Michael Paley’s practice focuses on complex business transactions, including leveraged buyouts of private and public companies, strategic mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as management equity arrangements and executive employment and compensation matters. Michael led the team on CME’s acquisition of the Dow Jones indexes business and has led numerous leveraged buyout and sale transactions on behalf of numerous private equity firms, including Madison Dearborn Partners, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, Tenex Capital Management, Pegasus Capital Partners, Great Hill Partners, Stone Point Capital and Liberty Partners and their respective portfolio companies, as well as public and private companies including CDW Corporation, Daikin Industries, Bolthouse Farms, Apollo Group, Yankee Candle Company and Wyndham Worldwide.

Michael also serves as an adjunct professor at the Washington University School of Law, where he teaches “Private Equity Transactions.”



Named a “Leading Lawyer” in Private Funds / Hedge Funds Law in the 2010–2019 editions of The Best Lawyers in America

Listed in the 2010–2011 editions of Illinois Super Lawyers

Recognized in the 2011 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1995Illinois


  • Washington University in St. Louis, School of LawJ.D.1995

    Order of the Coif

    Notes & Comments Editor, Washington University Law Review

  • University of Colorado at BoulderB.A.1991