Kirkland & Ellis International LLP announced today that it will expand its Private Funds Practice Group in Asia by relocating to its Hong Kong office partner Justin Dolling from London and Kirkland & Ellis LLP's Albert Cho from New York in January 2009.
"Moving these two experienced lawyers to Hong Kong reflects Asia's growing importance in private equity fundraising and investment and our commitment to serving our clients around the globe," said Bruce Ettelson, senior partner in Kirkland's Private Funds Practice Group. "Combined with Justin's and Albert's previous work on Asia-focused funds, this is a very logical development for Kirkland's already strong global private funds practice."
The global Private Funds Practice Group comprises more than 150 attorneys in nine offices around the world, and its continued expansion can be seen in the addition of nine partners to its U.S. practice and four partners to its UK practice in 2008 alone. The group has formed approximately 400 private equity funds on behalf of more than 200 unique sponsors since 1995, raising approximately US$300 billion, and has been called "second to none" by Chambers & Partners, a leading publisher of research on the legal profession.
"Justin and Albert are a very talented, ambitious duo with diverse geographic experience and technical skills," said Hong Kong office senior partner David Patrick Eich. "Combined with our successful Asia M&A practice, this strategic addition makes us a 'one-stop shop' for regional private equity firms and enhances our ability to support global funds clients whose interests intersect with Asia," Mr. Eich said.
Mr. Dolling focuses his practice on advising private equity managers in relation to the structuring and establishment of private equity investment funds, secondaries, carried interest arrangements and co-investment plans. He also advises on a broad range of transactions relating to the restructuring of private equity funds, leveraging and refinancing of such funds and buy-outs and spin-offs relating to management houses. In London, Mr. Dolling has been part of a market leading European fund formation trio which includes partners Mark Mifsud and Richard Watkins. Mr. Dolling has worked with clients to form funds in Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia, and is particularly experienced in structuring funds involving European and Asian sponsors.
Mr. Cho focuses his practice on the
Kirkland now has 10 private equity lawyers in Hong Kong, and more than 25 lawyers in its China practice group worldwide, the majority of whom are Chinese natives and speak Mandarin. Since the firm's Hong Kong office opened in 2006, it has represented more than 20 private equity funds in their fund formations, leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments and other complex deals in Asia.
Asian-Counsel magazine recognized Kirkland & Ellis for "Deal of the Year 2006" for its work on the $2.1 billion takeover of OYL Industries Berhad, a Malaysian public company, by Daikin Industries Ltd., Japan. Kirkland was honored with the 2007 "Singapore Deal of the Year" and the "Singapore M&A Deal of the Year" awards at the ALB Southeast Asia Law Awards for the US$1.6 billion takeover of STATS ChipPAC by Temasek. In 2008, the Legal 500 noted that Kirkland "has brought its world-leading private equity practice to Hong Kong" and the Chambers & Partners Asia Guide cited the Firm's private equity fund formation practice in Hong Kong as "the one to watch," noting that it is "set to become a major investment player in the region."
Active in Asia for more than two decades, Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex private funds and private equity, corporate, intellectual property and technology, litigation, restructuring and tax matters. The Firm has offices in Hong Kong, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.