Kirkland & Ellis International LLP this month marks the 10th anniversary of its London office. The London office opened its doors in the fall of 1994 to counsel the firm’s growing multinational client base with its US operations and investments, as well as its US-based clients conducting European transactions. Today, Kirkland & Ellis in London actively advises clients on private equity, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, international litigation and arbitration, restructuring and insolvency, tax and capital markets transactions.
Beginning with Stuart Mills and Sam Haubold, Kirkland’s London office has grown from 2 to 40 lawyers and has seen growth of 10 to 25 percent per year since 1994. Kirkland now has English, German and US legal capability out of London and a team that includes some of the best and brightest legal minds today.
Kirkland was among one of the first law firms to make private equity its own branded practice area. Through its private equity team in London, the firm has expanded this world class practice into Europe. The London private equity team is led by James Learner and Stuart Mills. Former Oppenhoff & Raedler partner, Thomas Verhoeven established Kirkland’s German practice. Nigel Dunmore, who arrived from DLA, heads Kirkland’s UK law team.
During the last 10 years, Kirkland has worked on some of the largest and most significant European deals and has been involved in major litigation and arbitration matters on behalf of its clients, including:
- the largest European leveraged buyout in 2003, Madison Dearborn Partners €;4.1 billion LBO of Jefferson Smurfit Group plc;
MidOcean Partners’ €;1.7 billion acquisition of the North American and subsequently European private equity portfolio of Deutsche Bank AG;
Bain Capital’s €;1.4 billion leveraged acquisition of the Brenntag and Interfer Groups from Stinnes AG;
- Shuffle Master, Inc.’s patent infringement proceedings before the High Court; and
- Chapter 11 proceedings in relation to United Airlines and Exide Technologies Inc.
Other significant hires in London during the past decade include: Ian Taplin, one of the leading tax structuring partners at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who joined in November 2003 to expand the firm’s international tax practice, Pierre-Andre Dubois, head of the international intellectual property group, who joined Kirkland from Brobeck Hale & Dorr, and Lyndon Norley, a well-regarded restructuring and insolvency partner who joined from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in May 2002 to develop the firm’s insolvency practice out of London. Most recently, in July 2004, Francis Neate, a recognized leader in law on an international scale, and banking partner John Markland, formerly of Weil Gotshal & Manges and Clifford Chance, both joined the firm. Francis Neate will step into the prestigious role of president of the International Bar Association in January 2005.
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is a 1000-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex corporate and tax matters, workout and insolvency litigation, dispute resolution and arbitration, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington.
In London, the office of approximately 40 lawyers provides advice on US, UK, German and pan-European issues to international clients. The London office has a reputation as a leading European private equity practice together with special experience in Insolvency and Restructuring, M&A and Capital Markets, Intellectual Property and Technology, Banking and Finance, International Litigation and Dispute Resolution.
Kirkland & Ellis won the 2004 Chambers and Partners Global ‘US Litigation - Law Firm of the Year’ Award and was shortlisted in four other categories including ‘US Private Equity’.
In 2003 Chambers Global Awards named Kirkland & Ellis the ‘USA Private Equity Law Firm of the Year.’
In 2002 Chambers Global Awards named Kirkland & Ellis LLP the ‘Private Equity International Law Firm of the Year.’