Meet the Legal Rising Stars of 2023 (A-K)

This year’s directory highlights 20 up-and-coming lawyers who stood out for their leadership, innovation and legal expertise in the private funds industry.

Clare Baker, 38
Partner and head of the investor practice
London, Linklaters

Since Clare Baker, the head of Linklaters’ investor practice in London, was elevated to the partnership in 2021, she has become the firm’s managing relationship partner for Aermont Capital, the China Investment Corporation, CPP Investment Board and Alberta Investment Management Corporation. Baker stands out as an innovator in the world of fundraising technology, having driven the development of virtual investor subscription booklets to enhance efficiency and accuracy in large-scale fundraisings, as well as benchmarking tools and contract automation. Aside from her private equity mandates, she champions support for working parents at Linklaters, having spearheaded the introduction of Linklaters’ 12 weeks paid parental leave policy in 2019.

Ben Briggs, 39
Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis

Real assets-focused partner Ben Briggs has advised on the formation of more than 40 real estate funds for 30 sponsors, raising more than $77 billion in total commitments over the course of his career. Described as a trailblazer in Kirkland & Ellis’s open-end fund formation practice, Briggs currently represents more than a third of all such matters at the firm, with his client list including the likes of KKR, Starwood Capital Group, and Warburg Pincus. In 2022, Briggs advised GID Investment Advisers on the formation of Mainstay Fund, an open-end multi-family private real estate fund, which launched with the contribution of a $1.3 billion portfolio of multi-family assets under a tax protection agreement.

Mimi Cheng, 37
Los Angeles, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett partner Mimi Cheng has extensive experience advising high-profile investment funds on debt financings and in developing bespoke financing structures designed to facilitate and support fund investment activities. She has counseled the likes of BlackRock, Blackstone, KKR, Silver Lake Partners and Sixth Street Partners on a range of financing solutions, including advising on the financing aspects of the $20 billion fund Silver Lake Partners VI in 2021, which was reported at the time of closing to be the largest-ever technology-focused private equity fund. Cheng has dedicated considerable time to the firm’s recruitment and training efforts and led the LA office’s Inclusion Network, organizing initiatives aimed at achieving the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion objectives while still an associate.

Ravi Chopra, 37
London, Goodwin

Goodwin partner Ravi Chopra is noted as being a rising star within the firm not only for his investment funds and secondaries work, but also his dedication to mentoring the next generation of legal talent. Chopra recently co-led the team acting for Intermediate Capital Group on the structuring and fundraising of its eighth European Corporate fund, which closed on €8.1 billion, and advised life sciences investment firm Abingworth on over $1 billion of fundraising across two healthcare strategies: Abingworth Bioventures 8 and Abingworth Clinical Co-Development Fund 2. He co-heads the firm’s UK graduate recruitment scheme and is a member of the London office’s community engagement panel, where he focuses on partnering with local schools to provide mentoring and assist with interview practice, as well as improving students’ exposure to the professional services industry.

Christopher Elson, 34
London, Proskauer Rose

Proskauer Rose partner Christopher Elson advises on a broad range of capital raising, from multi-billion-dollar private equity mega-funds to small European-focused venture capital funds. Fully bilingual in French and English, Elson serves as the relationship lawyer for key clients such as AXA Venture Partners and Singular Capital Partners as a “point person” in the French legal market. Elson has advised Hg on its private equity fundraisings for the past eight years, including on its latest fundraising, which raised around $11 billion for Hg’s latest fund, Saturn 3, well ahead of its original $8.5 billion target and making it the largest European buyout fund to close in 2022.

Seth Fishman, 39
Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis

Since joining Kirkland & Ellis in 2010 as a summer associate, Seth Fishman has risen through the ranks to become one of the youngest partners on the firm’s investment funds team. Fishman led the team representing Francisco Partners on garnering nearly $17 billion in total commitments in 2022, including the simultaneous formation and fundraising of its $13.5 billion seventh flagship fund and its $3.3 billion Francisco Partners Agility III fund. He also advised One Equity Partners on closing its eighth fund at a hard-cap of $2.75 billion. The firm says Fishman’s “instinct for fresh market trends” sets him apart from peers, alongside his significant contributions to deals worth more than $30 billion over the last three years.

Vicky Forrester, 34
New York, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison partner Vicky Forrester has led on mandates for the likes of Apollo Global Management, Centerbridge Partners and KKR, but also as a leader of the firm’s work with emerging women-led private equity firms. In 2021, Forrester advised a Canadian investment manager on its $1.5 billion seed investment in female-led firm Brinley Partners and another $1.5 billion in follow-on investments. Earlier this year she advised MPowered Capital, a firm investing in female and underrepresented talent in the alternative investments space, on its Capital Access Fund I, which closed on $110 million. She also leads the firm’s pro bono collaborations with industry programs such as 100 Women in Finance, Black Women in Asset Management, and the Black Hedge Fund Professionals Network.

Maurice Gindi, 38
New York, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Maurice Gindi represented Blackstone in the formation of its $1.6 billion Life Sciences Yield fund in 2022, the firm’s first inaugural royalty and structured credit-focused life sciences fund, and also advised on the formation of Blackstone’s inaugural life sciences fund, Life Sciences V, which closed in 2020 with commitments of $4.6 billion. He also advised on the formation of TPG Healthcare Partners, which, at $2.7 billion, is recognized as one of the largest pools of capital dedicated to healthcare investments in the world, and marks the firm’s first fund dedicated exclusively to healthcare deals. He also took a role advising TPG on fund formation matters surrounding its sale of cable operator Astound Broadband for $8.1 billion in 2020.

Blake Halperin, 35
Boca Raton, Proskauer Rose

Since joining Proskauer Rose in late 2020, secondaries-focused lawyer Blake Halperin has led on more than 200 transactions worth over $45 billion for clients such as Apollo S3, Blackstone Strategic Partners, CPP Investment Board, GIC, and Lexington Partners, to name a few. His work with Blackstone Strategic Partners over the last few years includes advising on its role as a lead investor in the purchase of $5 billion in fund interests from Kaiser Permanente and on its purchase of a $1 billion portfolio of infrastructure fund interests from Alaska Permanent Fund. Proskauer lauds the associate’s “tireless dedication to client service and his unparalleled secondaries industry insight.”

Justin Kliger, 38
Boston, Ropes & Gray

Justin Kliger has directed fund launches totaling more than $22 billion in the past year. The Ropes & Gray partner’s client list including the likes of Asia Alternatives, Bain Capital, Crosspoint Capital Partners, Hamilton Lane and HarbourVest Partners. In recent months, Kliger has led for Bain on more than half a dozen mandates, including Bain Capital Special Situations Asia II, which closed at its cap of $2 billion in 2022. He also led Asia Alternatives through to the final close of its sixth fund, which closed on $2 billion, and advised Hamilton Lane on the $3.9 billion fundraising of its fifth secondaries-focused fund. Kliger is credited with navigating clients through high-stakes management company events, including generational transitions and key departures.