W. Benjamin Barkley

1100 Peachtree Street NE Suite 2800, Atlanta, GA USA 30309


Ben Barkley advises public and private clients in a broad range of corporate finance transactions and securities regulatory matters, including mergers and acquisitions; public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities; venture capital and private equity investments; compliance with securities disclosure obligations; corporate governance; corporate restructurings; recapitalizations and distressed situations; joint ventures and strategic alliances; and special committee, board and independent director counsel.

Ben has broad experience structuring and executing mergers and acquisitions and other control transactions, including extensive experience representing strategic buyers in consolidating industries, leading serial acquisition programs including from 10 to 120 acquisitions. He has handled public and private issuances of debt securities in transactions ranging in size from $20 million to $1.35 billion, including Rule 144A offerings, high yield 144A-for-life bond offerings, investment grade public debt offerings, institutional private placements, and Exxon Capital debt exchange offerings. Ben also has extensive experience with equity offerings ranging in size from $10 million to more than $1 billion, including initial public offerings, secondary offerings, at-the-market continuous offerings, and PIPES transactions.

Ben was listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Corporate, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Securities/Capital Markets Law in 2019 and each of the ten years immediately preceding and again in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 for Corporate, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions, Securities/Capital Markets, and Securities Regulation Law. He was also named the 2017 "Atlanta Lawyer of the Year" for Securities Regulation Law, the 2022 "Atlanta Lawyer of the Year" for Corporate Law, and the 2023 "Atlanta Lawyer of the Year" for Securities Regulation Law by The Best Lawyers in America®. Ben is listed in the 2024 and the 15 years immediately preceding editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading lawyer for Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions and in the 2009, 2011, 2012, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2024 editions of Legal 500 US for Mergers & Acquisitions. The Daily Report recognized Ben as a "Distinguished Leaders Honoree" during its annual Southeastern Legal Awards in 2024. In 2022, clients named Ben as a "BTI Client Service All-Star" in recognition of his client service excellence. He was also named as a top “Dealmaker” of 2008 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He was recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2004 for being one of Atlanta’s “Up and Comers – Under 40 and Rising,” and has been recognized as a 2009 Georgia "Super Lawyer" for Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Securities Law by Super Lawyers magazine, and again in 2018 and the seven years immediately preceding for Mergers & Acquisitions. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Ben was recognized as one of Georgia Trend's “Legal Elite” for Corporate Law. He previously served as Deputy Managing Partner of the firm, and as Chairman of the Corporate Department. Ben is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*


Represented United Capital Financial Partners in its $750 million sale to The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. in May 2019.

Represented Andritz AG in its $800 million acquisition of Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: XRM)

Represented Aaron’s Inc. (NYSE: AAN) in its $700 million acquisition of Progressive Finance Holdings, Inc.

Represented an international hotel company in the acquisition of hotel franchise system.

Represented Cypress Communications, Inc., a publicly held telecommunications company, and its board in connection with the private auction and ultimate sale of the company.

Represented United Capital Financial Partners, Inc., a financial services industry consolidator, in acquisitions of more than 100 companies.

Represented Oldcastle Inc., an international architectural and construction products company, in its acquisition program.

Represented Miller Industries, Inc., the largest manufacturer of tow trucks in the world, in its vertical integration strategy involving the acquisition of more than 120 companies within its industry in more than 75 markets.

Represented Pro Brand International, Inc., in its merger with special purpose acquisition company Granahan McCourt Acquisition Corp. (AMEX: GHN).

Represented Friedman's, Inc., a leading U.S. operator of jewelry stores and portfolio company of Harbinger Capital Partners, with sale of assets through distressed 363 sales.

Represented EyeWonder, Inc. in its $110 million merger with Limelight Networks, a publicly traded content delivery network provider.


University of Georgia School of Law J.D. (1991) magna cum laude

Terry College of Business, University of Georgia M.B.A. (1988) Finance and Marketing

University of Georgia B.A. (1987) Political Science, magna cum laude


Georgia (1991)

Professional & Community Activities

Camp Sunshine, Inc., Board of Directors, Chairman

Leadership Atlanta (Class of 2003)

Empty Stocking Fund, Chairman, Board of Directors

Georgia Transplant Foundation, Pro Bono General Counsel

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Board of Trustees

University of Georgia, Terry College of Business, Alumni Board

Paideia School, Board of Trustees

University of Georgia, Dean Rusk Center for International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies, Board of Advisors

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