Award Chambers & Partners

The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2006: Private Equity: Buyouts & Venture Capital Investment

On an annual basis, Chambers Global conducts extensive research and thorough data analysis in compiling their objective list of legal talent available at the highest level of international legal practice.  Their research methodology has been independently audited and confirmed to be thorough, robust and complete.

In Chambers’ 2006 review of international legal talent in the area of “Private Equity: Buyouts & Venture Capital Investment,” our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Kirkland Partners Jack Levin, Kevin Evanich, Jon Ballis, Jeffrey Hammes, Sandy Perl, Stephen Fraidin, and Kirk Radke were selected as leading individuals in this area.

Chambers Comments:


Ranking: 1

The Firm: Clients pointed to this firm's vast national and international presence in the private equity arena, where it has developed a "vibrant, strong practice."  The practice continues to go from strength to strength, taking its impetus from the firm's traditional heartland of Chicago.  The presence of heavy-hitters in New York such as Kirk Radke and Stephen Fraidin also proves attractive to clients, while the resources housed in seven offices across the USA and overseas ensure their loyalty.  Clients described a group that is "extremely knowledgeable, up-to-date on current practices," and able to field "talented, experienced professionals."  While some commentators felt that the firm adopts an aggressive approach to the negotiating table, other clients appreciated the responsive client-focused service on offer.

The Lawyers: According to clients, the firm is "full of stellar lawyers."  Jack Levin remains "a legend in his own time."  Known far and wide as the practice's "guru," Levin is revered among interviewees as "the godfather of venture capital in the Midwest."  Kevin Evanich attracts admiration from rivals who hold him up to be "at the top of his game."  Private equity work forms most of his practice.  Evanich represented Code Hennessy & Simmons in its acquisition of AMF Bowling Worldwide and in the going-private transaction of Gundle, a manufacturer of landfill liners.  Jon Ballis received resounding praise from peers and clients alike.  Rivals predict a rosy future for his practice, telling researchers "he is fabulous.  We will hear more and more about him; he is very bright and has a lot of class."  As a founding partner of the San Francisco office and "a strong advocate for negotiating deals," Jeffrey Hammes divides his time between Illinois and California, catering to a client list that spans the East and West coasts.  Sample work includes acting for Golden Gate Capital on its LBO of Leiner Health Products for $650 million.  "The iron fist in the velvet glove," Sandy Perl is a "great negotiator who knows how to make transactions happen."  He advised American Capital Strategies on its purchase of the Kester division from Northrop Grumman, and also on its purchase of nSpired Natural Foods.  Stephen Fraidin, renowned for his relationship with Forstmann Little, is a key player in the New York market.  He is a "classic M&A lawyer" who is equally adept in the private equity arena.  Kirk Radke is a "terrific business advsier," who possesses deep LBO experience and the rare ability to also turn his hand to fund formation.  He advised Bain Capital in the $550 million acquisition of Paris-based Rhodia SA's North American specialty phosphates business, Innophos.

Clients/Work Highlights:  BainCapital; Citigroup; Merrill Lynch; Catterton Partners; Vestar Capital Partners; Centennial Ventures and Sun Capital Partners.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers & Partners: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2006 -