On an annual basis, Chambers & Partners conducts extensive research and thorough data analysis in compiling their objective list of recommended worldwide legal practitioners. In the regional review of leading firms in "Private Equity: Fund Formation: USA," Kirkland & Ellis ranked first. This ranking reflects the opinion of the marketplace as revealed by Chambers' systematic and objective research.
USA Ranking: 1
The Firm: One of the largest private equity firms in the country, operating out of its base in Chicago. Its offices spread from New York to Cleveland. The practice acts on both establishment and transactional work for funds - from the start up end with clients like Cornerstone Partners (formerly Prudential's VC arm) through to the larger LBOs funds such as Summit Partners and Bain Capital.
The Lawyers: Kevin Evanich is a "superstar" in fund formation known internationally for his "good strategic thinking." His major clients include Madison Dearborn Partners and Vestar. New York based Kirk Radke is one of that rare breed - a leader in both fund formation, handling five of GTCR's funds and in buy-outs. His practice ranges from Silicon Valley internet funds from sole practitioners with funds under $10 million to the $2 billion+ CVC Capital Partners which has a global span. For fund formation in Chicago, Bruce Ettelson is "someone who does so much across the board" and is highly regarded down the eastern seaboard. The Chicago practice acts for a range of large funds which invest in other funds such as General Motors pension fund. The Chicago-based tax partners, Bill Welke and Don Rocap, are highly regarded for their role in negotiating fund structures.
The Clients: First Chicago, Bank of America, Thomas Weisel, Key Equity, Madison Dearborn, Thomas H. Lee, Citicorps, GTCR, Bain Capital, Pennel Venture Partners, CVC Capital, Centennial Funds.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers 2000-2001.