Ken Crane is a Partner and member of the Corporate Practice Group and a member of the Private Equity, Emerging Industries, and Food Industry Teams.

He is a deal lawyer who represents private equity, venture capital and family office–backed companies, focusing on acquisition and sale transactions. Ken gets involved at all stages in the business growth and succession process, from acquisition, capital raising, financing and growth equity transactions, strategic partnering and joint ventures, to pre-sale and succession planning. Ken works with entrepreneurs and companies from inception through closing of realization transactions. He also frequently represents the portfolio companies of his private equity, emerging growth and other clients in a wide range of transactions and legal matters, including equity-based compensation plans, manufacturing, distribution and sales agreements, and intellectual property licensing and development.

Recent Private Equity/M&A Transactions include early-stage capital raising on behalf of growing food and manufacturing clients, the acquisition of a cogeneration power facility for an industrial client, the section 363 sale of a steel fabrication and distribution business in a bankruptcy process, a successful exit from a long-term minority growth capital investment, and negotiation of manufacturing, supply, and logistics agreements and other commercial contracts on behalf of clients ranging from startup companies to FORTUNE 500 companies.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a large distribution company in connection with its efforts to manage an FDA inspection and to prepare the necessary 483 response, corrective action plan, and a food reconditioning plan. Ultimately, a state agriculture department adopted our food reconditioning plan, a model for handling large scale food adulteration matters.
Honors & Awards: 
  • Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell (AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards, and policies.)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Venture Capital Law, 2007 - present
  • Named Best Lawyers' Chicago, "Venture Capital Law Lawyer of the Year," 2017
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers - 2019 (cited in multiple years)
Professional Activities: 
  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association


J.D., University of Illinois College of Law
B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

State Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Community Service

  • Les Turner ALS Foundation, Director, Executive Committee Member and Chairman of Governance Committee, 2001 - present
  • Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Chicago Corporate Event Chair, 2013 - present