Sarah Kessler is a partner in Chapman’s Banking and Financial Services Department and member of the Commercial Lending Group. She focuses her practice on private equity-related finance, representing lenders and borrowers in both fund finance and acquisition finance. Sarah also has significant experience in financings to borrowers that are themselves financial players, such as REITs and broker-dealers.
Sarah regularly structures complex financings throughout a fund’s capital structure, including subscription or capital call facilities, loans including rated note feeder funds or debt commitments, financings related to the general partner’s or principals’ capital contributions, and management company lines. These financings often involve advising on multi-jurisdictional collateral packages or fund structures and non-standard collateral, such as capital contribution obligations, various fee streams, interests in series LLCs, and REIT operating partnership units.
Sarah advises financial institutions, private equity funds, and portfolio companies in leveraged buyouts and acquisition financings, primarily in the recurring revenue and middle market spaces. Her work spans various industries, including financial services (B2B, payment solutions, registered investment advisors (RIAs), point-of-sale (POS)), technology and healthcare (service providers, healthcare IT and clinical services).
Sarah has represented lenders in financings to private, public, and investment grade real estate investment trusts (REITs). Within REIT financings, she has experience with UPREITs, baby REITs, 1031 exchanges, REITs that publicly list during the term of the financing, and ESG matters.
Sarah also works collaboratively with the Chapman Practice Innovations team and her clients to identify pain points in their day-to-day or transaction processes and develop process improvement workflows and tech-enabled solutions.
Sarah started her legal career at Chapman. Prior to rejoining the firm, Sarah worked at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Prior to attending law school, Sarah worked at SVB Capital, the private equity division of Silicon Valley Bank. At SVB Capital she marketed fund of funds investments and separate accounts to institutional investors.
- Agribusiness Lending
- Asset-Based Lending
- Banking and Financial Services
- Commercial Lending
- Commercial Lending and Real Estate
- Health Care Finance
- Health Care Lending
- Loan Syndications and Trading/Syndicated Credits
- Real Estate Finance
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
- Restructuring and Bankruptcy
- Senior Lending
- Special Situation Lending
- Special Situations and Restructuring
National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit)
Honors & Awards
Recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America in Banking and Finance Law
Indiana University, Maurer School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2012
- Order of the Coif
- Senior Managing Editor, Indiana Law Journal
University of California, Berkeley, B.A., Applied Mathematics with Statistics, 2007
Sarah’s community involvement includes pro bono representation of the Chicago Community Loan Fund and a veteran through the National Veterans Legal Services Program’s initiative on disability benefits related to military sexual trauma, and mentoring a refugee family through Refugee One’s co-sponsorship program.