Robert C. Emerson is a partner in Goodwin’s Private Equity and Private Investment Funds practices, where he advises private equity firms and their senior management on a wide variety of legal, compliance, and business issues. Rob also serves as a co-leader of Goodwin’s Secondaries practice, which brings together an international team of lawyers with extensive experience in domestic and global cross-border secondaries transactions.
Rob counsels clients on fund transactional projects, having led numerous secondaries and strategic transactions on both the buy-side and sell-side in connection with portfolio companies, co-investments, and sponsor level transactions. In addition, he has significant experience in managing and negotiating strategic relationships, joint ventures, minority sales, spin-outs, and innovative co-investment regimes.
In addition to fund transactional matters, Rob is well-seasoned in traditional fund formation activities by having led fundraises for both foreign and domestic based products that scale to over $15 billion in size. As part of this role, he actively counsels sponsors in managing their ongoing governance, structuring and economic arrangements as well as guiding their platforms through the ever-evolving regulatory environment applicable to the private equity industry and registered investment advisors.
Rob devotes significant time to volunteering in the community through the Boy Scouts of America program, including serving on the Board of Directors for Connecticut Yankee Council, the local organization where he previously received his Eagle Scout.
Prior to joining Goodwin, Rob was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He also practiced previously at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP.
School of Law
(cum laude, Soden Scholar)
(summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
- New York
Recognition & Awards
Rob has been recognized multiple years as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers.
While in law school, he received the Archibald R. Murray Public Service Award and was a member of the Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law.
- Moderator, “Engaged Discussion: Preferred Equity: Evolutions in Secondaries and GP Strategic Situations,” SuperReturn Conference, Berlin, June 2023
Rob is frequently interviewed about the growing fund transactional practice, including:
- Quoted, “Continuation Funds Provide GPs Options in Difficult Deals Market,” Mergers & Acquisitions, October 25, 2023
- Quoted, “Final Private Fund Reforms: Issues to Monitor in Preferential Treatment, Adviser Led Transactions and Annual Audit Rules,” Private Equity Law Report, October 19, 2023
- Quoted, “ILPA Guidance Promotes Equitable Framework for Continuation Fund Transactions,” Private Equity Law Report, July 2023
- Quoted, “ILPA Guidance promotes Equitable Framework for Continuation Fund Transactions,” Private Equity Law Report, July 27, 2023
- Quoted, “Valuation disconnect stands in the way of secondaries dealmaking,” PitchBook, July 21, 2023
- Quoted, “Apollo Aims New Secondaries-Focused Fund at Advisor Market,” Fund Fire, May 31, 2023
- Quoted, “LPs seek refuge in secondaries market,” PitchBook, November 2022
- Co-Author, “A Comparison Between Two Liquidity Solution Tools: Preferred Equity and NAV Facilities,” Private Equity Law Report, 2020