In an article about the state of the deal activity, The American Lawyer spoke with Kimberly Smith, Global Chair of Katten's Corporate department. Kimberly said she's seeing continued activity in Katten's Family Offices and Private Equity practices. She expects the middle market to be the first area for an upswing.

"We see activity poised to first rebound in the middle market due to the higher cost of capital and continued regulatory scrutiny on bigger deals — particularly in the healthcare services sector," Kimberly said. "Many PE investors are focused on buy and build strategies right now, which further drives smaller deal volume."

Katten released its 2023 Middle-Market Private Equity Report in January, noting dealmakers were cautiously optimistic in key sectors despite concerns about high inflation and climbing interest rates.

"Deal Watch: Latham, Goodwin, Covington Steer Life Sciences Deals. And Is It Time for an M&A Rebound?The American Lawyer, August 7, 2023