Press Release

James Watson, Karim Kassam and Gabe Tan Join Kirkland's Restructuring Group in London

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is pleased to announce that James Watson has joined the Firm’s London office as a partner in the Restructuring Practice Group. Mr. Watson focuses his practice on financial restructurings and formal insolvency mandates for a wide range of stakeholders including individual lenders, steering committees, sponsors, borrowers and insolvency officeholders.

In addition to the arrival of Mr. Watson, associates Karim Kassam and Gabe Tan will be joining Kirkland’s London restructuring team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case respectively. These three hires follow the recent arrival of former Freshfields restructuring partner Sean Lacey, who started in Kirkland’s London office on September 4, 2017.  

“James has built a reputation as one of the brightest young restructuring lawyers in the City and we are delighted he has joined us,” said Kon Asimacopoulos, a London-based restructuring partner. “The addition of James — alongside Sean, Karim and Gabe — to our market-leading European restructuring practice will allow us to further enhance our offering to clients faced with distressed situations.”

Mr. Watson joins Kirkland from the London office of Stephenson Harwood. He was previously with Freshfields Bruckhuas Deringer, where his experience included special situations transactions and using UK schemes of arrangement, CVAs, receiverships and pre-pack administrations to implement restructuring solutions. He also advises corporates and investors on commercial matters, including mitigating the risk and impact of counterparty insolvency, and potential investments in or acquisitions of assets in distressed situations.

Mr. Watson holds a BA (Hons) in Jurisprudence from Magdalen College, Oxford.

About the Restructuring Practice Group
Kirkland & Ellis’ Restructuring Practice Group utilizes the Firm’s offices in Europe, the United States 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 LLP ( is a law firm with more than 2,000 attorneys representing global clients in restructuring, private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation/dispute resolution and arbitration, and intellectual property matters. The Firm has 13 offices around the world: London, Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.