On an annual basis, Chambers & Partners conducts extensive research and analysis in compiling its objective list of talent available at the highest level of UK legal practice. Its research methodology has been independently audited and confirmed to be thorough, robust and complete.
In Chambers' 2009 review of legal talent in the area of Banking & Finance, our Firm is listed among the best in the UK.
Banking & Finance: Acquisition Finance (Borrowers)
London Ranking: Tier 1
This firm is seen as a leader in private equity sponsor and fund formation-focused work. Much of its work is sourced from its enviable US client base and it "always finds the right people to staff deals" around the globe. The firm includes in its ranks the high-profile Allen & Overy alumnus and "seriously good lawyer" Stephen Gillespie. He has proved himself "excellent to deal with" and "an emergent market leader" with a string of high-profile pan-European and global acquisition financings for private equity sponsors under his belt. Reflecting the firm's strength in international sponsor side work, he recently assisted key client Bain Capital on the financing of its USD3.5 billion acquisition of Edgars Consolidated Stores, a South African clothing chain, the largest LBO ever conducted in Africa. Clients praise Gillespie for his close teamwork with colleagues, including the "clearly highly intelligent" John Markland, who wins plaudits for his "constructive, sensible, fast and efficient" work. Like his colleagues, international sponsor side work comprises the bulk of his practice. Some market commentators have speculated that, following the cooling of the private equity-driven M&A market, a sponsor-focused firm like Kirkland & Ellis could find itself with notably less work. However, Markland and his team remain busy with deals in emerging markets and adjusting transactions arranged prior to the credit crunch. Exemplifying the firm's strength in emerging markets, Markland recently advised Mid Europa Partners on its first Serbian LBO. Neel Sachdev also receives the applause of commentators, and has a growing reputation among sponsors on the financing of international LBOs, particularly in Asia, Europe and the USA. He advised Bain Capital on its £1.4 billion acquisition of Brakes Group, fighting off bids from CVC Capital Partners, Cinven and The Blackstone Group.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2009 - www.chambersandpartners.com.