Brian Ford, a corporate partner in Kirkland & Ellis' Los Angeles and Bay Area offices, is described as “a very, very sophisticated... attorney, who is a rising star both at Kirkland and in the wider market,” Chambers USA 2019.

Brian’s practice focuses on complex financing transactions for private equity firms, commercial lending institutions, portfolio companies, hedge funds, asset managers, alternative capital sources and other private and public companies.

Such transactions have included the negotiation, structuring and documentation of secured and unsecured financings, including senior, mezzanine and subordinated debt transactions, acquisition financings, dividend recapitalizations, debtor-in-possession, exit financings and restructurings. Brian has also advised on some of the most cutting-edge out-of-court liability management transactions and handled more than $20 billion in debt financing transactions in each of 2020 and 2021.

Brian has been recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2019, in the area of Banking & Finance for California. In the 2022 edition of Chambers, a client reported that his “business judgment and ability to weigh legal and business considerations sets him apart.” According to the 2019 edition of Chambers, a client praised Brian as “phenomenal to work with in terms of driving the right result for clients on both sides” while another client stated that he had an “[understanding of] the market and where the pressure points are.” Brian was also recognized in the 2020 edition of The Legal 500 U.S. in the area of Commercial Lending, where clients noted he is “top-notch” and a “smart, responsive, and commercial lawyer who gives great advice.”

Most recently, the Los Angeles Times named Brian to its 2021 list of “Banking and Finance Visionaries” for the inaugural issue of their Banking & Finance Magazine.


Thought Leadership

Speaking Engagements

Moderator, “Sector focus: Software and technology – risks and rewards,” Debtwire US Private Credit Forum, June 2023

Speaker, “Evolving Financing Structures Part II,” PLI Leveraged Financing 2022, May 10, 2022

Speaker, “Private Equity Views,” Refinitiv LPC Middle Market, Direct Lending & Large Corporate Loans Virtual Conference, March 9, 2022   

Moderator, “The Private Equity Perspective,” Refinitiv LPC's Middle Market, Direct Lending & Large Corporate Loans Virtual Conference, April 28, 2021


“Legal Lions Of The Week,” Law360, 2023

“Top Financing Lawyer in North America,” MergerLinks, 2022

Banking & Finance (California), Chambers USA, 2021–2023

Banking and Finance, IFLR1000, 2019–2023

“Banking & Finance Visionary,” Banking & Finance Magazine produced by the Los Angeles Times, 2021 

Commercial Lending, The Legal 500 United States, 2020

“Up and Coming,” Chambers USA, 2019–2020

“Rising Star,” Northern California Super Lawyers, 2013, 2015–2016


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2006, California
  • 2008, Illinois (retired)
  • 2018, New York


  • English
  • Spanish


  • Georgetown University Law CenterJ.D.2006
    Executive Editor, The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
  • University of Notre DameB.A., Economics & Spanishcum laude2003