Press Release

Kirkland Welcomes ESG & Impact Partner Mary Beth Houlihan

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that Mary Beth Houlihan has joined the Firm as a partner in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) & Impact Practice Group. Ms. Houlihan will be based in the Firm’s New York office.

“Mary Beth is known for her ability to look beyond compliance and advise clients on the broader sustainability considerations that are increasingly becoming central to investing. Her decade of experience helping clients to navigate complex climate, human capital, and other ESG issues in transactions has positioned her perfectly to contribute to our rapidly growing practice,” said Alexandra Farmer, head of Kirkland’s ESG & Impact practice group. 

Ms. Houlihan focuses on ESG, including regulatory compliance considerations, in the context of fund formations, public disclosure and due diligence, and advises clients across a range of industries, including chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, health care, real estate and retail.

“I’m incredibly excited to join Kirkland’s cutting-edge ESG practice and work with the Firm’s clients to address both the risks and opportunities posed by the rapidly developing ESG landscape,” Ms. Houlihan said.

She earned a law degree from Columbia University, and her undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College. Ms. Houlihan joins Kirkland from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP where she was a member of the ESG Practice and has written widely on ESG topics for publications such as The Wall Street Lawyer, Law360, The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Bloomberg BNA Mergers & Acquisitions Law Report.

Ms. Houlihan’s arrival follows another ESG partner, Sara Orr, who joined the Firm’s Chicago office in May.

Kirkland’s ESG & Impact Practice Group provides clients with sophisticated, multidisciplinary advice and state-of-the-art market intelligence as they navigate the opportunities and challenges related to ESG and impact investing across the investment and operational life cycles. Over the last year, as market and regulatory trends have made ESG a central component of its clients’ business strategies, Kirkland has integrated ESG into all aspects of its transactional practice, including investment funds, energy/infrastructure, private equity/M&A, capital markets, and debt finance. Kirkland partners with its clients to develop ESG and impact strategies tailored to their unique circumstances and goals, including integrating ESG into corporate and fund sponsor governance structures, forming impact funds and ESG-related SPACs, leading ESG due diligence, and structuring sustainability bonds and loans.

Kirkland is also committed to being a leader in corporate social responsibility, including by improving communities and the legal profession through philanthropy; embracing and promoting diversity and inclusion and wellbeing within the Firm and the legal profession; reducing the Firm’s environmental impact; and providing legal services without charge to those who cannot afford counsel.