Photo of Steven K. Sims

Steven K. Sims




Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, J.D., 1989

Eastern Illinois University, B.A., 1986



If you ask Steve, working with a wide variety of clients is one of the best parts of his job. He enjoys plant tours with manufacturers. He appreciates the personal side of a family-owned business. He learns from his international clients, discovering the laws, customs and negotiating styles of different countries. He likes helping directors and C-level officers navigate their careers and overcome business challenges. He has a lot in common with the professional service providers he represents, and he has a kinship when working with in-house counsel, because Steve spent seven years as in-house general counsel for a large international container manufacturer.

In his 30 years of practice, Steve has established himself as a trusted advisor for businesses and individuals. He handles complex mergers and acquisitions, financing and capital-raising transactions, private placements, reorganizations and outsourcing transactions, ownership agreements and strategic alliances, and long-term wind and solar leases and easements. Steve assists clients with corporate governance and securities law compliance, secured lending transactions, international business and cross-border transactions, intellectual property licensing and acquisition, private equity and venture capital transactions, and litigation and risk management. He also drafts, negotiates and manages a wide variety of commercial and other forms of contracts and agreements.

Steve’s clients work in a variety of industries, including fabrication, manufacturing and printing, freight and logistics, containers and packaging, metal services, factory automation, tool and die, bearings and bearing assemblies, web retailing, financial services, consulting, investment banking, market data analytics and real estate. He provides value to his clients with the right mix of practical business acumen and technical legal skills.

Memberships & Involvement

Member: American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Mergers and Acquisitions and Private Equity Subcommittees; The Chicago Farmers


  • Part of a team that developed a creative legal strategy to enable the first successful proxy contest for a large bank holding company
  • Served as lead M&A lawyer for a large Japanese manufacturing client who acquired a public manufacturer of automated, factory safety products for more than $100 million in aggregate consideration
  • Represented the majority shareholders of an integrated steel processing and framing products business in a change-in-control transaction, including a tax-free contribution of assets in exchange for rollover equity and sale of personal goodwill, valued at approximately $19 million
  • Represented a large Japanese tool and die manufacturer in an internal reorganization of certain U.S. business units
  • Represented the shareholders of one of the largest independent U.S. distributors of refined fuels in the sale of their business for approximately $27 million
  • Represented the acquirer in the acquisition of a majority interest in a web-based seller of camping equipment and other outdoor gear
  • Represented a health, fitness, and dining club in connection with a $60 million syndicated term loan
  • Represented a regional bank in closing loans totaling $4 million to a group of Midwest nephrologists to fund their acquisition of a minority interest in dialysis centers
  • Handled an offering of $7 million of junior capital and new $7 million senior credit facility for a client in the steel framing and toll processing business
  • Converted $15 million of subordinated debt into preferred stock for a web-retailing client
  • Drafted and implemented a 409A-compliant, deferred-compensation equity incentive plan
  • Handled more than 25 executive employment and separation agreements
  • Represented a leading e-business company in an organizational restructuring and a $10 million venture capital investment by private equity funds
  • Represented large landowners in wind and solar power project leases and easement agreements
  • Key member of a legal team that completed the $275 million leveraged buyout of a U.S.-based, public container manufacturer
  • Partnered with local counsel on a 124 million Deutsche Mark acquisition of a German packaging group
  • Completed $55 million acquisition of European divestiture package
  • Managed legal aspects of creative $4.5 million minority investment in Argentina
  • Directed SEC legal reporting, including 10-Ks, 10-Qs, 8-Ks, proxy statements, annual reports and Section 16 reports
  • Worked on public debt and equity offerings, including two IPOs

Presentations & Events