Winston & Strawn added Rachel Gray as a partner in the firm’s New York office and a member of the leveraged finance team. She will play a role in the expansion of the firm’s lender designation practice in both the mid and large cap markets.

Gray is an attorney with insight into both the borrower and lender sides of leveraged finance transactions. Gray represents private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in connection with a range of transactions, including leveraged buyouts, take-private deals, dividend recapitalizations, out-of-court restructurings and refinancings.

“The leveraged loan market is iron hot with plenty of capital to be invested in an anticipated boon for M&A over the next few years,” Gray said. “I look forward to working together with my new colleagues by adding depth and bench strength to the expansion of an already well-recognized finance practice.”

Gray most recently served as partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis and follows several recent additions to Winston & Strawn, including leveraged finance partner Andy Hutchinson in Chicago, intellectual property transactions partner Stephen Kong in Los Angeles and M&A partner Kathleen Blaszak in Washington, D.C.

“Rachel has a well-earned reputation as an effective commercial attorney and has strong connections with a number of private equity sponsors covered by Winston’s investment banking and loan investor clients,” Mats Carlston and Michael Mullins, co-chairs of Winston & Strawn’s finance practice, said in a joint statement. “We’re excited to have her on board as we continue to expand our lender designation practice and enhance our leveraged finance practice generally.”

“Rachel comes to our team with a wealth of experience and insight into the leveraged finance sector,” Jonathan Birenbaum, managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s New York office, said. “She adds considerable depth to our finance practice and will be invaluable as we continue to diversify our offerings and expand our client base on both the lender and borrower sides of leveraged finance.”

Gray’s recent finance work includes a $2 billion take-private LBO of a technology company by a private equity firm in the technology sector, a $1.7 billion take-private transaction of an imaging company, an acquisition of a majority stake in an insurance company, a $600 million dollar acquisition of a regional restaurant chain and the acquisition of a Canadian software company.

“Rachel’s background and expertise will help our clients take advantage of emerging opportunities in the leveraged finance market as deal activity continues to increase,” Tom Fitzgerald, chairman, of Winston & Strawn, said.