Sarah Kessler is a partner in Chapman’s Banking and Financial Services Department and a member of the Commercial Lending Group. Sarah’s practice draws on her experience working with lenders at Chapman, with borrowers at an AM Law 100 law firm, with in-house counsel while on secondment with a “Big Four” bank, and with institutional investors at the private equity arm of Silicon Valley Bank. She leverages this multi-perspective background to deliver business-oriented advice and efficient transaction execution to her clients.

Sarah represents financial institutions and direct lenders in a variety of products, including cash flow facilities, asset-based lending, capital call facilities, and debtor-in-possession financings, primarily in the middle market space. Within these products she has experience with industry-specific structuring issues arising in the health care, financial institutions, agriculture, construction/build, payment processing, and professional services industries. A significant portion of Sarah’s transactions involve sponsor-backed acquisitions.

In 2017, Sarah worked with a “Big Four” bank’s middle market in-house legal team as a secondee. Sarah leverages the insights gained from this experience about the client’s business, cross-selling goals, and operational processes to offer creative solutions on specific transactions and broader-based client initiatives.

Sarah also has experience managing large international counsel teams when lending to companies with a global footprint. Sarah draws on her in-house legal experience to proactively anticipate operational, licensing, and structuring complexities in these transactions.

Sarah works collaboratively with the Chapman Practice Innovations team and her clients to identify pain points in their day-to-day or transaction processes. She has experience designing and implementing internal databases, both at Chapman and at SVB Capital.

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. She also mentors a refugee family through Refugee One’s co-sponsorship program.

Sarah started her legal career at Chapman. Prior to rejoining the firm, Sarah worked in Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s debt finance practice from 2014 to 2016. 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.




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


Maurer School of Law Young Alumni Steering Committee

We have always been focused on finance.

  • 1913
    TS Chapman partners with Henry Cutler to form Chapman and Cutler
  • 1st
    Chapman's first client in 1913 is still a client of the firm today
  • 22
    Diverse financial practices serving regional, national, and global clients
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    Offices across the country and in key US financial centers

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