Michelle Kilkenney is a corporate partner in Kirkland's Chicago office and an active committee member and Chicago office Pro Bono Coordinator, of the Firm’s award-winning pro bono program. Michelle focuses her practice on debt financing transactions and represents private equity groups, commercial lending institutions and other private and public companies in connection with the negotiation, structuring and documentation of secured and unsecured financing transactions for both borrowers and lenders, including senior, mezzanine and subordinated debt transactions, acquisition financings, and loan workouts and restructurings, including debtor-in-possession financings.
Michelle was mentioned in the article "Big Suits: UAL Bankruptcy" from the February 2003 issue of The American Lawyer for her role in UAL Corp.'s bankruptcy filing.
Michelle is listed in the 2010–2019 editions of Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business and described in the 2010 edition as "talented, bright, creative and incredibly hard-working." She was also recognized in 2018 and 2019 by The Legal 500 U.S. as a Leading Lawyer in Commercial Lending and IFLR1000 as a Leading Lawyer in bank lending in 2013 and 2014.
Crain’s Chicago Business recently included Michelle on their list of "Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers 2018." Additionally, in 2017, Michelle was awarded “Transaction of the Year: Mega Company” for her work with Texas Competitive Electric Holdings Company LLC by the Turnaround Management Association.
“An Expert’s View: Trends in Large Cap Market Loan Terms,” Practical Law Journal, February 2015
Panelist, "Restructuring and Rethinking Natural Resources," Chicago Booth 14th Annual Credit Conference Conference, Chicago, IL, March 8, 2019
Guest Speaker, The University of Chicago OverLeveraged presentation, Chicago, IL, March 7, 2019
Panelist, “Transition to SOFR and Ameribor: Legal and Accounting Implications for Large Institutions,” Transition to New Interest Rate Benchmarks: SOFR, Ameribor and Beyond Conference, The University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL, April 3, 2018
Panelist, “U.K. and U.S. Primary Loan Market: Trends and Deal Terms,” 2018 LMA & LSTA Conference, London, UK, March 7, 2018
Speaker: “Debt Financing from a Borrower’s Perspective: From Healthy LBO to Distressed Debtor,” Loan Syndications & Trading Association, December 3, 2014 and ABA Business Law Section Meeting, West Coast, April 17, 2015
Speaker, “Debt Financing from a Borrower’s Perspective: From Healthy LBO to Distressed,” ABA Business Law Section Meeting, Chicago, IL, September 12, 2014
Speaker, “Being Strategic About 24/7: Assignments, Committees and Community,” Women in Law Empowerment Forum, Chicago, IL, March 5, 2014
Memberships & Affiliations
American Bar Association
Member of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Board of Directors
Member of the Catherine Cook School Board of Trustees
Member of Cradles to Crayons Chicago Corporate Advisory Council
Member of the City Year Board
Admissions & Qualifications
- The Ohio State University Moritz College of LawJ.D.with Honors2002
Order of the Coif
Joanne Wharton Murphy Award
Articles Editor, Ohio State Law Journal
- Ohio Wesleyan UniversityB.A., Politics & Governmentsumma cum laude, with Honors1999
Phi Beta Kappa
Omicron Delta Kappa