Strategic Research Partner of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014

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Legal Offices for Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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New York, USA

601 Lexington Avenue

Los Angeles, USA

333 South Hope Street

Chicago, USA

300 North LaSalle Street

Hong Kong, Hong Kong (Kirkland & Ellis)

26th Floor, Gloucester Tower

Washington, USA

655 Fifteenth Street NW

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP - The Who's Who Legal 100 2014

What is the Who's Who Legal 100?

Kirkland & Ellis has strengthened its presence in Asia in 2013 with the opening of an office in Beijing. The office focuses on complex M&A, private equity transactions, international capital market transactions, fund formation and government enforcement and investigations. 

Banking 4 Investigations 5
Business Crime Defence 3 Labour & Employment 1
Capital Markets 2 Life Sciences 1
Commerical Litigation 2 M&A 9
Competition 4 Patents 8
Coporate Governance 4 Private Client 1
Corporate Tax 4 Private Funds 10
Environment 2 Real Estate 1
Information Technology 1 Trademarks 2
Insolvency & Restructuring 4

The firm has a strong presence in Asia having opened an office in Hong Kong in 2006 and Shanghai in 2009. Kirkland & Ellis now has over 65 lawyers across its three Asian offices representing its commitment to serving its clients on the ground.

Total Listings in WWL 68 Established 1909
Home jurisdiction US Total size of firm 1,600
Number of partners 756 Number of offices 11


The private funds practice has an “unrivalled reputation” in the international market. The practice comprises almost 80 lawyers and has formed nearly 680 private equity funds on behalf of approximately 360 private equity sponsors since 1995 – raising more than $460 billion. London-based Mark Mifsud is an “exceptional lawyer” who advises private fund managers in relation to the structuring and establishment of a range of private investment funds. Richard Watkins recently led a team advising Vitruvian Partners in the successful closing of Vitruvian Investment Partnership II, with total commitments of £1 billion. The fund was oversubscribed and closed at its self-imposed hard cap. John O’Neil in New York is singled out for his “impressive depth of knowledge” and “solutions-oriented approach” to matters. In Hong Kong, Justin Dolling advises private equity fund managers in relation to the structuring and establishment of private equity investment funds, secondary transactions, carried interest arrangements and co-investment plans.

Mergers and acquisitions is an important part of the firm’s corporate practice. With a team of more than 600 lawyers worldwide, Kirkland’s lawyers possess expertise on all types of transactions including spin offs, tender and exchange offers, negotiated and unsolicited acquisitions, going private transactions and joint ventures. Stephen Fraidin is a “trusted adviser” to major companies and investment groups, special committees and boards of directors on corporate governance and transactional matters. His expertise is “highly valued” by clients. Scott Falk in Chicago is particularly strong on mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings for public company clients. David Fox specialises in complex mergers and acquisitions including contested and cross-border transactions. The “excellent” Jack Levin handles the tax, corporate, SEC and structuring aspects of transactions. Nicholas Norris recently co-led a team representing 21st Century Fox in its sale of a 47 per cent stake in Star China TV to its joint venture partner China Media Capital.

Having established an IP practice in 1925, the firm has an established reputation in the patent sector and more than 75 per cent of the lawyers are trained engineers and scientists. Kenneth Adamo is a “star” in the patent litigation sector and has appeared in 35 appeals to date before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Clients praise his “strategic approach” and “ability to see the bigger picture”. Leora Ben-Ami is noted for her patent expertise particularly in the life sciences sector and Russell Levine focuses on patent infringement matters and disputes concerning technology transfer and patent licence agreements. William Streff Jr is one of the practice group leaders of the firm’s IP department and specialises in IP litigation, transactions and counselling.

Kirkland & Ellis has a “market leading” investigations practice which aims to assist clients operating in today’s environment of increased regulatory oversight. Neil Eggleston in DC represents corporation and individuals accused of civil and criminal fraud offences and conducts internal investigations “to great effect”. Laurence Urgenson is a “key figure” in the sector and is the former acting deputy Assistant Attorney General and chief of the fraud section for the criminal division of the US Department of Justice. William Stuckwisch earns high praise for his knowledge of FCPA enforcement matters. He is a “great asset to the team”.


Recent pro bono matters include providing counsel on capital-raising and deployment to Grameen America, a non-profit organisation that provides loans, savings programmes, credit establishment and other financial services to entrepreneurs living below the poverty line as well as handling immigration, criminal defence, civil and human rights matters among others.


Kirkland believes to function at its best it requires teams of lawyers with a broad range of socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and personal backgrounds. There is a firm-wide diversity committee comprising of four members of the firm’s executive management committee, the chairperson of each office’s attorney recruiting committee and other partners and associates representing every office. The firm also runs a diversity leadership series providing training, mentoring and leadership opportunities as well as a women’s leadership initiative which includes a formal mentoring programme.


Kirkland maintains a reputation for excellence among all of its offices throughout Asia, Europe and the US, and its growing practice in Asia saw it advise on seven Hong Kong listings in 2013. 

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