Lynn J. Watkins concentrates his practice in corporate and securities, as well as finance, where he has extensive experience in representing his clients in a range of complex financial transactions.

Lynn has successfully represented both private and public companies in their acquisitions and divestitures. He has counseled institutional clients in connection with their investments in alternative investment vehicles. Lynn has also guided private equity funds in their formation and helped ensure their compliance with securities laws. He has significant experience in working with start-ups on a range of critical and sophisticated financial transactions.

Lynn also represents financial institutions and borrowers in a variety of financing matters, including secured and unsecured term note placements and mezzanine financings.

  • Experience

    Lynn’s experience includes:

    • Frequent representation of an institutional asset manager in connection with the formation of private equity fund-of-funds and separate account vehicles, negotiation of investments in alternative investment vehicles (including venture funds, mezzanine funds and leveraged buy-out funds) and Investment Adviser Act of 1940 registration and compliance.
    • Representation of private equity sponsor in connection with the formation of a mezzanine private equity fund with commitments in excess of $500 million.
    • Representation of institutional endowments in connection with their private equity and hedge fund investments.
    • Frequent representation of an institutional provider of private capital to middle market companies in secured and unsecured term note placements.
    • Serving as outside corporate counsel for an education solutions provider of school turn-around services, online education, school design services, and school management services in connection with management agreements, services agreement, licensing agreements, and national and international joint ventures.
    • Representation of a middle market private equity fund in connection with its acquisition of a manufacturer of disposable food utensils; its acquisition of a manufacturer of high efficiency lighting and formation of a holding company platform; and its acquisition of a fabricator and distributor of rigging products and supplies.
    • Representation of a Fortune 100 corporation in connection with its acquisition of a food manufacturing facility, as well as in connection with several sales of lines of branded food products.
    • Representation of a Fortune 100 equipment manufacturer in connection with the sale of its software and consulting division.
    • Representation of a Fortune 500 bank in connection with its acquisition of a portfolio of residential mortgages.
  • Credentials


    • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2005
    • University of Michigan - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, M.P.P., 2002
    • Oberlin College, A.B., Economics, 1999

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois

            Professional Memberships

            • American Bar Association, Institutional Investors Committee
            • National Bar Association, Corporate Law Section Executive Committee
            • Cook County Bar Association
            • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Program class of 2017
            • National Association of Securities Professionals
          • Insights

            News Release

            Schiff Hardin Advises Yukon Partners in Third Mezzanine Fund

            Schiff advised Yukon Partners on its third mezzanine fund, Yukon Capital Partners III (Fund III).

            News Release

            Nineteen Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named Emerging Lawyers

            Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 19 of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the 2017 Emerging Lawyers Network.

            News Release

            Three Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named 2017 Leadership Council on Diversity Fellow and Pathfinders

            Founded in 2009, LCLD comprises more than 260 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.

            News Release

            22 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Emerging Lawyers Network

            The list comprises those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

            Trending Legal Issue

            Speeches & Presentations

            • "Getting off to a Great Start: Commonly Negotiated PE Fund Terms," Chicago Private Equity Forum, Chicago, IL (May 4, 2016)
            • “Institutional Limited Partners Association Private Equity Principles: A Guide For Improving GP/LP Relations,” (co-presenter) Muller & Monroe Asset Management’s Back Office Exchange, Chicago, Ill. (Oct. 14, 2011)
            • “Dodd-Frank’s Impact on Private Equity Funds and Other Recent Legal Developments,” Muller & Monroe Asset Management’s Back Office Exchange, Chicago, Ill. (Nov. 2, 2010)
          • Citizenship

            Civic and Charitable Memberships

            • Camp of Dreams, Board of Directors