Gould + Ratner



Managing Partner

Representing privately held and family-run entrepreneurial businesses, as well as lenders and other sources of debt and equity capital, Brian Gilbert has extensive experience in a variety of sophisticated corporate transactions, including:

  • sizable acquisitions and divestitures 
  • mergers and reorganizations 
  • recapitalizations 
  • secured and unsecured lending transactions 
  • generational transfers and planning for family businesses 
  • formation of partnerships, joint ventures and other entities 

In addition, his experience encompasses related issues in connection with the operation, dispute resolution and split-up of such entities, as well as intellectual property licensing and agreements regarding sales, distribution, manufacturing, leasing and other business operations.  

Brian’s clients and experience span a variety of industries, including:

  • telecommunications 
  • high-tech manufacturing 
  • digital marketing and strategy 
  • transportation 
  • automotive sales and distribution 
  • mines and minerals 
  • banking and financial services 
  • consulting and professional services 
  • software 

Brian has been named an Illinois Leading Lawyer since 2011 in the areas of Closely & Privately Held Business, Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions and Securities & Venture Finance.


Connect with Brian

(312) 899-1690 Office
(312) 399-6132 Mobile

Connect with Brian

(312) 899-1690 Office
(312) 399-6132 Mobile




  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., Merit Scholar, 1987
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., With High Honors in Accountancy, 1984

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Key Cases or Transactions

  • Represented U.S.-based transportation company in a joint venture with robotics solution company to develop driver assistance and self-driving technology for commuter buses.
  • Represented a Chicago-based digital agency focusing on the pharmaceutical space in an auction sale process resulting in its sale to a multi-national commercialization partner, including involvement in all phases of the auction process, including diligence, negotiation of definitive documentation and structuring of consideration.
  • Represented private equity fund in the acquisition of a maritime transportation company operating on the inland waterways in an auction purchase transaction, including all facets of diligence, tax and corporate structuring, negotiation of definitive documentation and completion of closing.
  • Represented a maritime transportation company in connection with negotiation and closing of a secured credit facility provided by three participatory national banks, including negotiation of all credit documents, facilitating collateral security on a diverse collateral base including maritime assets, coordinating opinions and ultimate closing.
  • Represented purchaser of Newport News and Spiegel catalog businesses from Spiegel, Inc. in an acquisition under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Represented private venture fund in the acquisition of stock of a high tech manufacturing business, including negotiation of employment agreements, option plans and other incentive arrangements for retained executive management.
  • Represented biotech company in negotiations with venture capital firms resulting in the issuance of $1.5 million of preferred stock and $1 million of senior subordinated debentures and warrants.
  • Represented shareholders of direct marketing agency in sale of stock to publicly traded advertising conglomerate, including continuing employment agreements for selling shareholders.
  • Represented owner of nationally recognized retail specialty stores in issuance of a newly created series of preferred stock to venture capital investors for $2 million.
  • Represented family-owned real estate partnership in negotiation of development venture in Austin, Texas, with large nationally recognized real estate firm.
  • Represented video production company in sale of business for $16.5 million plus warrants to purchase common stock of buyer.
  • Represented local bank in documentation for and negotiation of secured guaranteed loan to printing business.
  • Represented foreign publicly traded communications equipment manufacturer in several U.S.-based acquisitions.
  • Represented purchaser of cellular telephone system in Florida for $172.5 million, including the $345 million loan package for new acquisition financing and refinancing of existing indebtedeness.
  • Represented cellular telephone company in negotiation of $5 million equipment acquisition and related secured financing.
  • Represented privately held cellular telephone company in sale of assets for $130 million to publicly traded wireless company.
Brian has extensive experience in a variety of sophisticated corporate transactions.