Although private equity titans are the current kings of Wall Street, Schiff Hardin partner David H. Williams says merger and acquisition deals giving company ownership to rank-and-file workers continue to thrive.

Consider the $8.2 billion deal, announced last week, between Chicago real estate investor Sam Zell and Tribune Co. Zell will invest about $315 million in the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, but majority ownership of Tribune Co. will be transferred to its 20,000 workers through an employee stock ownership plan.