NEW YORK – Reed Smith today announced the addition of Ari Edelman, a leading transactional lawyer with a wealth of experience representing special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), underwriters and placement agents in IPOs and de-SPAC acquisitions. Ari joins the firm’s Global Corporate Group as a partner in New York.

“Ari’s SPAC experience will enhance our already strong capabilities in the capital markets space, where demand for SPACs is growing rapidly,” said James Tandler, Chair of Reed Smith’s U.S. Corporate Group. “Through his extensive work in SPACs, Ari has developed a strong network of strategic relationships these transactions require to be successful, including regulators, investment banks and placement agents.”

Edelman was formerly a partner at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP. There, he played a significant role in growing that firm’s SPAC practice since 2014, representing issuers and investment banks in about 50 SPAC IPOs with an aggregate market value of approximately $10 billion, and SPACs and placement agents in about 10 de-SPAC transactions. He has represented public and private companies, investment banks and investors in other equity and debt securities offerings and M&A transactions, and advised clients on general corporate matters.

“Reed Smith represents a huge opportunity for me to integrate my SPAC proficiency into a firm with strong, longstanding relationships within the sectors in which SPAC sponsors are most interested and active, including healthcare, technology and financial services,” Edelman said. “The firm’s global platform also provides access to many private equity and venture capital firms, and their portfolio companies, likely to be future SPAC targets or sponsors. Reed Smith’s corporate group, which is supported by a wide range of practices across the globe, puts the firm in a very strong position to successfully meet any SPAC’s needs.”

SPACs have recently gained prominence as a result of the weakening viability of traditional IPOs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic ambiguity. Characterized as a “blank-check” vehicle, a SPAC is a non-operational business formed solely to raise funds through an IPO to acquire another company. Investors in SPACs range from large private equity funds to members of the general public. SPACs have raised more than $30 billion so far this year, versus $13 billion in all in 2019.