Who’s Who at Hinckley Allen: Joe KuzneskiNovember 15, 2016
Joe Kuzneski‘s practice specializes in representing sophisticated private equity funds, venture capital funds and corporate clients in their most challenging transactional matters. He also counsels clients on general corporate matters, including governance and securities law compliance.
How did you get involved in or what led you to this area of law?
I have always liked the study of business. I was an economics major in college and took a lot of business courses. It was actually a toss-up between going to law school or business school. When I settled on law, I knew that I didn’t want to be a trial lawyer and that I really liked the complexities of the business world so corporate law was a natural place for me to focus in my legal career.
What is your favorite part about your work/ practice area?
I enjoy engaging with clients and providing more than just legal advice. I enjoy solving complex, strategic problems and providing counsel on both business and legal aspects of my transactions. My practice maximizes my strong business and legal competencies.
What are the prominent trends in your industry right now?
Private equity is currently experiencing a less active period due to private equity firms’ difficulty in accessing the debt markets. The debt markets have been significantly tighter ever since the price of oil crashed. Global economic concerns, as well as the expected raising of interest rates, have also contributed to the debt markets tightening. On the other hand, strategic buyers are currently enjoying a huge advantage over private equity firms because they had financing facilities in place before the debt markets tightened. I do believe, however, the debt markets will begin to loosen somewhat after the presidential election and this will allow private equity firms to become more competitive with strategic buyers.
How do you spend your time outside of the firm? How does it make you a better attorney?
I spend a lot of time with my family. I have two boys who are involved in sports so my wife and I are busy supporting their interests and attending their games. Their love of sports could have come from me as I have always participated in athletics. I played Division I college hockey at Brown University. I still keep in touch with my old teammates and we play in the Brown alumni game every year. I also play in a men’s league once a week at Boss Arena on URI’s campus. We are so crazy about hockey that we participate in a tournament every year in Montreal.
Growing up playing sports, I learned the importance of teamwork, dedication, hard work and resilience. Being able to fight back when things may not be going well at that moment is a critical skill in law and life. Dealing with my own failures on the playing field helps me be a better counselor to my clients. No matter the outcome, I can help them see the bigger picture— focus on what we’ve achieved, how far we’ve come and to consider new strategies that allow us to move forward.
One thing that your colleagues or clients might not know about you?
When I played Division I hockey at Brown University, I was recognized my junior and senior years as a NCAA Academic All-American. I’m a proud Brown alumnus and have continued my relationship with my school and my teammates.
I just started “binge-watching” Billions. The series is inspired by recent real life events involving the Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and his legal battles with his legal battles with hedge fund manager Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors. It has a great cast and is very entertaining.
Who’s Who at Hinckley Allen is an interview series that highlights each attorney’s life experience and skills. Read more interviews here to discover how our attorneys are valued business partners who positively impact their clients businesses, and help to achieve their goals.PDF