Cathy Birkeland helps issuers, underwriters, and investors execute successful capital markets transactions, and advises public companies and boards of directors on corporate governance and securities law matters.

For more than two decades, Ms. Birkeland has advised clients on a broad array of capital markets transactions, including:

  • Initial public offerings (IPO)
  • Dual track IPO/M&A processes
  • Spin-off transactions
  • Follow-on offerings
  • Block trades
  • ATM programs

Ms. Birkeland advises public and private companies of all sizes across the globe, including Fortune 500 companies, emerging growth companies, investment banking firms, investors, and private equity firms. She has experience with numerous industries, including technology, consumer retail, hospitality, REITs, financial services, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.

When counseling public companies and their boards of directors, she draws on her insights into the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and regulatory processes to advise on:

  • ’34 Act reporting
  • Complex disclosure requirements
  • Corporate governance best practices
  • NYSE/Nasdaq listing
  • Securities regulation
  • Tender offers
  • Consent solicitations
  • Private placements
  • Rule 144
  • Section 16
  • Share repurchase programs
  • 10b5-1 trading plans
  • Financial reporting

Highly regarded by clients and peers, Ms. Birkeland has been named as one of the Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business, which recognized her as a “first-rate capital markets lawyer.” The Chicago Business Journal also named Ms. Birkeland to its 2018 Women of Influence list.

She regularly speaks on capital markets and corporate governance matters at industry conferences. She serves on the Executive Committee of the annual Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate & Securities Law Institute, sponsored by Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.


Ms. Birkeland has served in a variety of leadership roles throughout her tenure at the firm, including as Chicago’s Office Managing Partner and as Global Co-Chair of the Capital Markets Practice. Complementing her active practice, Ms. Birkeland mentors junior lawyers and passionately supports Latham’s commitment to diversity. She has served on the firm’s Global Diversity Leadership Committee, helped found the firm’s annual Women’s Leadership Academy, and is a spokesperson for diversity issues.

Ms. Birkeland also contributes to the Chicago community, serving on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Science & Industry, the Board of Trustees for the Woman's Board of Rush University Medical Center, the Heart Leadership Council of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and is a member of The Chicago Network.

Capital Markets Transactions

Ms. Birkeland has advised on numerous IPOs including:

  • Definitive Healthcare Corporation
  • Vital Farms
  • Beyond Meat
  • Parsons
  • Sprout Social
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • TransUnion
  • Performance Food Group
  • LaQuinta Holdings
  • SeaWorld Entertainment
  • Orbitz
  • Click Commerce

She has also helped clients raise capital and further monetize their investments through follow-on offerings, ATM programs, block trades, and de-SPAC transactions. Her experience includes transactions for:

  • Hyatt Hotels
  • InvenTrust Properties
  • Summit Hotel Properties
  • Ventas
  • STORE Capital
  • Xenia Hotels & Resorts
  • TransUnion
  • Performance Food Group
  • LaQuinta
  • SeaWorld Entertainment
  • Bay City Capital
  • MEMC Electronic Materials
  • NuCO2West Corporation
  • Vivid Seats

Spin-off Transactions

Ms. Birkeland has also represented multiple clients in spinning-off business segments and divisions to create stand-alone, independent publicly listed companies, including:

  • Enovis Corporation (formerly Colfax Corporation) in connection with the spin-off and listing of its fabrication technology business, ESAB Corporation
  • Worthington Industries in connection with the spin-off and listing of its steel processing business (pending)
  • Aptiv (formerly Delphi Automotive) in connection with the spin-off and listing of its powertrain systems segment, forming Delphi Technologies
  • InvenTrust Properties:
    • Spin-off and listing of its lodging business, Xenia Hotels & Resorts
    • Spin-off of its “non-core” assets to Highlands REIT

Public Company Representation, Corporate Governance, and Board Advisory Matters

Ms. Birkeland advises public companies and their boards of directors on a day-to-day basis. Representative clients include:

  • Abbott
  • AvidXchange
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • TransUnion
  • InvenTrust Properties
  • Xenia Hotels & Resorts
  • Beyond Meat
  • Summit Hotel Properties
  • Certain Pritzker Family Business Interests
  • GATX
  • Highlands REIT
  • SeaWorld Entertainment
  • Independent Directors of the Board of Directors of CNL Lifestyle Properties

Thought Leadership

Navigating SEC Changes: Amended Rule 10b5-1 and New Insider Trading Disclosure (February 15, 2023)

Session Chair, “An Ode to F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out)”, 41st Annual Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate & Securities Law & 60th Annual Corporate Counsel Virtual Institute (September 22, 2021)

“Spin-offs Unraveled: Complex ‘IPOs’ with a Sophisticated Tax Overlay – Key Considerations when Spinning Off a Business Segment or Division” - Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Forum (October 2019)

“Gender Diversity in Boardrooms Gains Momentum” - Crain’s Chicago Business (November 9, 2018)

“Regulatory: Navigating the 'Dual Track' IPO/M&A process” - Inside Counsel (April 10, 2013)

Bar Qualification

  • Illinois


  • JD, Northwestern University School of Law, 1997
    cum laude
  • BA, Dartmouth College, 1994
    cum laude