Chambers & Partners has compiled its independent and objective list of America's Leading Lawyers for Business based on comments gathered from thousands of interviews with clients and lawyers from Maine to Hawaii. This guide — which is designed to reflect market opinion — contains a view of the firms and attorneys who are considered leaders in their field.
In Chambers' 2008 review of national legal talent in the area of "Outsourcing," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
National Ranking: Tier 2
The Firm: With capability in Chicago, San Francisco and New York, this outsourcing practice group is noted for its work for service providers such as Accenture, Firstsource Solutions and Vertex Outsourcing. It is also active on the customer side for the likes of Morgan Stanley and News Corporation.
The Lawyers: Head of the firm's outsourcing practice group in Chicago and "certainly a leading figure in the industry," Gregg Kirchhoefer has been "involved with outsourcing since the early 1980's, before it was even called outsourcing!" He led the team that advised Washington Gas Light on its multiyear agreement with Accenture for BPO and technology enhancement services. "A charming and astute guy," Neil Hirshman "knows his stuff" in the outsourcing field and is also "a broad-ranging technology lawyer." He advised a service provider on a restated master services agreement with a healthcare entity for a medical claims process outsourcing. With a "friendly manner" and "comprehensive way of doing things," Stephen Johnson heads the firm's San Francisco IP group, and represents financial institutions, Fortune 100 life sciences and technology companies, and emerging software and biotech companies.
Technology & IT Outsourcing
Illinois Ranking: Tier 2
The Firm: Market authorities draw attention to the quality of lawyers found at this impressive technology and outsourcing practice. Kirkland lawyers are viewed as "practical advisers with an understanding of their clients' ultimate business goals." This understanding of wider issues is greatly valued, and clients speak highly of a team of "talented, dedicated and experienced partners" that "does not let any detail remain unaddressed." In servicing a wide range of clients, the firm is experienced in acting for both large and small entities on both the service provider and the consumer side. The knowledgeable team offers expertise across a range of areas including ITO, BPO and application process outsourcing, application service provider outsourcing, contract manufacturing/toll agreements and supply chain management.
The Lawyers: Observers extol Gregg Kirchhoefer as a "thorough and flexible lawyer." He is highly valued for his ability to marry "impressive technical skills" with "a practical approach to make the deal work." Neil Hirshman is "brilliant on the financial aspects of a deal." This "smart and proactive" attorney possesses "useful insight into what might be coming and how the deal is going to unfold."
IT & IT Outsourcing
California Ranking: Tier 3
The Firm: Kirkland & Ellis' corporate and private equity might fuels a strong technology transactions practice. The group is relatively new to San Francisco but is growing quickly and has the resources of a highly regarded international network. Clients picked up on this, praising the depth of integration across offices and the benefits this brings to complex cross-border deals. The office also houses a standalone outsourcing practice, with impressive credentials on both the supplier and the customer side.
The Lawyers: Stephen Johnson has led the West Coast practice since moving to San Francisco from New York in 2003. He continues to receive technology mandates from East Coast investment banks while also leading cross-office teams on some significant outsourcing projects. On the supplier side a key client is Sun Microsystems, which he represented through outsourcings to Jones Lang LaSalle and Xerox.
Clients/Work Highlights: A key client for the firm is IT-focused Golden Gate Capital, which has acquired a raft of software companies in Silicon Valley and generated an abundance of work for the technology group.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2008 — www.chambersandpartners.com.