having last year been elected one of the most promising young executives in secondaries. He has been “in overdrive” since joining Weil in 2019, working on big M&A deals on behalf of Goldman Sachs, TPG and Brookfield Asset Management, among other well-regarded names.
Parness was previously at Goldman, advising its asset management business on strategic M&A and working with its growth equity, secondaries and GP stakes businesses. He has been praised for his astute commercial sense and an understanding of legal, tax and regulatory considerations that places him above other lawyers of his age.
Christopher C Robinson, 38
Partner, Proskauer Rose
Secondaries specialist Christopher C Robinson joined Proskauer from Kirkland & Ellis in September and has already managed to work on more than $10 billion-worth of secondaries transactions on behalf of clients such as Blackstone, Commonfund, Hollyport Capital and Partners Group. Amid several continuation fund deals, tender offers and spin-outs, Robinson advised on the acquisition by Blackstone’s Strategic Partners of $1 billion of infrastructure assets from Alaska Permanent Fund, the largest infrastructure portfolio ever to change hands on the secondaries market. Robinson’s dedication, client-first approach and ability to solve highly complex problems have gained the respect of many in the industry.
Outside of work, he gives his time to community groups and initiatives, including a mentoring scheme for high school students.