Joe Bernardi is a partner in Goodwin’s Private Equity group and member of its M&A / Corporate Governance and Financial Restructuring practices. Mr. Bernardi has been recognized as a “Massachusetts Rising Star” by Super Lawyers for his work advising private equity firms and public and private companies in a range of strategic business transactions. He has particular experience in leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, growth equity investments, distressed acquisitions and recapitalizations. In addition, Mr. Bernardi works with clients on a variety of executive employment, corporate and governance issues.





Mr. Bernardi has advised clients on domestic and cross-border transactions across a range of industries. His recent experience includes advising:*

Mergers and Acquisitions / Buyouts

  • Charlesbank Capital Partners in multiple transactions, including the acquisitions of Galls, Tecomet, QC Supply, Vestcom and Polyconcept
  • Charlesbank Capital Partners portfolio companies in a number of transactions, including:
    • American Residential Services in its sale to GI Partners 
    • Polyconcept in its acquisition of ETS Express 
    • The Rockport Group in its acquisition of the Reef brand from VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC)
    • Varsity Brands in its acquisitions of Allgoods and Lids Team Sports, and the subsequent sale of Varsity Brands to Bain Capital Private Equity
    • Galls in the acquisitions of On Guard Apparel, Universal Uniforms, Cruse Uniforms, Samzie’s Ltd., Miller Uniforms and KEEPRS
    • Fullbeauty Brands in its sale to Apax Partners
  • JMI Equity portfolio companies in a number of transactions, including:
    • AlertMedia in its sale to Vista Equity Partners 
    • Unanet in its acquisitions of Cosential and Clearview Software
    • Undertone Networks in its $180 million sale to Perion Network Ltd. (NASDAQ: PERI)
  • Workfront in its $1.5 billion sale to Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE)
  • Campus Management and EdCentric, portfolio companies of Leeds Equity Partners, in their combined sale to Veritas Capital
  • JMI Equity, as a member of a consortium, in the $11 billion take private of The Ultimate Software Group (NASDAQ: ULTI)
  • automotiveMastermind in its $430 million sale to IHS Markit (NASDAQ: INFO)
  • AlphaCredit in its acquisition of Grupo Finmart from EZCORP (NASDAQ: EZPW)
  • Infraestructural Institucional S. de R.L. de C.V., a leading Mexican infrastructure investment fund, in the sale of its general partner to BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK)
  • AMAG Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMAG) in its $700 million acquisition of Cord Blood Registry from GTCR
  • Acosta Sales and Marketing, a portfolio company of Thomas H. Lee Partners, in its acquisitions of Mosaic Sales Solutions and Anderson Daymon Worldwide and the subsequent sale of Acosta to The Carlyle Group for $4.8 billion (one of the five largest leveraged buyouts of 2014)
  • Advent International in a number of transactions, including its $2.4 billion acquisition of Serta Simmons Bedding, the acquisitions of RGL Reservoir Management and Hudson News, its $1.1 billion investment in OCENSA and its investment in the parent of Party City
  • Advent International, CDIB Capital and Mirae Assets in connection with their acquisition of a controlling interest in the parent of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • Berkshire Partners in multiple transactions, including its acquisitions of Grocery Outlet and HMT and its investment in Coty
  • Thomas H. Lee Partners in its acquisition of Systems Maintenance Services and a number of follow-on financings and other transactions
  • Harbinger Capital Partners in its take-private of LightSquared (f/k/a SkyTerra Communications), a mobile satellite services provider with an enterprise value of approximately $1.85 billion

Growth Equity Investments

  • JMI Equity in its investments in TimelyMD, Vena Solutions, Clio, Benevity, Level Access, Higher Logic and Adknowledge
  • JMI Equity portfolio companies in a number of transactions, including:
    • Workfront in its financing with W Capital
    • Benevity in its financing with General Atlantic
  • AlphaCredit in its equity financing round led by Softbank’s Latin America Fund 
  • Tuatara Capital in multiple investments, including in Green Flower Media and the parent of GCH
  • Hillhouse Capital in its investment in Airbnb
  • Liberty Mutual in its significant debt and equity investment in a leading alternative energy provider
  • Providence Equity Partners in connection with its $300 million investment in ZeniMax Media Inc.

Distressed Investments and Restructurings

  • Charlesbank Capital Partners in its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of The Rockport Group via a Section 363 asset purchase as part of The Rockport Group’s Chapter 11 proceedings 
  • Harbinger Capital Partners in connection with its equity and debt investments in TerreStar Corporation and SkyTerra Communications
  • Medicis Pharmaceuticals in its $455 million acquisition of substantially all of the U.S. and Canadian pharmaceutical assets of Graceway Pharmaceuticals via a Section 363 asset purchase as part of Graceway’s Chapter 11 proceedings
  • Nortek, Inc. in connection with its pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization
  • MGM Mirage in connection with the restructuring of City Center Las Vegas
  • A number of private companies and investors in out- of- court restructurings

*Includes matters prior to joining Goodwin.

Professional Activities

Mr. Bernardi is a member of the Boston and American Bar Associations. He is actively involved in charitable and community organizations, including The Trustees of Reservations, where he previously served as a Corporate Trustee.

Professional Experience

Before joining Goodwin, Mr. Bernardi practiced law for nearly a decade in the Boston office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

Mr. Bernardi is also a certified public accountant. Prior to his legal career, he was a member of the audit and assurance practices of Arthur Andersen LLP and KPMG LLP where he worked primarily with private equity funds, technology companies and government contractors.


Mr. Bernardi was recognized as a “Massachusetts Rising Star” for 2014 through 2016 by Super Lawyers. While attending law school he was elected Editor-in-Chief of the Connecticut Law Review.

In The News









JD, 2006
University of Connecticut School of Law

(with honors)

BS, 2000
Boston College



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