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, software, 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, mergers and acquisitions and fund formation matters.

Byron was elected Managing Partner in January 2020 and is a member of the firm's Management Committee.

Areas of Focus



  • Business North Carolina 
    • Legal Elite, Corporate (2024)
    • Legal Elite, Business (2013)
    • "Power List" (2021-2023)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Corporate/M&A (2004-2024)
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
    • "Managing Partners to Watch" Power List (2023)
    • "Leaders in the Law" (2022)
  • Triangle Business Journal, "CEO of the Year" Honoree (2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Corporate Law (2007-2024)
    • Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2007-2024)
    • Securities/Capital Markets Law (2007-2024)
    • Venture Capital Law (2007-2024)
    • Leveraged Buyouts & Private Equity Law (2022-2024)
    • Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law (2024)
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Raleigh, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law (2023)
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Raleigh, Corporate Law (2022)
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Raleigh, Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2013, 2018)
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Raleigh, Securities/Capital Markets Law (2011, 2016)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2019, 2023-2024)
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, "Highly Regarded," M&A (2018-2021, 2023)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated


  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D., with honors, 1987
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.B.A., 1987
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 1983

Bar & Court Admissions


  • 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)
  • The Miracle League of the Triangle, Inc.
    • Director, Board of Directors
    • Past Chair, Board of Directors
  • United Way of the Greater Triangle
    • Director, Board of Directors
    • Immediate Past Chair, Board of Directors
  • Law Vision Managing Partner Roundtable
  • 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


  • Advised a U.S. clinical research organization on the purchase of all of the equity of a specialty UK-based clinical research organization.
  • 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.
  • Represented a private equity fund in its acquisition of a leading digital patient recruitment company.



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