Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that Michael C. Keats has joined the Firm as a litigation partner in the New York office. Mr. Keats joins the Firm from Goldman Sachs, where he was a managing director and associate general counsel in the litigation and regulatory proceedings group.
"Michael brings a unique combination of private practice and in-house experience with litigation and regulatory matters facing financial institutions. His experience at Goldman Sachs during a period of extraordinary change and enforcement activity on Wall Street will be a tremendous asset to our clients," said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland's Global Management Executive Committee. "We welcome him to the Firm."
Mr. Keats focuses on the representation of securities firms, broker/dealers, commercial banks, hedge funds, private equity funds, issuers, and their directors and employees in complex securities fraud, lender liability and antitrust litigation, as well as in connection with investigations before the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), CME, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), state securities regulators and attorneys general, the European Commission and the U.K. Financial Services Authority.
Mr. Keats also has represented clients in numerous congressional investigations and hearings, including before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
Mr. Keats has litigated disputes related to public and private equity and debt offerings; leveraged finance and commercial loan transactions; mergers and acquisitions; and securities trading, including trading in equities, corporate bonds, auction rate securities, commodities, CDOs, municipal bonds, credit default swaps, futures and other derivative instruments. He has also been active in the area of financial regulatory reform, particularly with respect to proprietary trading issues. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs in 2007, Mr. Keats was a securities and global enforcement partner in the New York office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP.
Mr. Keats, 43, holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a M.A. and B.A. from Brandeis University.
"My experience at Goldman Sachs will enable me to bring unique insight and perspective to the Firm and its clients. Kirkland provides a strong platform from which to build a practice in civil litigation and enforcement for financial institution clients," said Mr. Keats. "I look forward to working alongside the Firm's outstanding litigators and white collar and securities enforcement attorneys, many of whom I have known for a very long time."
Mr. Keats' move to Kirkland comes shortly after several other notable hires to the Firm's Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice Group: Satnam Tumani, former head of the U.K. Serious Fraud Office's Bribery and Corruption and International Assistance Departments, earlier this month; William J. Stuckwisch from the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, where he most recently served as Assistant Chief in the Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) Unit, Fraud Section, in April 2012; and Neil Eggleston, a nationally recognized white collar and securities enforcement attorney with substantial government experience, in February 2012.
Named by The BTI Consulting Group in its 2013 Litigation Outlook report as one of the "Fearsome Foursome" — the litigation opponents that in-house counsel fear the most — Kirkland & Ellis is world-renowned for its experience in complex litigation and arbitration.
Kirkland's Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice Group consists of nationally recognized attorneys in all six U.S. offices, London and Shanghai. Kirkland's lawyers have tried several dozen federal criminal cases and SEC enforcement actions, and have been involved in a number of the most significant white collar criminal defense matters in the United States.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, corporate, tax, restructuring, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.