40 Under Forty 2022



A natural leader. That’s how those who’ve worked with Payal Keshvani describe this young attorney with Chica- go’s Taft Stettinius & Hollister. This isn’t surprising. Even when she was a junior associate, Keshvani took the lead on projects with other associates and third parties. Since then, this merg- ers-and-acquisitions specialist has contin- ued to act as a leader and mentor at her firm and in the legal community. “Payal is an exceptional lawyer and a fantastic mentor,” said Megan Kokontis, partner at Chicago’s Akerman LLP. “She cares tremendously about her clients, her work and her colleagues. She is dili- gent, tireless and always goes the extra mile to deliver exemplary results. She is a team player, and her positive attitude is contagious.” Keshvani’s legal skills have helped her build a large roster of clients, filled with those who continually come to her for advice. “Payal is simply excellent when speak- ing to clients, which is certainly part of the reason why she has managed to build an impressive and independent book of business,” said Jonathan Amarilio, partner with Taft Stettinius & Hollister. “Clients know after speaking with her that they’re in good hands.” She is also a leader at Taft, especially on gender-advancement matters. Keshvani is a founding member of Taft Chicago’s “Women of Taft” working group. She also helped craft the firm’s industry-leading parental leave program. Arti Shah, director of outside invest- ments with Rockford, Illinois-based com- mercial real estate development firm First

Midwest Group, said that Keshvani has helped her firm with a variety of deals. Keshvani isn’t afraid to advise her clients to step away from a deal when it doesn’t make financial sense, Shah said. This hon- est advice builds trust. “She is dedicated and honest. She will work tirelessly to ensure your needs are met,” Shah said. “Payal has a depth of knowledge in a variety of industries. She is also humble and honest. If she does not know something, she will connect you to the right individuals. I believe her varied experience coupled with her dedication truly makes her not only a unique lawyer but a trusted one.” During her career, Keshvani has served as lead or co-lead counsel in several major acquisitions. This includes her work coun- seling the buyer in an add-on acquisition of a crane-manufacturing business, coun- seling the seller in a private equity acqui- sition of a moving business and counsel- ing the seller in the private acquisition of the assets of a company engaged in the manufacturing of ice cream products, as well as in several other acquisitions and mergers. Keshvani is also dedicated to her community and bar. She provides pro bono services to the Chicago Architec- ture Biennial and serves as its secretary and outside counsel. In addition, she is the president of the board of directors for Alternatives, Inc., a comprehensive, multi-cultural youth development organi- zation that operates as a support system for more than 4,000 of Chicago’s young people and their families each year.

Clients know after speaking with her that they’re in good hands” “

AGE 37

FIRM Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP LAW SCHOOL Emory University School of Law AREA OF PRACTICE Mergers and acquisitions



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