Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee

PartnerCo-Chair, Search Funds
Stephen Lee
Los Angeles
+1 213 426 2621

Stephen Lee is a partner in Goodwin’s Private Equity group. He co-chairs the firm’s Search Fund practice and is also a member of its Technology and Life Sciences Emerging Companies group. He is also the chair of Goodwin’s Private Equity group Attorney Development Committee and co-chair of the Attorney Review Committee. He advises private equity funds, entrepreneurs, and corporate clients regarding mergers and acquisitions. Stephen structures, negotiates, and documents a wide array of transactions, including carve-outs of business divisions, asset and stock acquisitions and sales, mergers, leveraged buyouts, and auction transactions.

Stephen regularly represents buyers and sellers in cross-border transactions. He also has particular expertise in the aerospace, software, technology, automotive, and medical device industries, where, in addition to mergers and acquisitions, he advises companies regarding joint venture, joint development, licensing, and manufacturing arrangements.


Stephen’s work has included advising:

  • A $7 billion private equity fund in numerous transactions, including:
    • an approximately $500 million acquisition of a digital workplace collaboration solutions provider
    • an approximately $250 million acquisition and combination of two integrators of enterprise video, data and voice solutions providers
    • an approximately $200 million sale of a remanufacturer of automatic transmissions
  • A € 3 billion French private equity fund in various transactions, including an approximately $80 million acquisition of a manufacturer of passive components and subsystems
  • A $2 billion UK private equity fund in various transactions, including an approximately $100 million acquisition of a supplier of compatible network connectivity products
  • An entrepreneur in the approximately $120 million sale of his fiber optic and copper assemblies company to a Fortune 500 company
  • A Spanish aerostructures company in its $83 million acquisition of a US structural components manufacturer
  • A $2 billion private equity fund in its $630 million acquisition of the fastening systems division of a Fortune 500 company*
  • A Middle Eastern sovereign investment fund in the acquisition of common stock through tender offers and direct stock purchases totaling in excess of $3 billion*
  • A Fortune 100 company in its sale of its business to another Fortune 100 company for $865 million*

* Denotes experience prior to joining Goodwin.

Professional Activities

Stephen is a former President of the Los Angeles Chapter for the Association for Corporate Growth and currently sits on its board.




Cornell Law School


Princeton University



  • California
  • New York

Recognition & Awards

Chambers USA has consistently recognized Stephen in California for his work in Corporate/M&A and Private Equity (2021-2023).


  • “The Search Fund Timeline,” Insight, July 2020
  • “Purchase Price Mechanics in the Search Fund Purchase Agreement,” Insight, July 2020
  • “Primer on the Search Fund Purchase Agreement,” Insight, May 2020
  • Quoted, “Private equity firms seeing a lot to like with DC provider investments,” Pensions and Investments, May 2018 
  • “M&A Trends: Representations and Warranties Insurance,” Insight, March 2018
  • Quoted, “Cooper’s Take: Got a Tech Asset? Are You Willing to Part With it?,” WSJ Pro, May 2017

Speaking Engagements

  • “Keeping it Simple: Case Studies on How to Return to Work without Drama,” Panel Discussion, Search Fund Accelerator, June 2020
  • “CEO Roundtable,” Association for Corporate Growth Los Angeles, April 2020
  • “Aerospace & Defense Insights,” Panel Discussion, Association for Corporate Growth, Los Angeles, 2016
  • “Mergers and Acquisitions in Europe,” Panel Discussion, World Trade Day, Denver, 2011
  • “Hot Topics in International Mergers and Acquisitions,” Panel Discussion, State Bar of California, 2011
  • “Are We Speaking the Same Language? Negotiating Gender and Cultural Differences,” Panel Discussion, Association for Corporate Counsel of San Francisco, 2011
  • “The State of M&A: A Panel Discussion of Trends in Mergers and Acquisitions in 2010,” Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2010
  • “Corporate Governance–Avoiding Procedural Pitfalls and Other Best Practices,” Association for Corporate Counsel of Los Angeles, 2010
  • “What Creditors and Counsel Need to Know About Bankruptcy Laws,” Association of Corporate Counsel of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 2009
  • “Employment Issues Affecting Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions Transactions,” UCLA Extension Program, Los Angeles, California, 2008