Bar Admissions

  • Maryland


  • J.D., magna cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law, 2001

    Executive Editor and Associate Editor, Syracuse Law Review, 1999-2001

    Syracuse University Chancellor’s Scholar

  • B.A., Transylvania University, 1996

    Transylvania University Dean's Scholar


  • Maryland State Bar Association

    American Bar Association, Section of Business Law

T +1 410.528.2303
F +1 410.244.7742

W. Bryan Rakes


Bryan Rakes is a pragmatic business lawyer who assists clients with complex mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, and structured finance and other commercial financing transactions. He regularly acts on behalf of middle-market companies, private equity groups, and senior and subordinated lenders, resulting in a well-developed sense of the business goals and expectations of all of the parties in these types of transactions. Bryan also acts as outside general counsel to numerous growing companies throughout the United States.

Bryan has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for M&A, by Legal 500 as a leading middle-market M&A attorney, and by Maryland Super Lawyers as a Rising Star.


  • Represented, as lead counsel, a private equity fund in its acquisition of two restaurant franchise groups consisting of 110 restaurants.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, the U.S subsidiary of a Canadian company in its acquisitions of a global business-to-business digital music services and rights platform and of an interactive streaming mechanical royalty collection agency.
  • Represented the portfolio company of a private equity group in connection with the purchase of a division from General Electric Corporation and related debt financings.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, a private equity firm in the acquisition of a group of clothing stores and related third-party debt financing and rollover equity investment by founders.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, a private equity fund in its sale of a franchise restaurant group for $29 million.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, a six-bank syndicate in a multi-currency $130 million loan facility for a private equity-backed manufacturing company secured by domestic and international assets.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, a five-bank syndicate in a multi-currency $325 million loan facility for a leading consumer products company secured by domestic and international assets.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, a bank in a $50 million hybrid cash flow–real estate loan that was accompanied by an interest rate hedge/swap agreement and secured with real property.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, several banks in loans totaling hundreds of millions of dollars to private equity backed companies to partially fund acquisitions.
  • Represented the borrower in a music publishing transaction, including a $330 million equity investment and senior and subordinated financings of $70 million in the context of a workout.
  • Represented an IT solutions company in the $200 million sale of its software portfolio to a private equity firm.
  • Represented a Hong Kong based pet products company in a management buyout transaction and related debt financings involving Hong Kong, the United States, Canada and the Cayman Islands.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, a tech staffing company in a $60 million purchase of an international staffing business with operations in four countries.
  • Represented a digital media company in its acquisition of a division of a public company in the higher education industry.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, an anatomic pathology laboratory in connection with its acquisition of a laboratory providing urologic services and its affiliated entity.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, a technology company in the acquisition of an email infrastructure and data center technology company and related debt financings.
  • Represented a surgical monitoring business in sale to a group of investors led by a national private equity firm for an aggregate value, including earn-out and retention of a 25% equity stake, of more than $40 million.
  • Represented, as lead counsel, both lead investors and companies in numerous investment rounds.


Bryan has a faculty appointment in the entrepreneurship and management program at The Johns Hopkins University. Bryan is an active member and former board member of the Maryland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Everyman Theatre, and he currently serves on the Advisory Committee for Civic Works. Bryan is a graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee's LEADERship Program.