Press Release

Kirkland Strengthens Global Restructuring Practice with the Addition of Kelly Naphtali to the Hong Kong Team

Kirkland & Ellis is pleased to announce that Kelly Naphtali has joined the Firm as a partner in the Hong Kong office. Ms Naphtali has joined Kirkland’s Restructuring Practice Group, which includes more than 100 lawyers around the world.

“Kelly’s market-leading capabilities and experience make her an exciting new addition to our Asia Restructuring Group,” said Neil McDonald, a partner in Kirkland’s Asia Restructuring Practice Group in Hong Kong. “Kirkland is one of the only international firms in Asia with a restructuring team that offers contentious as well as non-contentious advice to clients. We are all very thrilled to have Kelly on board to join our steadily expanding practice.”

Ms. Naphtali has a wealth of experience in managing cross-border litigation and insolvencies and pursuing claims in various jurisdictions including Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore, Korea, the Philippines, Australia and the Caribbean. She has particular experience in borrower default actions, shareholders disputes, insolvency and company law.

“Kelly has earned an excellent reputation for handling difficult commercial and insolvency related disputes,” said James Sprayregen, a restructuring partner and member of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee. “We are delighted that she will be joining the Firm to help further strengthen the contentious side of restructuring work in Asia.”

Ms. Naphtali was a partner at Hogan Lovells and Lipman Karas before joining Kirkland & Ellis. Her reputation has been recognized by legal directories, including being listed as a leading restructuring lawyer in China by Chambers Asia-Pacific.

“We are very excited Kelly has joined us, because our Asia Restructuring Group works closely with our Litigation Group,” stated Mark Filip, a member of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee and a partner in the Litigation and Government Enforcement Defense and Internal Investigations Practice Groups. Filip added: “Kirkland offers unique strengths in Asia because of our ability to assemble first-class talent from various legal disciplines to assist clients. The most sophisticated client issues typically require integrated teams of legal experts, including various combinations of transactional,
restructuring, and litigation attorneys.  Kirkland’s team in Asia is fundamentally grounded on that model, and the Asia team is fully integrated with broader teams in the United States and Europe.”   

The recruitment of Ms. Naphtali follows the joining of Neil McDonald, previously the head of the business restructuring and insolvency practice in the Hong Kong office of Hogan Lovells, and Damien Coles, formerly a partner at Hogan Lovells, at the end of 2014.

About Kirkland & Ellis’ Restructuring Practice

Kirkland & Ellis’ Restructuring Practice Group utilizes its offices in the United States, Europe and Asia to provide integrated services to clients worldwide. Kirkland’s restructuring lawyers have advised on some of the most complex, multijurisdictional restructurings in recent history and have a broad range of business advisory and crisis management skills to navigate clients through situations involving financially troubled companies. Kirkland lawyers have handled matters across industries including media, entertainment, transportation, manufacturing, energy and real estate.

About Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis ( is a 1,600-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex restructuring, corporate and tax, litigation, dispute resolution and arbitration and intellectual property matters. The Firm has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Chicago, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.