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 mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments, distressed acquisitions and recapitalizations. In addition, Mr. Bernardi works with clients on a range of corporate, employment, securities law and governance issues.

Areas of Practice
Domaines de Pratique





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 its acquisitions of Tecomet, QC Supply, Vestcom and Polyconcept
  • Varsity Brands, a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, in its acquisitions of Allgoods and Lids Team Sports
  • Fullbeauty Brands, a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, in its sale to Apax Partners
  • automotiveMastermind in its sale to IHS Markit (NASDAQ: INFO)
  • Undertone Networks, a portfolio company of JMI Equity, in its $180 million sale to Perion Network Ltd. (NASDAQ: PERI)
  • 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 and acquisitions of RGL Reservoir Management and Hudson News
  • 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
  • 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 Level Access, Higher Logic and Adknowledge
  • Hillhouse Capital in its investment in Airbnb
  • Berkshire Partners in its acquisition of a minority investment in Coty, Inc., a leading manufacturer of cosmetics
  • Advent International in its $1.1 billion minority investment in OCENSA, the owner and operator of the largest Colombian oil pipeline
  • Advent International in connection with its acquisition of a minority interest in Amscan, Inc., the parent of Party City retail stores
  • 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

  • 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 serves as a Corporate Trustee and on the Conservation Circle Steering Committee.

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.

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Lettres de Créance



J.D., 2006
University of Connecticut School of Law

(with honors)

B.S., 2000
Boston College



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Our clients rely on us for world-class advisory services, counsel on complex transactional work and high-stakes litigation. Specializing in matters involving the financial, life sciences, private equity, real estate, and technology industries, we use a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to resolve our clients’ most challenging issues. To find out more, please contact us.
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