A corporate and securities lawyer for over 30 years, Byron Kirkland has extensive experience in private equity and venture capital transactions; domestic and international mergers and acquisitions; and general corporate law and securities matters. He represents emerging and established companies, both privately and publicly held, across diverse industry sectors including information technology, clean technology, medical device, biotechnology, pharmaceutical services, communications and manufacturing. Byron regularly advises clients with regard to general business, capital-raising financing and commercial law matters.
Byron also has an active venture capital and private equity fund practice, representing venture capital and private equity funds. He regularly assists funds with their portfolio company investments, acquisitions and fund formation matters.
Byron was named Managing Partner in January 2020. In addition, he is the leader of the firm's Private Equity practice group, Co-Chair of the firm's Corporate team and is Chair of the firm's Management Committee.
Professional & Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Past Member, Business Law Section Council
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- American Counsel Association
- North Carolina Bar Association
- Past Chair, Young Lawyers Division
- Past Chair, Securities Regulation Committee
- Director, Board of Directors, North Carolina Technology Association
- Director, Board of Directors, The Miracle League of the Triangle, Inc.
- Director, Board of Directors, United Way of the Greater Triangle
- Wake County Bar Association
- Past Member, Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Past Member, Board of Directors, Council for Entrepreneurial Development
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America©, “Lawyer of the Year,” Raleigh Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2013, 2018)
- The Best Lawyers in America©, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, Venture Capital Law (2007-2020)
- The Best Lawyers in America©, “Lawyer of the Year,” Raleigh Securities/Capital Markets Law (2011, 2016)
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Corporate/M&A (2004-2019)
- North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2019)
- IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, "Highly Regarded," M&A (2018-2020)
- Business North Carolina Legal Elite, Business (2013)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
- Advised a specialty pharmaceutical company in its acquisition of a private pharmaceutical company focusing on pediatric medications.
- Advised a private equity fund and its contract research solutions portfolio company in their acquisition of a statistical programming, consulting, and data management company.
- Represented affiliated multidisciplinary engineering, investigation and construction companies in a sale of assets process involving multiple potential buyers, culminating in the sale of substantially all of their assets to a wireless network services company.
- Represented a publicly traded company and leading provider of end-to-end spend management solutions in its sale of the company to a leading technology-focused private equity firm for approximately $509 million.
- Advised a family office in a definitive agreement to purchase the outstanding equity interests of the largest independent blender and packager of lubricants to the automotive, agriculture, commercial and heavy duty markets in North America.
- Represented privately held distributor and supplier of original automotive equipment and aftermarket replacement products in its merger with a publicly traded leading provider of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories in a transaction valued at $2.04 billion.
- Represented several venture capital and private equity funds in their fund formations.
- Represented a university in spinning out its investment office to form a new outsourced asset management company.
- Represented a SaaS company in a merger with a data integration publicly held company.
- Advised a private equity fund in its acquisition of a specialty pharmaceutical company.
- Advised a global supplier of chemical and slurry delivery equipment in an agreement to sell all of its issued and outstanding common stock to a process and mechanical contractor.
- Advised an emerging biotechnology company developing CRISPR-Cas3-engineered precision antibacterial products in its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of a biotechnology company, including its high-throughput bacteriophage (“phage”) discovery platform.
News & Publications
- Published by WRAL, The News & Observer, Triangle Business Journal, CBS, Winston-Salem Journal, Goldsboro News-Argus, 11.15.2019
- Smith Anderson Leads “Best Lawyers®” Rankings with 71 Recognized Lawyers and 11 “Lawyers of the Year” - Most of Any Raleigh Law FirmThe Best Lawyers in America©, 08.20.2019
- IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms Ranks Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Four Lawyers06.10.2019
- North Carolina Super Lawyers Recognizes Forty Smith Anderson Lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in 2019Super Lawyers, 01.24.2019
- Smith Anderson Named a Tier 1 M&A Firm in IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms08.30.2018
- 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers Recognizes Forty-three Smith Anderson Lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars01.25.2018
- 2017 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Recognizes 62 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.15.2016
- 2016 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Lists 60 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.17.2015
- Smith Anderson Represents General Parts International in $2.04 Billion Merger with Advance Auto Parts03.18.2014
- Smith Anderson Announces 49 of its Firm Lawyers are Named a “Best Lawyer” by The Best Lawyers in America® 201308.29.2012
- Chambers USA 2012 Distinguishes Twelve Smith Anderson Partners Among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business06.07.2012
- Chambers USA 2011 Recognizes Eleven Smith Anderson Partners Among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business06.15.2011
- Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Four Lawyers Ranked in IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms11.14.2019
- Delaware Court Finds That a Reverse Triangular Merger Does Not Result in an Assignment by Operation of Law04.10.2013
- We’re Still Waiting: When Will the SEC Lift the Ban on General Solicitation and Advertisements for Rule 506 and 144A Offerings?01.01.2013
Bar & Court Admissions
- North Carolina
University of North Carolina, J.D., with honors, 1987
University of North Carolina, M.B.A., 1987
University of North Carolina, B.A., 1983