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Stephen M. Kessing

Partner, Corporate

Stephen M. Kessing is a partner in Cravath’s Corporate Department and serves as Practice Lead of the Firm’s Banking and Credit Practice. He advises financial institutions, corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors on a broad range of finance transactions, including complex syndicated loan transactions, capital markets transactions, restructurings and debtor‑in‑possession financing, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Kessing has extensive experience representing U.S. and international companies across such diverse industries as aerospace (AerCap, Alliant Techsystems, SMBC Aviation Capital, Tenax Aerospace), consumer (Anheuser‑Busch InBev, British American Tobacco, Unilever, Vista Outdoor, Worldstrides), financial services (Lazard, Element Financial), healthcare (Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Akorn, AmerisourceBergen, HLS Therapeutics), hospitality and leisure (Starwood Hotels, Universal Orlando), industrials (Honeywell, AdvanSix, Martin Marietta, Minerals Technologies, J.M. Huber, Stanley), information technology (Genpact, Xerox, Conduent), media and entertainment (Cox Enterprises, Graham Holdings, Reservoir Media Management), technology (IBM, Orbotech, FactSet, JD Power), telecommunications (Cincinnati Bell, CyrusOne) and utilities (PG&E).

Mr. Kessing has also represented J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Citibank, Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs in syndicated loan, equity, high‑yield bond and leveraged acquisition transactions. The Legal 500 reports Mr. Kessing is “a key name for sports financing” and he has advised on financings involving teams in each of the major sporting leagues. His private equity clients have included Eurazeo, NTC Group and Sound Point Capital.

Mr. Kessing has been repeatedly recognized as a leading lawyer in banking and finance by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, IFLR1000 and Super Lawyers. He is described as “incredibly savvy and very commercial.” Mr. Kessing is a repeat author on market trends in leveraged finance published by Lexis Practice Advisor and he serves as the Board Secretary of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.

Mr. Kessing was born in Akron, Ohio. He received a B.S. from Miami University in 1995 and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California in 2001. Mr. Kessing received his J.D. magna cum laude from Duke University School of Law in 2005 where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. He was also awarded the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Transactions and Bankruptcy. Mr. Kessing joined Cravath in 2005 and became a partner in 2013.

Mr. Kessing may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1152 or by email at

Mr. Kessing is admitted only in New York.

+1 (212) 474-1152
+1 (212) 474-3700