He is a creative lawyer who can think his way through to a solution and get a deal done. You know you will get a good result when you work with him … Christian is extremely commercial and has a strong bedside manner. He doesn't just have technical strength and experience, but he can read the room.” - Chambers USA, 2023

Christian Atwood is a corporate partner in the Boston office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He is an experienced and versatile counselor, well-known and sought out for his commercial acumen, creativity and bedside manner. Christian and his team represent private equity funds, private companies and public companies in a wide variety of complex and strategically important business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and restructurings. Christian also advises private equity funds in growth equity investments, late-stage venture capital financings and the management of portfolio company investments, including with respect to debt and equity financings, add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and other liquidity events. In select circumstances, Christian and his team represent entrepreneurs and family offices who find themselves across the table from, or co-investing with, private equity funds, to provide counsel as to “market” terms and best practices in private equity-related structures and shareholder arrangements.

Christian has experience across many industries, including technology, software, healthcare, industrials, manufacturing, financial services, consumer and retail. Clients include Apollo, Clearhaven Partners, General Catalyst, Great Hill Partners, GreyLion, Silversmith Capital, Vista Equity Partners and Windjammer Capital.

Christian is listed in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 U.S. as a leading M&A lawyer in the field of private equity buyouts.


Thought Leadership


Quoted, “Choate Hall & Stewart, On The Private Equity Middle-Market: Competition, Fee Pressure And China,” Forbes, November 2017.

Quoted, “PE predictions: fundraising apace, small-business boost, tax changes,” Buyouts Magazine, January 2017.

Quoted, “U.S. LBO volume rises 9 pct while M&A drops 19 pct,” Buyouts Magazine, December 2016.

Quoted, “Investment bank ‘books’ get shorter as M&A evolves,” PE Hub Network, October 2016.

Featured, “Rainmaker Q&A: Choate's Christian Atwood,” Law360, October 2016.

Quoted, “Be your own boss? Read this first,” The Deal, February 2016.

Featured, “Dealmakers Q&A: Choate Hall's Christian Atwood,” Private Equity Law360, August 2014.

Co-author, “Plan Ahead to Avoid Fateful Mishandling of Succession,” Buyouts Magazine, October 2011.

Author, “Dealmaking Outlook for 2011,” The ACG Boston Newsletter, January 2011.

Co-author, “Negotiating Sell-Side Engagement Letters,” Buyouts Magazine, August 2010.

Author, “Creative Approaches to Financing Private Company M&A in a Brave New(unlevered) World,” Dealing with M&A Financing and Risk in a Changing Market: Leading Lawyers on Understanding Client Motivations, Assessing Risk, and Handling Mergers and Acquisitions in a Changing Market (Inside the Minds), January 2010.

Co-author, “Three Indemnification Traps for Buyers to Avoid,” Buyouts Magazine, April 2009.


Guest Lecturer, Course: “Transactional Practicum: Deals," University of Maine School of Law, April 2019.

Guest Lecturer, Course: “Transactional Practicum: Deals," University of Maine School of Law, April 2018.

Moderator, “State of Private Equity (PE) Panel,” Harvard Business School's Venture Capital and Private Equity Club Conference, January 2018.

Moderator, “Industry Drill Down: Healthcare, Life Sciences and Technology,” Thomson Reuters' Northeastern M&A/Private Equity Forum, December 2013.

Moderator, “Energy Panel,” MIT Sloan Private Equity Symposium, April 2013.


Christian and his wife (a veterinarian) are active supporters of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Angell Animal Medical Center, both located in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

Memberships & Affiliations

Member, Boston Bar Association

Member, American Bar Association

Member, ABA’s Mergers and Acquisitions Committee


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2002Massachusetts


  • University of Virginia School of LawJ.D.2001
  • Dartmouth CollegeA.B.1998