BRIAN FAHRNEY is a member of Sidley's Management and Executive Committees and is global co-leader of the M&A and Private Equity group.
Brian has represented both acquirors and sellers in a wide variety of public and private merger and acquisition transactions, including complex carve-outs, take privates, cross-border transactions, spinoffs, SPAC transactions, and leveraged acquisitions. He has been a trusted advisor to numerous public companies in their strategic transactions, capital raising activities, and SEC disclosure matters. He advises companies and their boards of directors on their fiduciary duties, activism defense, and sensitive SEC and corporate governance matters. His longtime clients have included General Electric Company, McDonald’s Corporation, Synchrony Financial, Churchill Downs, Western & Southern, Glencore plc, Arthur J. Gallagher, Aflac, ServiceMaster, Northwestern Mutual, and Cabela’s.
Brian has frequently received accolades for his exceptional legal work. Since 2016, he has been recognized for Corporate/M&A in Illinois by Chambers USA, which has noted that clients describe him as “very experienced … has good judgment and is calm under pressure” (2018). He has also been recommended in Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts in The Legal 500 US, and Who’s Who Legal. In 2015, he was named a Law360 MVP, one of only 11 M&A lawyers named for that year. In addition, Brian has been recognized as “Dealmaker of the Week” by The American Lawyer.
Brian serves on the Executive Committee of The Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Law Institute of the Northwestern School of Law, as well as the Board of Advisors of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law and Economics. He is a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and a longtime member of the Chicago Council on Global Relations. He was formerly on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. He is an adjunct professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, where he teaches mergers and acquisitions.
Brian was a certified public accountant and served as associate articles editor of the Northwestern University Law Review.