Award Chambers & Partners

The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2008: Investment Funds

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 Investment Funds, our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Chambers' comments:

Investment Funds: Private Equity: Buyouts
Global Ranking: 2

The Firm: This Chicago powerhouse has been increasingly biting at the heels of traditional US players in the global market. Its concerted expansions into Europe and Asia are making it “a force to be reckoned with,” according to sources. This is partly because, like fellow US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, Kirkland is looking to broaden its remit beyond acting solely for US clients and is now chasing deals in all jurisdictions. The firm is dedicated to private equity and the majority of its transactional lawyers have some focus in the practice area. Clients highlight the team’s “technical expertise and reactiveness,” praising the lawyers’ “proactive approach and broad knowledge.” Central figures of the group include Jack Levin and Kevin Evanich in the Chicago office. In London the firm has recently lured away ex-Linklaters private equity partners Raymond McKeeve and Graham White to bolster its UK and European capabilities, whilst in Germany, clients are drawn to the firm’s Munich office thanks to its seasoned private equity player, Volker Kullmann. Lawyers here advised on the SGD2.3 billion takeover by Temasek of STATS ChipPAC.

Clients/Work Highlights: Recent notable transactions include Bain Capital’s USD2.1 billion acquisition of Guitar Center and acting for CCMP Capital on its acquisition of BOC Edwards for GBP505 million. Other major private equity clients are Madison Dearborn Partners; TowerBrook Capital Partners; Apax Partners; First Atlantic Capital and Providence Equity Partners.

Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation
Global Ranking: 2

The Firm: One of the first players in private equity fund formation, this Chicago-based firm brings depth and breadth of experience to the table for its global clients. Observers describe its practice as “one of the strongest, and still getting stronger.” In common with other US players, the firm is expanding rapidly by making lateral hires, particularly in the European market. It scored a coup in London recently, grabbing SJ Berwin’s fund formation stars Mark Mifsud, Richard Watkins and Justin Dolling for the practice. This has given the firm a strong basis for fund work in Europe out of London and access to new UK-based clients such as Terra Firma, for whom it recently worked on the EUR5.4 billion fund, Terra Firma Capital Partners III. The firm is further expanding its global reach and making bold moves in Asia, having opened an office in Hong Kong at the beginning of 2007 and following the trails of key clients Bain Capital and Oaktree Capital Management. In Chicago, Bruce Ettelson is noted to be one of the first lawyers in the firm to dedicate his practice to funds work.

Clients/Work Highlights: Recent highlights include acting for CVC Capital Partners on its CVC Asia Pacific II LP, a USD1.975 billion buyout fund focusing on the Asia Pacific region. The firm also acted for CVC on its CVC European Equity Partners IV fund, worth USD7.3 billion. Other clients include Madison Dearborn Partners, Vestar Capital Partners and Apax Partners.

Investment Funds: Private Equity
UK Ranking: 4

The Firm: This team debuts in the Chambers rankings, on account of the significant lateral hires it has made of late. The addition of a “notable” ready-made fund-formation team from SJ Berwin“puts this US firm on the map” as a significant player in the private equity fund formation arena. Clients describe this firm’s international platform as a major draw, while the “big-name” additions ensure this will be a team to watch in the future. Mark Mifsud is a specialist in fund formation, co-investment plans, secondaries, carried interest structuring and related matters. Richard Watkins advises on private equity fund structuring carried interest, co-investment and other private equity incentive schemes.

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