Chris Graham is the Office Managing Partner of our Providence, Rhode Island office and serves as Co-Chair to the Firm's Corporate and Transactional Department.
Chris advises business clients of all types, although he invests much of his time on matters involving private equity. He has led teams of lawyers in many different types of corporate transactions, both domestic and cross-border. He counsels start-up enterprises and assists in their capital formation, represents emerging companies and private equity investors in different rounds of equity financing, and negotiates acquisitions, dispositions and management buyouts for corporate buyers and sellers, private equity funds and management teams. He frequently represents borrowers in financing transactions, including highly-leveraged financings that are integral parts of private equity buyouts. His clients include private equity funds, Fortune 500 companies, international conglomerates, privately-held manufacturing companies and numerous technology and life science start-ups.
Chris's work in private equity provides him with a unique understanding of the concerns of each party involved in a typical transaction and a considerable network of personal contacts so that he is well-suited to assist clients in planning and implementing strategies, as well as anticipating issues and crafting creative and cost-effective solutions.
In addition, Chris enjoys an active general corporate practice with background in secured lending and municipal finance. He is general counsel to many closely-held businesses, as well as to businesses acquired by his private equity clients, handling issues ranging from employment matters to commercial contract disputes. He also serves as counsel to several non-profits.
Chris has been listed in the Corporate, Financial Institutions Law and Banking Law sections of The Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years and in the Rhode Island Corporate/M&A Section of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. Chris has also been included in the Rhode Island Super Lawyers listing since 2007 by Thomson Reuters. Additionally, in a 2013 Best Lawyers America survey, Chris was named the 2014 Providence Corporate Law "Lawyer of the Year." Chris was named to the 2016 Power List on GoLocalProv naming lawyers and members of the judiciary who are most influential in Rhode Island.
- Chris helped an international specialty materials conglomerate acquire and dispose of several business units with domestic and overseas operations.
- Private equity funds have turned to Chris in numerous management buyouts, dispositions, recaps and debt financings of media, manufacturing and service businesses within the United States and internationally.
- Chris advised Heritage Village Water Company in its 2016 merger with Connecticut Water Service Inc. (NASDAQ: CTWS) in a stock-for-stock exchange.
- He advised Firestone Financial Corp. in its stock-for-stock acquisition by Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) in 2015.
- Chris represented the specialty pharmacy subsidiary of a large retail drug store chain in over 25 acquisitions of retail and mail order pharmacy operations.
- He has represented a Fortune 500 company in strategic venture investments and a series of corporate restructuring projects.
- Venture-backed clients have sought Chris's counsel and judgment in acquisitions, equity and debt financings and general corporate and commercial law matters.
- Chris is representing several entrepreneurs in the formation, development and implementation of their business plans and the formation of their companies' capital, including companies engaged in drug discovery, digital media and cleantech IT.
- He is currently advising family-owned manufacturing and service businesses in debt refinancings, employment-related matters, shareholder issues and commercial disputes.
- Chris is outside counsel to an international manufacturer of luxury goods, including advising on several bolt-on cross-border acquisitions.
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Board of Directors, Slater Technology Fund
- Member, Rhode Island Bar Association
- Director, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
- Director, Junior Achievement of Rhode Island; Chair of its Executive Council
- Director, Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council
- Chair, Teach For America/Rhode Island Regional Board of Advisors
- Member, Rhode Island Foundation Long-term Education Planning Committee
- Member, Rhode Island Supreme Court Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee