A corporate lawyer for over 35 years, Byron Kirkland has extensive experience in private equity transactions, 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 pharmaceutical services, information technology, clean technology, medical device, biotechnology, communications and manufacturing. Byron regularly advises clients with regard to general business, capital-raising financing and corporate law matters. Clients say Byron is "...incredibly practical and business-minded. He can help me find ways to think about issues that allow us to be able to achieve the things we want to as a company" (Chambers USA 2022).
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 elected Managing Partner in January 2020 and is a member of the firm's Management Committee.
Professional & Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Past Member, Business Law Section Council
- American Counsel Association
- North Carolina Bar Association
- Past Chair, Young Lawyers Division
- Past Chair, Securities Regulation Committee
- Director, Board of Directors, NC TECH (North Carolina Technology Association)
- Immediate Past Chair, Board of Directors, The Miracle League of the Triangle, Inc.
- Chair, 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
- "Leaders in the Law," North Carolina Lawyers Weekly (2022)
- "Power List," Business North Carolina (2021, 2022)
- "CEO of the Year" Honoree, Triangle Business Journal (2021)
- Best Lawyers®, "Lawyer of the Year" for Raleigh, Securities/Capital Markets Law (2011, 2016), Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2013, 2018), Corporate Law (2022), Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law (2023)
- Best Lawyers®, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, Venture Capital Law (2007-2023), Leveraged Buyouts & Private Equity Law (2022, 2023)
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Corporate/M&A (2004-2022)
- North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2019)
- IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, "Highly Regarded," M&A (2018-2021)
- "Legal Elite," Business (2013), Business North Carolina
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
- Advised a leading utilities, solar, and electrical contractor in a definitive agreement to be acquired by an independent sponsor for an undisclosed amount of cash and equity.
- Advised a contract research organization in a definitive agreement to acquire a specialized contract research organization for the biotechnology industry.
- Advised a life sciences company on its acquisition of a clinical manufacturing facility for an undisclosed amount.
- 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
- North Carolina Super Lawyers® Selects 30 Smith Anderson Attorneys for Recognition, With One Landing in the Top 100!Super Lawyers, 01.19.2023
- N.C.-Based and Largest Soccer Retailer in the World, Sports Endeavors, Partners with Private Equity FirmWall Street Journal | Triangle Business Journal, 08.29.2022
- Best Lawyers® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Recognizes 98 Smith Anderson Attorneys in Latest PublicationBest Lawyers®, 08.18.2022
- Chambers USA, 06.03.2022
- Business North Carolina, 05.04.2022
- North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 04.29.2022
- “Invest: Insights” Talks with Managing Partner Byron Kirkland on New Economy Created Due to PandemicInvest: Insights - Raleigh-Durham, 10.06.2021
- Hitting a New Milestone - 100 Members of Smith Anderson’s Legal Team Recognized by Best Lawyers® and Best Lawyers: Ones to WatchBest Lawyers, 08.19.2021
- IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms Ranks Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Five Firm LeadersIFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, 06.07.2021
- Smith Anderson Shines in 2021 Chambers USA with Most Band 1 Practice Rankings of Any NC-Based Law FirmChambers USA, 05.21.2021
- Business North Carolina Magazine, 05.20.2021
- Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Five Lawyers Ranked by IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law FirmsIFLR: 1000 The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, 10.01.2020
- 2021 Best Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Recognize Largest Group of Smith Anderson Lawyers in Firm’s HistoryThe 2021 Best Lawyers®, 08.20.2020
- Chambers USA, 04.23.2020
- 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
- Chambers USA, 04.29.2019
- 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
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2018
- Chambers USA, 05.03.2018
- 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers Recognizes Forty-three Smith Anderson Lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising StarsSuper Lawyers, 01.25.2018
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2017
- Chambers USA, 05.30.2017
- Super Lawyers, 01.20.2017
- 2017 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Recognizes 62 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.15.2016
- Chambers USA, 06.01.2016
- 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