Stephen Opler concentrates his practice on the distinctive characteristics of liquidity transactions by and with entrepreneurs. Stephen helps private equity funds, strategic acquirers and entrepreneurial buyers and sellers achieve their goals by leveraging his three decades as an M&A lawyer, entrepreneur, business founder, investment banker, in-house lawyer and CPA.
Buying or selling entrepreneur-owned businesses requires a unique focus on the many ways these transactions and the post-closing relationships often fail, including cultural integration, performance incentives and metrics, joint ownership and minority owner rights and responsibilities. Stephen has demonstrated time and again that he is able to navigate clients through even the most difficult circumstances to realize their tangible commercial objectives.
Stephen counsels public and private companies and private equity and debt firms in mergers and acquisitions. He represents clients in the broadcast television, manufacturing, consumer products, retail, business services and financial services industries.
Creativity and novel approaches to problem-solving infuse everything Stephen does. A devoted and whatever-it-takes service provider, Stephen views every matter through an acute business lens when seeking to provide innovative, yet practical, solutions that fit the needs of his broad clientele. Stephen’s ability to formulate multiple solutions to any given problem is indicative of his perseverance in achieving his client’s business objectives, while putting the business concerns first and using the law as a tool, rather than vice versa.
An effective negotiator, Stephen’s seemingly innate ability to read people and identify their motivation in any given situation is indicative of his emotional intelligence. Moreover, Stephen remains diligently focused on ensuring each transaction aligns with his client’s financial and operational goals, while finding mutually beneficial solutions to even the most divergent positions and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Stephen does not lose sight of his client’s objectives and maintains productive communication while steadfastly advocating for his clients. A collaborator and bridge builder, Stephen is appreciated by clients, colleagues and deal constituents alike for being a personable, active listener whose focus is on efficiency and forward momentum.
Professional and Community Involvement
Vice president, Second Helpings Atlanta
President, Wildwood Civic Association, 2018 to present
Advisory board member, Kate’s Club
Founding director, TechBridge, Inc.
Former board member, Southeast Region Anti-Defamation League
Former board member, Hands on Atlanta
Former board member, Jewish Family and Career Services
Former board member, The Commerce Club
Former board member, The Temple
Chambers USA, corporate/M&A law
Georgia Super Lawyers, 2004-2006, 2010-2012, 2015-2019
Georgia Trend Magazine, The Legal Elite: Georgia’s Most Effective Lawyers
Third place, Atlanta’s Funniest Lawyer stand-up comedy competition