Overview

Seth Traxler co-leads Kirkland’s global Technology & IP Transactions practice. He serves as lead counsel in complex or strategic deals where technology assets or opportunities are core to the deal’s value proposition.

Seth has over 25 years’ experience negotiating oftentimes transformative M&A deals, financings, joint ventures, collaborations, licenses, and other strategic commercial agreements. Seth is a key advisor supporting significant M&A transactions for leading public companies and premier private equity sponsors. Over the course of his career, he has worked on more than 200 completed technology-intensive M&A deals, more than 125 completed carve-outs, and more than 40 joint ventures and collaborations. He is particularly experienced on transactions involving business models where commercial matters heavily intersect with technology and legal matters; complicated business separations involving the entanglement of technology and intangible assets; and advising sponsor clients on the full lifecycle of their investments.

Seth’s successful track record of advising companies on technology’s impact on their corporate strategies and business models has earned him recognition noting that his “tech-intensive M&A experience is virtually second to none” and that he is “a master craftsman of complex, international deals of all stripes” (IAM). He is recognized by numerous industry publications and legal directories, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Legal 500 United States and Chambers USA.

In addition, he has worked on multiple award-winning transactions, including:

  • an innovative financing arrangement for United Airlines, which was named IFLR’s Debt Capital Markets U.S. Deal of the Year in 2021;
  • Blackstone’s transformative partnership with Hipgnosis Song Management that was named IFLR’s Private Equity Deal of the Year in 2022; and
  • Brookfield Infrastructure Partners’ $30 billion joint venture with Intel that earned Kirkland “Standout Firm” in the technology category at The Financial Times’ North America Innovative Lawyers Awards 2023.

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Recognition

The Hollywood Reporter’s “Power Lawyers 2023: Hollywood’s Top 100 Attorneys List”

Variety’s “Legal Impact Report 2023: Meet Hollywood’s Top Entertainment Dealmakers and Litigators” 

Recognized for “Technology & Outsourcing,” Chambers USA, 2017, 2018, 2023

Recognized for "Media and Entertainment: Transactions," Legal 500, 2022–2023 

Recognized for "Patents: Licensing," Legal 500, 2018–2023

Recognized for "Technology: Transactions," Legal 5002017–2023

Recognized for "Transactional Practice," IAM Patent 1000, 2013–2023

Credentials

Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1997Illinois

Courts

  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois1998

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Education

  • Northwestern Pritzker School of LawJ.D.cum laude1997
    Articles Editor, Northwestern Law Review
  • University of KansasB.A.cum laude1993
    Phi Beta Kappa

Civic and Pro Bono

Former Director of the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation

Former board member for Equip for Equality and the highly-acclaimed Writers’ Theatre

Kirkland Pro Bono Service Award for Outstanding Service (2007–2020) for work with many organizations, including A Sense of Home, an organization creating homes for youth aging out of foster care; the American Theatre Wing, the creator of the Tony Awards and a supporter of theater through educational programs, grants and awards; and Ownership Works, a nonprofit partnering with companies and investors to give employees ownership opportunities to share in the value creation.

Angel investor in Broadway productions including Spamalot (original and revival), History Boys, You’re Welcome America by Will Ferrell, and Mean Girls