Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner Jack S. Levin was recognized by legal publisher Chambers & Partners with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chambers Global Awards dinner in London on May 19, 2005.
More than 800 people from the international legal community honored Mr. Levin for his outstanding contributions to the legal profession at the annual event, which was held at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
According to Chambers & Partners Managing Editor Fiona Boxall, the selection process for the Lifetime Achievement Award is based upon consultations with “a number of very senior lawyers, usually a selection of the publication’s number one ranked and senior statesmen, in Europe, USA, South America and quite frankly any serious legal jurisdiction across the world… [asking] who they feel is a truly outstanding lawyer and has made a real impact on the legal world. We find that a very small number of names come to the fore. We select three people who are viewed by the majority to be truly outstanding.”
Described by Chambers & Partners as the “father of private equity,” Mr. Levin has concentrated his practice on complex business transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, private equity and venture capital investing, formation of private equity funds, debt and equity restructurings and workouts, and executive compensation, with emphasis on tax, corporate, SEC, and structuring aspects of these transactions.
Mr. Levin is the first Kirkland lawyer to receive this honor. He joined Kirkland in 1962 and became a partner in 1967.
Mr. Levin is also the first Chicago-based lawyer to receive this award.
Previous recipients of this award include Martin Lipton of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Joseph H. Flom of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
“It’s a honor to be recognized by Chambers & Partners and my peers,” Mr. Levin said.
“Jack Levin’s contributions to the field of private equity are immeasurable,” said Kevin R. Evanich, a senior partner in Kirkland’s Corporate Practice and a member of the Firm Management Committee. “We are privileged to call Jack our colleague and salute him on winning this honor. He has made each of us who have been privileged to work with him better lawyers and better people.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Levin has received numerous distinctions. For example, in its 2004 Guide, “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” Chambers & Partners describes him as “the father of private equity” and “extraordinarily talented” with a “wealth of experience in LBOs.” Chambers added that Mr. Levin “remains a valuable source of strategic advice and is commended as one of the market’s pioneering figures.”
Mr. Levin, 69, teaches part time at the Harvard and University of Chicago Law Schools.
He has also authored a set of authoritative reference books that are used throughout the private equity and mergers and acquisitions industries -- “Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurial Transactions” (one-volume treatise) and “Mergers, Acquisitions, and Buyouts” (four-volume treatise co-authored with Prof. Martin D. Ginsburg).
Prior to becoming a corporate and tax lawyer, Mr. Levin was a litigator and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court eight times.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Levin served as Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States under Archibald Cox and Thurgood Marshall. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and winner of the Illinois Gold Medal, awarded to the individual with the top score in the state on the CPA Exam.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,000-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex corporate and tax, litigation, intellectual property, and workout, insolvency and bankruptcy matters. The Firm has offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.