Award Chambers & Partners

The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2008: Corporate/M&A

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

In Chambers' 2008 review of international legal talent in the area of Corporate/M&A, our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Chambers' comments: 

Global Ranking: 2

The Firm: This leading light in the buyout arena continues to expand its international presence, with a recently opened Hong Kong office providing a gateway to the Far East and further confirming its global ambitions. While Kirkland's Chicago and New York offices enjoy a more balanced diet of public and private transactional work, abroad it's all about the buyouts - and, in a global M&A market increasingly impacted on by consortia of funds, its profile in the corporate theatre has risen considerably in the past few years. Key 2006 London hires Graham White and Raymond McKeeve demonstrated the firm's commitment, not just to servicing its US private equity clients as they make acquisitions across Europe, but also to penetrating domestic markets. The Munich office also enjoys a pristine reputation for its funds work, while in Chicago in particular the firm's robust and feared litigation practice offers ancillary strength to the corporate team. Kirkland & Ellis represented Illinois-headquartered Dade Behring in its USD7 billion acquisition by Siemens, a deal scheduled to close in 2008. In the private arena, one among a string of high-profile deals is advising Madison Dearborn Partners on its USD7.3 billion acquisition of CDW. Senior statesman and private equity legend Jack Levin remains a colossal presence in Chicago, where Kevin Evanich also draws sustained plaudits for his work in both the public and the private sphere. Founding partner of the Chicago office Jeffrey Hammes is now helping to spread the firm's wings yet further as he advises on the opening of Kirkland & Ellis's Hong Kong outpost.

USA Ranking: 3

The Firm: This national firm, which also has offices in London and Munich, is known for its "unbelievable depth in the private equity world" and a hard-hitting, assertive style in keeping with its reputation for excellence in litigation. The group's stellar work in the private equity sector tends to overshadow its more traditional corporate work. But "you shouldn't discount Kirkland's public company representations," warn commentators. "In any case, it's well placed to take advantage of the private equity sector as it continues to mature into public M&A." The "extraordinarily responsive" team provides advice on a broad range of M&A, securities and corporate governance issues to an impressive public and private clientele, including household names Sara Lee and GM. Recent M&A highlights include counseling the Peter J Solomon Company on its USD28 billion acquisition by Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management. Group members have also been advising Biomet on its USD11.4 billion acquisition by The Blackstone Group, GS Capital Partners, KKR and Texas Pacific Group.

The Lawyers: Corporate partner Carter Emerson is a leading figure where public M&A and complex governance issues are concerned. Clients regard him as "knowledgeable, calm and even-handed." His colleague Stephen Fraidin is acclaimed for his profound experience of the market. A "brilliant lawyer," he is praised for his confident supervision of multi-stranded transactions. Recent examples of his work include advising Community Health Systems on its USD6.8 billion acquisition of Triad Hospitals.

Clients/Work Highlights: Clients also include Alliance Data Systems, BP and Tower Automotive.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers Global, The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2008 -