Jim Basile is a partner in Kirkland's Bay Area office. He has spent thirty-three years as a trial lawyer, was a founding partner of Kirkland's San Francisco office and head of Kirkland's Bay Area litigation practice for over a decade. He is the partner in charge of Kirkland's Firmwide trial advocacy program and litigation attorney training program (the Kirkland Institute for Trial Advocacy).

Jim is a seasoned litigator with a diverse practice focusing on high-profile, complex litigation and its business and public relations implications for some of the nation's most prominent corporations, including winning a landmark antitrust case on behalf of Facebook, defeating monopolization claims regarding its on-line advertising policies; winning dismissal of collusive cartel bidding claims against the private equity purchasers of Del Monte Foods; representing the world's largest law firm against tort claims arising from the dissolution of the Brobeck, Phleger firm and handling a wide variety of class actions on behalf of JPMorgan Chase, Discover Financial and 24 Hour Fitness. Additionally, Jim has handled two of the most important recent plaintiff defamation cases: General Motors v. NBC and Chiquita Brands v. Gannett.

Jim has special experience in securities matters. He acted as Morgan Stanley's National Coordinating Counsel for stock option litigation arising out of the tech bubble, and won a complete defense award in the largest retail securities claim ever brought against Morgan Stanley. He has wide experience in shareholder, merger and take-private litigation, having represented major Bay Area private equity firms such as Golden Gate Capital, Thoma Bravo and FTV Capital and many of their portfolio companies. He also has broad experience in advising boards, directors and officers on fiduciary duty issues.

Jim was named one of America's Leading Lawyers for Business by Chambers, USA, has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers magazine and was also recognized in Legal 500 U.S. for M&A: Litigation. Clients for whom he has acted as lead counsel include, among others: Abbott Laboratories, American Financial Corp., B. Braun Medical, Inc., Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells, Coca Cola Enterprises, Chiquita Brands, Facebook, Fisher Investments, General Motors Corp., Golden Gate Partners, Honeywell International, Inc., Morgan Stanley, Qwest Communications, Siemens Corp., Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Thoma Bravo, 24 Hour Fitness, UBS Financial Services, United Airlines and Van Kampen. He has acted as trial counsel in both individual and class action suits involving securities, product liability, business contracts/fraud, antitrust, intellectual property/trade practices, SEC regulatory and backdating issues, defamation and labor. Jim also has represented clients in regulatory and litigation matters involving the DOJ, EPA, FTC, SEC, NHTSA, and FINRA.

Jim is admitted to the District of Columbia, California and New York Bars and is a member of the Bars of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th and D.C. Circuits as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Jim has served in many leadership roles for the Firm, including ten years as a member of the Firm's Finance Committee.


Thought Leadership


Co-Author, “Training Trial Lawyers,” The American Bar Association: Litigation Journal, Vol. 48, Issue 3, Spring 2022 

Teaching Experience

Partner in charge of Kirkland's Firmwide trial advocacy training programs (KITA)

Adjunct Professor — Notre Dame Law School


Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “Local Litigation Star” for Commercial, Privacy and Data Protection Litigation, 2023–2024

Recognized by Benchmark Litigation for Commercial Litigation, 2023–2024

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, 2023

Memberships & Affiliations

Boards and Public Interest Work:

  • Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund — Chair 
  • Silicon Valley Urban Debate League — Co-Founder Director
  • University of Notre Dame — Undergraduate Advisory Council
  • LaSalle College High School — Director
  • Alliance for Catholic Education — Advisory Council

Jim is deeply involved in philanthropy and non-profit work. He has served as Chair of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund, is a co-founder and Director of the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League (which brings debate and speech learning and opportunities to over fourteen-hundred students at underserved schools in the Bay Area), has served on the Board of LaSalle College High School, is a member the Undergraduate Advisory Council of the University of Notre Dame and the Advisory Council of the Alliance for Catholic Education.

Jim is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (1986) and the Notre Dame Law School (1989) where he was Executive Articles Editor of the Law Review.


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1990District of Columbia
  • 2003California
  • 2010New York


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit


  • Notre Dame Law SchoolJ.D.

    Executive Articles Editor, Volume LXIVV, Notre Dame Law Review

  • University of Notre DameB.A.1986