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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

300 NORTH LASALLE, CHICAGO, IL 60654, USA
Tel:
Work +1 312 862 2000
Fax:
Fax +1 312 862 2200
Web:
https://www.kirkland.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘great value for money’, acting for a mix of sovereign wealth funds, major pension organizations and other institutional investors in their real estate private equity matters. The group maintains a strong presence across New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and regularly draws on the strengths of its tax, restructuring and M&A practices to support its nationwide real estate capabilities. Key active clients include TPG Real Estate, Gramercy Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group; the team recently acted for Starwood on a number of matters, including its $2.85bn acquisition of Milestone Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust, a US REIT listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange which owns a number of multifamily residential properties, and its launch of Starwood Global Opportunity Fund XI, a flagship investment vehicle targeting approximately $6bn in commitments. Other recent work included acting for Caesar’s Entertainment on its $2.1bn restructuring and advising Oak Street Real Estate Capital on the sale of a portfolio of assets to an entity sponsored by Stonemont Financial in a transaction valued at $1.3bn. Scott Berger, Jonathan Schechter and Christopher Hartmann are the key individuals in New York, advising on the full scope of commercial real estate transactions, and Rachel Brown and Joshua Hanna are the main contacts in Chicago. Kevin Ehrhart recently joined the Los Angeles office from Latham & Watkins LLP and brings significant transactional expertise.

Next generation lawyers

Christopher Hartmann - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a strong proposition in cartels matters, with its workload spanning a broad cross-section of US and international antitrust investigations and litigation. James Mutchnik in Chicago and Cormac Connor are representing Geo Specialty Chemicals in civil litigation arising from a DOJ criminal investigation into an alleged price-fixing and customer allocation conspiracy over water treatment chemicals sold to municipalities and other customers in North Carolina and elsewhere. In the automotive parts space, Mutchnik and San Francisco-based Eliot Adelson are advising Tenneco on a global investigation. Yi-Chin Ho and Tammy Tsoumas, who are based in Los Angeles, are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

James Mutchnik - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Civil litigation/class actions: defense
Civil litigation/class actions: defense - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s expertise in behavioral matters spans the gamut of anti-competitive practices. Members of the Chicago office, including David Zott, Daniel Laytin and Jeffrey Zeiger, are defending the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and multi-state licensees Health Care Service Corporation and Highmark against a series of putative nationwide class actions; these relate to BCBSA’s licensing of its ‘Blue Cross’ and ‘Blue Shield’ marks in certain exclusive geographic territories. Tammy Tsoumas, Melissa Ingalls, Michael Baumann and Robyn Bladow (who are all based in Los Angeles) successfully defended DirecTV against class actions brought by residential and commercial subscribers to NFL Sunday Ticket over a broadcasting deal agreed between the client and the NFL. Other notable practitioners include James Mutchnik, Barack Echols and Christa Cottrell (all based in Chicago).

Leading lawyers

James Mutchnik - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a strong track record negotiating clearances of complex multibillion-dollar transactions with significant competition issues. Ian John, Peter McCormack, Chicago-based James Mutchnik and others advised Bain Capital on its $3.2bn carve-out acquisition of Sealed Air’s Diversey Care division, and also its food hygiene and cleaning business. The team also assisted the same client with the $1.2bn sale of Consolidated Container Company to Loews Corporation. Illustrative of its other work, John and Katherine Rocco acted as antitrust counsel to AkzoNobel in its successful defense against an unsolicited takeover attempt by PPG in 2017. Matthew Reilly, Mark Kovner, Marin Boney and recent hire Carla Hine (who joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP in 2017) are among the practitioners based in Washington DC. Named individuals are based in New York, except where otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Matthew Reilly - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Marin Boney - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’ ‘renowned’ group briefs and argues appeals at state and federal level, and maintains a strong workload of the highest level mandates. The ‘legendary’ Paul Clement maintains a steady stream of arguments at the US Supreme Court; in addition to obtaining victory for the respondent in California Public Employees Retirement System v ANZ Securities, Clement argued an impressive number of cases, including Jesner v Arab Bank, PLC (case concerning the federal common law right of action to bring claims under the Alien Tort Statute for violations of international law; Erin Murphy and Edmund LaCourt were team members), Encino Motorcars, LLC v Navarro (questioning the automobile dealerships’ exemption from the statutory obligation for overtime pay), and a consolidated appeal defending workplace arbitration agreements’ enforceability under federal law for Ernst & Young, Murphy Oil USA and Epic Systems. At the Tenth Circuit, George Hicks secured a victory for Air Methods in an appeal filed by the State of Wyoming. John O’Quinn is also recommended. Christopher Landau joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Leading lawyers

Paul Clement - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Erin Murphy - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Excellent in every respect’, the team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP have recently welcomed back a number of key partners: In Washington DC, William Barr re-joined after serving as US Attorney General, Neil Eggleston re-joined after serving as White House Counsel to President Barack Obama, and Erica Williams re-joined from an associate counsel position in the Obama White House. The Chicago-based Mark Filip leads the team; he acted alongside Andrew Genser in New York and Viet Dinh in Washington DC for a Chinese real estate billionaire in a criminal case alleging conspiracy to violate the FCPA. The practice is also representing Allergan in various state and federal investigations, congressional inquiries and civil suits related to its sale and marketing of opioid painkillers. It also acted for General Motors in the high-profile ignition switch litigation and related government investigations, leading to a corporate criminal resolution with the DOJ.

Leading lawyers

Mark Filip - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Brigham Cannon - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Financial services litigation
Financial services litigation - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Leveraging its heavyweight general commercial litigation reputation, and also calling upon the expertise of practitioners within the firm’s government and internal investigations team, Kirkland & Ellis LLP provides a ‘top-notch’ service to clients that include Hercules Capital, Deloitte Tax and Citigroup Global Markets as a result of its ‘excellent understanding of the law and ability to create innovative arguments and develop case strategy’. The firm’s added credibility on the appellate front following the recent absorption of Bancroft PLLC has also led to some notable financial services-related mandates. Paul Clement, the former US solicitor general and previously a partner at legacy firm Bancroft, secured a notable victory on behalf of HSBC when the appellate court blocked the release of the bank’s money laundering report which had been prepared under a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). Other recommended partners include Mark Filip, Robert Kopecky and Neil Eggleston, who recently returned to the firm following a tenure as White House counsel to President Obama. Former director of enforcement at the SEC Robert Khuzami left the firm in January 2018 to take up the position of deputy US attorney for the Southern District of New York.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Among the best for highly complex and potentially "bet the company" legal issues’, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s litigation team is ‘client-oriented, creative and smart’. With 500 attorneys in the litigation practice firmwide, it is one of the largest groups in the market. Of particular note is the team’s broad experience in state and federal courts - including at appellate level - and in arbitration proceedings. A team that includes Mark Filip, Donna Welch, Leslie Smith and Jennifer Levy is representing Allergan in the closely watched opioids investigations, which span state and federal governmental investigations, congressional inquiries and civil lawsuits. Elsewhere, James Hurst and Andrew Kassof secured a victory for Abbott Laboratories in a False Claims Act (FCA) jury trial in the Northern District of Texas, which was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit in May 2017. Richard Godfrey is a ‘brilliant class action lawyer’. Andrew McGaan and Washington DC-based Eugene Assaf are also recommended. Above-named partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated. In April 2018, star litigator Sandra Goldstein joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Leading lawyers

Richard Godfrey - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Anchored out of Washington DC but also aided by a strong EU offering from London, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s three-partner team provides ‘thoughtful and responsive’ advice to clients from a broad range of industry sectors including energy, real estate and chemicals on compliance issues and internal investigations surrounding sanctions, anti-corruption and export controls. Under the guidance of the ‘extremely knowledgeableMario Mancuso, the team is, however, undoubtedly best-known for its CFIUS work, where in addition to receiving standalone mandates, it is also able to tap into the firm’s impressive pipeline of private equity-led M&A work, in particular. ‘Very up-to-date with the laws around international trade and extremely skilled at navigating the risks’, Mancuso recently provided CFIUS and US export compliance advice to Apax Partners on its $200m acquisition of the electronic monitoring assets of 3M Corporation.

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Leading trial lawyers
Leading trial lawyers

Sandra Goldstein - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

William Pratt - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Aaron Marks - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Gregory Arovas - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

James Hurst - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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M&A litigation: defense
M&A litigation: defense - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘a firm that is always prepared to go to trial, which is a mindset that sets it apart from some of its competitors’. The firm is currently involved in many cutting-edge M&A cases, including one of the largest appraisal actions ever filed in Delaware; Matthew Solum, who has nearly 20 years’ experience in M&A litigation in Delaware and elsewhere, and Yosef Riemer are leading the case from New York. They also represent Team Health Holdings in a claim raised by shareholders controlling $600m in stock. Solum represented Dutch company Akzo Nobel in its successful takeover defense against PPG, which had launched a $29.5bn merger proposal. Joshua Rabinovitz and Devon Largio in Chicago are acting as lead counsel to Akorn Inc in three class actions related to accounting issues in acquisitions totaling $4.3bn made in 2014. Jay Lefkowitz in New York and Mark Holscher in Los Angeles are also recommended. In April 2018, the eminent Sandra Goldstein joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Leading lawyers

Matthew Solum - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Sandra Goldstein - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Yosef Riemer - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport - ranked: tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP advises on product liability litigation and mass torts in the automotive and aviation industry. In one recent highlight, Craig Primis obtained a favorable settlement of consolidated lawsuits brought against Boeing relating to the 2013 crash of a Boeing 747-400, and which alleged negligence and strict liability. In other work, Robert Brock and Chicago-based Richard Godfrey continue to act for General Motors in the General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation. Primis and Brock co-head the department in Washington DC; Andrew Bloomer in Chicago is another key figure.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s product liability and mass tort practice handles MDLs and class actions for manufacturers and distributors. In recent work, Chicago-based Richard Godfrey obtained class settlement for L3Technologies in a class action suit involving allegedly defective military and consumer rifle accessories. In Washington DC, Eugene Assaf and Edwin U continue to represent Henkel in an MDL, involving unfair and deceptive trade practices claims in relation to the effectiveness of the Dial Complete line of antibacterial soaps. Chicago-based Andrew McGaan is another key figure in the department. In July 2017, Matthew Papez departed to Jones Day.

Leading lawyers

Andrew McGaan - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The department at Kirkland & Ellis LLP regularly handles product liability and mass tort litigation for pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies. Led by Washington DC-based Paul Clement, the team represents Johnson & Johnson and its affiliate DePuy Orthopedics in the consolidated appeals of an adverse jury verdict related to a hip prosthetics MDL, in which plaintiffs allege that the implants cause serious health issues. In other work, the team assists longstanding client Teva Pharmaceuticals with product liability lawsuits and class actions. The firm’s client base also includes GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott and AbbVie. Robert Brock in Washington DC and New York-based Jay Lefkowitz are other key figures.

Leading lawyers

Robert Brock - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The toxic tort litigation department at Kirkland & Ellis LLP covers the full array of sector-related work, such as class actions, MDLs, appeals and environmental matters. In Washington DC, Eugene Assaf and Michael Williams continue to act as national counsel and lead trial counsel for BASF Catalysts in several asbestos-related product liability lawsuits. In other work, the team continues to represent Dow Chemical Group in a number of class actions related to groundwater and environmental contamination. Chicago-based Kevin Van Wart led advice to DuPont in a recently settled MDL, in which plaintiffs had alleged that drinking water was contaminated by a chemical used as a processing aid by the client, and led to cancer and other diseases. The firm’s client roster also includes Axiall, BP America and Chesapeake Appalachia. Jay Lefkowitz and Kimberly Branscome are the key contacts in New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable, has great judgment and is a pleasure to work with’. The firm has recognized strengths in investigation and enforcement actions, accountant liability matters and securities class actions. Mark Filip, who works from Chicago and Washington DC, leads the government enforcement and defense practice. He recently advised Rio Tinto on a securities fraud case arising from a fall in its stock price following the disclosure of a corruption investigation involving its operations in the Simandou iron mine. Matthew Solum represented private equity firm Advent International in a class action arising from Party City Holdco Inc’s IPO, in which plaintiffs alleged the company failed to disclose the impact of a decline in Frozen merchandise sales. Chicago-based Joshua Rabinovitz and John Hartmann acted for FTD Companies in multiple class actions regarding accusations of making false and misleading statements in connection with an acquisition. DC-based litigator Neil Eggleston, who was White House Counsel to President Obama until 2017, is recommended.

Leading lawyers

Mark Filip - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The client consensus is that Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s service levels are ‘nothing short of outstanding’. The group’s ‘strong bench’ also impresses with senior partners highlighted for their ‘extraordinary subject matter knowledge’ and junior attorneys commended as ‘practical and very competent’. The issuer-focused practice leverages the firm’s stellar private equity client base to shine in advising private equity funds on capital markets deals but its recent expertise also spans the technology, communications, energy and food and beverage sectors. In New York, Christian Naglerconsistently provides timely and accurate advice’ and advised Charter Communications on a $1.5bn notes offering. Also in New York, Richard Aftanas advised Exelon on its $1.1bn offering of junior subordinated notes. In Chicago, Robert Hayward acted for Boeing on three senior notes offerings totaling $900m. Joshua Korff and Dennis Myers are also recommended in Chicago and New York respectively.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The ‘consistently greatKirkland & Ellis LLP sets itself apart through its ‘practical and extremely responsive advice’ and ‘solid bench strength from junior to partner level’. In New York, the ‘very strongJoshua Korff led several recent highlights, such as advising WideOpenWest on its $356m IPO. Among the Chicago group’s key deals, Robert Hayward assisted Carvana with its $225m IPO. The firm’s manager-side work is often overshadowed by its high-profile deals for issuers, particularly private equity funds, but underwriter matters account for an increasing share of the practice, such as Houston’s Matthew Pacey assisting the underwriters with C&J Energy Services’ $261.6m share offering. Other senior names are ‘top-notch’ New York partners Christian Nagler and Richard Aftanas and Chicago’s Dennis Myers.

Leading lawyers

Joshua Korff - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s issuer-focused practice leverages its strong private equity credentials to excel in advising sponsors on high-yield debt offerings, such as Joshua Korff’s advice to Blackstone as sponsor on Marble II Pte’s $500m notes offering. In addition, Chicago’s Dennis Myers advised Diamond (BC) and Bain Capital on a €450m notes offering. However, the group’s expertise goes far beyond private equity, with recent strong showings in the energy and technology sectors for clients including GenOn Energy, NRG Energy and Solera Holdings. The food and beverage industry also provided fertile ground for deals throughout 2017, with Korff and Michael Kim advising Burger King Worldwide on its $1.5bn notes issuance and Christian Nagler handling a $750m notes offering for Cott Corporation. The group also draws on the senior experience of Richard Aftanas and Chicago’s Gerald Nowak. Named lawyers are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Joshua Korff - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is arguably the market’s undisputed heavyweight when it comes to sponsor-led financings. This was demonstrated in the first three quarters of 2017, where the firm outstripped the other borrower-led firms in terms of numbers and value, with 177 deals worth a combined $129bn. The firm’s relationship with major private equity houses such as Bain Capital ensures a good source of work, such as the financing of Bain’s $3.2bn carve-out acquisition from Sealed Air’s Diversey Care division. The firm is also doing an increasing amount of work for Texas Pacific Group and Carlyle, the latter of which it advised on the $1.4bn financing for NEP Group’s take-private acquisition of Avesco Group. Another key client is the Blackstone Group, which the firm advised on the multi-billion dollar financing for its $6.1bn acquisition of TeamHealth Holdings. The firm also stands out for its expertise in areas like restructuring and refinancing, where it advised Toys ‘R’ Us on its $3.1bn DIP financing. Linda Myers heads the team from Chicago, which includes the highly rated Michelle Kilkenney, Maureen Dixon, Jay Ptashek, and Nicholas Schwartz, as well as David Nemecek in Los Angeles. The firm also opened an office in Boston through the recruitment of Jason Serlenga from Ropes & Gray LLP.

Leading lawyers

Linda Myers - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Michelle Kilkenney - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nicholas Schwartz - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Project finance
Leading lawyers

Rohit Chaudhry - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

As ‘one of the most pre-eminent law firms’ for US restructuring Kirkland & Ellis LLP has been viewed as ‘dominating the debtor side of the practice’ with representations in some of the largest bankruptcies of recent years. Notably, it is engaged as debtor counsel by Avaya, Seadrill and Payless ShoeSource in the companies’ Chapter 11 filings and negotiations. As well as being considered ‘at the very top of its practice nationally’, the team has cross-border abilities and advised fashion retailer BCBG Max Azria Global Holdings on the restructuring of operations across the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. In a further testament to its company-side expertise, the group, which includes Chicago-based ‘big picture strategistJames Sprayregen and the ‘tireless and superbrightJoshua Sussberg in New York, is acting for Toys"R"Us and several of its direct and indirect subsidiaries in Chapter 11 cases. The practice also handles lender-side engagements, with clients including an ad hoc committee of senior secured lenders to CGG and an ad hoc second lien committee of Breitburn Energy Partners in the companies’ restructurings. ‘As experienced and savvy as they come’ Sprayregen is sole head of the group following the departure of the previous head of the New York office Paul Basta to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Other key names to note are Nicole Greenblatt in New York and the ‘extraordinarily creative and fierce litigatorAdam Paul in Chicago.

Leading lawyers

James Sprayregen - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Joshua Sussberg - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP frequently utilises its strength in restructuring and bankruptcy in negotiating on behalf of governmental entities and holders of government debt obligations and fields particular expertise in municipal and public bond obligations, pension, and related restructurings. James Sprayregen heads the practice and splits his time between New York and Chicago.

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Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
Structured finance: derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP advises its end-user client base on derivatives in the context of commodity hedging, investment vehicles and broader M&A and restructuring transactions. Headed by Scott Gordon, the group acts for an enviable roster of private equity firms including Apax Partners, Blackstone Group and Vista Equity Partners; in 2017, Gordon assisted these clients with deal-contingent FX hedges in relation to acquisitions and disposals of non-US dollar denominated businesses. In another highlight, Drue Santora was part of team advising on credit-focused pre-and-post-acquisition hedges in connection with Alta Resources’ acquisition of shale assets from Anadarko Petroleum. The department also handled a number of regulatory compliance mandates in 2017. In addition to private equity work, the team acts for corporates including Kellogg Company and Kraft Heinz Foods Company.

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Structured finance: securitization
Structured finance: securitization - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a renowned issuer-side counsel for ABS backed by auto and equipment loans. The Chicago-based James Antonopoulos assisted CarMax Business Services with a number of public ABS transactions, which was the first auto deal to utilize vertical and horizontal risk retention. On the bank-side, Jeffrey O’Connor (also based in Chicago) advised Barclays Capital on a series of issuances backed by dealer floorplan receivables originated by Ford Motor Credit Company; one of the first floorplan master trusts to use a seller’s interest to satisfy risk retention requirements. Auto and equipment loan securitization accounts for only about half of the team’s efforts, however; the group also has experience of timeshare loan and single-family rental (SFR) securitization, and is investing heavily in its marketplace lending practice. Kenneth Morrison and Janette McMahan are additional contacts in the team.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy litigation: oil and gas
Energy litigation: oil and gas - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Contentious work for oil and gas companies is a cornerstone of Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s practice: for its key client BP, the team continues to handle multidistrict and related civil litigation as well as governmental investigations arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and, most recently, acted in a breach of contract and recovery action against Cashman Equipment regarding overcharges for barge rental and skimming services during the response to the Deepwater Horizon incident. In other notable work, Gabor Balassa successfully represented Sabine Oil & Gas in a fraudulent conveyance trial arising from a merger that the company undertook six months prior to its bankruptcy filing. Names to note are the renowned Richard Godfrey and Washington D.C.-based Daniel Donovan.

Leading lawyers

Richard Godfrey - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy: transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s predominantly Houston-based team continued to be highly active in the M&A space for utilities companies and private equity. Andrew Calder advised Energy Futures Holdings on its merger with a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, and the same lawyer together with Rhett Van Syoc acted for Blackstone Group and ArcLight on the $2.2bn acquisition of four Midwest power plants. Private equity specialist Shubi Arora joined from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Next generation lawyers

Rhett van Syoc - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘top notch’ team continued to feature on major private equity deals, including the ‘really sharpAnthony Speier and John Pitts advising The Blackstone Group on its joint venture with Sanchez Energy to purchase 318,000 gross operated acres in the Western Eagle Ford. As well as handling numerous upstream M&A transactions in the Appalachia and Texas, the team was also busy in the capital markets space, with William Benitez assisting Sable Permian Resources with its $1bn recapitalization. Andrew Calder has ‘excellent judgement and is a great deal maker’, and David Castro is ‘a very smooth draftsman and negotiator’.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Calder - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Anthony Speier - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

David Castro - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

William Benitez - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s highly rated environmental litigation group acts for clients in a variety of civil, criminal and administrative environmental proceedings. These include mass torts and class actions; challenges to federal and state rule makings; government enforcement actions; and white-collar criminal and civil matters. Other areas of note include appellate matters; potentially responsible party litigation; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - also known as Superfund - and insurance coverage matters; and restructuring, contract and indemnity claims. The team is assisting BP with various matters arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The practice also defended the City of Chicago against a putative class action, alleging that the replacement of water and sewer lines and installation of water meters causes dangerous levels of lead exposure to hundreds of thousands of residents. In addition, the team acted for Chesapeake Appalachia in a lawsuit against Cameron International, which related to a well-control incident in Pennsylvania. The practice was also lead counsel for Dow Chemical and Rockwell International, in a complex environmental contamination class action. Chicago’s Kevin Van Wart, Andrew Langan and Andrew Running, along with Chicago-based Richard Godfrey, are all recommended.

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s experience includes high-stakes litigation and regulatory issues in corporate transactions and restructuring matters. Recent work includes representing Biotechnology Innovation Organization in challenging an ordinance banning GE seeds and crops. Key contacts are Jeanne Cohn-Connor, Brian Land and Stuart Drake. The named advisers are in Washington DC.

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Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘attorneys are responsive, knowledgeable, and detail-oriented’. The practice assists with environmental due diligence, pre-deal counseling, environmental risk allocation and mitigation, analysis of the environmental regulatory environment, negotiation of environmental insurance policies, and indemnity claims. Houston-based leader of the West Coast and Texas practices Paul Tanaka is ‘experienced, knowledgeable and commercial’; he advised Swift Transportation on its merger with Knight Transportation, which involved environmental due diligence, reciprocal representation and warranties, and potential contamination-related and off-site waste disposal liabilities. San Francisco’s Stephanie Gitler is ‘very good with environmental insurance policies’. Brian Land leads the East Coast practice; Jonathan Kidwell, Sara Michaelchuck Webber, Alexandra Farmer, Christian Semonsen, Jeanne Cohn-Connor and Toby Chun are other key names based in Washington DC.

Leading lawyers

Brian Land - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 5

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s group has notable strength in contentious matters, including product liability, False Claims Act and securities litigation. In Chicago, James Hurst successfully defended Abbott Laboratories in a False Claims Act case brought by a former employee. Jay Lefkowitz and Devora Allon represented Upsher-Smith Laboratories in a price-fixing class action regarding a generic blood pressure medication. Leora Ben-Ami, Thomas Fleming and Christopher Jagoe have been assisting Teva Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary Actavis Laboratories with patent infringement litigation regarding the Neupro drug. On the corporate side, Peter Martelli advised Blackstone on its $6.1bn acquisition of TeamHealth. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s practice is led by the ‘commercial-, brand- and industry-awareDale Cendali in New York, whose ‘reputation is unparalleled’ on the copyright litigation front; she is representing various 21st Century Fox businesses in high-profile copyright cases, including a case against the media monitor, TVEyes. Drawing on its experience in technology-related copyright matters, the team is special co-counsel to Oracle alongside Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in its high-profile claim against Google. It also represents IBM as the plaintiff in a suit against Terapoc (a company founded by two former IBM employees) regarding the alleged copyright infringement of source code for high-performance computing software. In another highlight, the group handled copyright enforcement matters for Take-Two Interactive Software’s video game brands. ‘Wonderful’ litigator Bonnie Jarrett, Johanna Schmitt, Joshua Simmons and Claudia Ray are recommended in New York, while Diana Torres is a top Los Angeles-based attorney.

Leading lawyers

Dale Cendali - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Patent litigation: full coverage
Patent litigation: full coverage - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Top-tier firmKirkland & Ellis LLP belongs to the ‘cream of the crop’, ‘provides uniformly first-class service in terms of strategy, research, investigations, responsiveness and creativity’ and is renowned for its ‘effective oral advocacy and courtroom work’. Very strong in pharmaceutical work, the team also fields an impressive practice in the technology, electronics and consumer product sectors, both before the civil courts and the PTAB. A team of Washington DC, Chicago and New York lawyers defended Abbott Laboratories in a False Claims Act case against a former Abbott sales representative involving the off-label use of Abbotts’ medical devices; New York’s Leora Ben-Ami and Jeanna Wacker represented Boehringer Ingelheim in Hatch-Waxman litigation against HEC Pharm Group regarding patents on a diabetes II drug component; and Washington DC’s Gregg LoCascio and Chicago duo Bryan Hales and Dennis Abdelnour are assisting Dyson in a design patent infringement case filed against SharkNinja. Gregory Arovas in New York, Adam Alper in San Francisco and Michael De Vries in Los Angeles are ‘hard-working, always prepared and good problem-solvers’. In Chicago, Amanda Hollis is another main contact. Clients include Alcatel-Lucent, GlaxoSmithKline and Teva.

Leading lawyers

Leora Ben-Ami - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Amanda Hollis - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Patent litigation: international trade commission
Patent litigation: international trade commission - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The ‘responsive and creative’ team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP provides ‘uniformly first-class service’ for complainants and respondents, with a particularly strong track record in the electronics and technology sectors. Gregg LoCascio and Sean McEldowney successfully acted for BASF in a patent infringement case against Umicore regarding patents on cathode materials, including an exclusion order for infringing cathode materials and the ‘hard-working’ ‘problem solversAdam Alper in San Francisco and Michael De Vries in Los Angeles are defending respondent MediaTek against a complaint brought by Advanced Micro Devices and ATI Technologies ULC related to alleged patent infringement on graphics processing units. Cisco, IBM and Motorola Solutions are also on the client roster. Paul Brinkman joined from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, to which Steven Cherny departed.

Leading lawyers

Paul Brinkman - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Patents: licensing
Patents: licensing - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s practice encompasses a large number of sectors, with the pharmaceutical, life sciences and technology sectors generating the majority of work. Recent examples of this specialisation are New York attorney David MacDonald’s representation of Actavis in relation to its patent licence agreement with Supernus regarding an epilepsy and migraine treatment, and his advice to Teva on its exclusive development and commercialisation licence agreement with Otsuka regarding a migraine drug. Matthew Lovell, Neil Hirshman and Seth Traxler are noteworthy practitioners in the Chicago office. Other clients include Cerberus Capital Management, Intel and the Open Invention Network.

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Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s group maintains a steady stream of plaintiff as well as defendant work, in sectors ranging from real estate and construction to life sciences, technology and manufacturing. Financial sector clients also form a substantial part of its client roster, which is dominated by large corporates such as Honeywell International, The Boeing Company and Virgin Cruises. New York-based Dale Cendali is leading a team representing Apollo Aviation Group, AAG Capital Markets and Apollo Aviation Management in a trade secret and copyright claim against 100X and its executive. Craig Primis in Washington DC is acting for The Boeing Company in a data misappropriation dispute filed by its former subcontractor and pertaining to the multi-year contract with the US Air Force. Chicago-based Reed Oslan and Daniel Bress in Washington DC are also recommended, as are Diana Torres in Los Angeles and Joshua Simmons in New York. Katharine Burke joined Baker Botts L.L.P..

Next generation lawyers

Joshua Simmons - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Noted by clients for its ‘passion for the industry’, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s group ‘always provides on-point advice’ and has particular strength in the entertainment, consumer products and technology industries. Claudia Ray, who has a ‘great combination of practical litigation chops and strategic acumen’, and Bonnie Jarrett have been defending Droga5 against infringement and unfair competition claims brought by LRN and its CEO, Dov Seidman, arising from the client’s ‘How Matters’ advertising campaign. The well-regarded Johanna Schmitt, Joshua Simmons, and ‘practical and brand-sensitiveDale Cendali, who is ‘a pleasure to deal with’, have been leading advice to J.K. Rowling in all aspects regarding her trademark portfolio. Cendali and Ray, along with John O’Quinn and Los Angeles-based Diana Torres, have been representing Nike in an infringement suit brought at the US International Trade Commission regarding Nike’s Converse Chuck Taylor designs. Shanti Sadtler Conway and Mary Mazzello were promoted to partner. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Dale Cendali - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds (including venture capital)
Private equity funds (including venture capital) - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

For some ‘clearly the market leader in the field’, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s already-strong line up was joined by ‘true starErica Berthou (who brought over EQT as a client), Jordan Murray and Katrina Rowe from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in December 2017. The three, who are based in New York, join ‘an incredibly deep team’, which handles multibillion-dollar fundraises for many top fund sponsors. John O’Neil in New York advised Vista Equity Partners on four simultaneous fundraises, one of which, Vista Equity Partners Fund VI, raised $10.5bn in one year. Another huge fundraise handled in New York was Andrew Wright’s advice to 3G Capital on forming a special situations fund. In the same office, John Budetti (who continues to advise Summit Partners, which runs both venture capital and growth equity funds), Robert Blaustein (‘everything clients hope for in their outside counsel’) and Daniel Lavon-Krein are also notable names. Turning to Chicago, ‘exceptional and well-respected practice group leaderBruce Ettelson handled the formation of Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund and its co-investment vehicles; in the same office, John Muno has ‘a cooperative working style that leads to a good outcome for all parties’, and Sarah Kirson and ‘great deal-makerKatie St. Peters are also key contacts. ‘Fantastic and very practicalKarin Orsic in San Francisco and the ‘extremely hardworkingMatt Nadworny in Houston are also notable names. Sean Hill joined from Proskauer Rose LLP in June 2017, establishing the firm’s Boston office.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Wright - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Bruce Ettelson - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Erica Berthou - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Katie St. Peters - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Katrina Rowe - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Huge standoutKirkland & Ellis LLP recently welcomed Michael Falk to its Chicago office from Winston & Strawn LLP; he ‘has an incredible ability to negotiate effectively on very complex issues and keep a business-focused and problem-solving approach’. Among the firm’s recent highlights, Scott Price advised LINN Energy and its affiliates on their emergence from bankruptcy, which involved the restructuring of $8bn of funded indebtedness. Avista also engaged the practice to handle its multibillion-dollar acquisition by Hydro One, and Caesars Entertainment appointed the group to oversee its contentious and high-profile Chapter 11 proceedings. In Chicago, Alexandra Mihalas is the name to note. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Next generation lawyers

Alexandra Mihalas - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Michael Krasnovsky - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has invested heavily in its M&A practice over the last decade and recently welcomed Eric Schiele from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Clients now point to the ‘extremely high availability and deep bench’ at a firm that has ‘expanded its presence’ in key locations such as Houston, where ‘very strong lawyerAndrew Calder is at the forefront of energy M&A and private equity. Calder led the team that advised Energy Future Holdings on its $18.8bn sale to a newly formed subsidiary of Sempra Energy, which included its 80% indirect interest in Oncor Electric Delivery. The firm has a consistent pipeline of significant strategic M&A deals as well as takeover and activist defense engagements. In 2017, it advised Amsterdam-based AkzoNobel on its successful takeover defense against PPG’s $29.5bn merger proposal; this work included the successful defense against Elliott Management’s attempt to remove Antony Burgmans as chairman of AkzoNobel. In another marquee matter, it advised Huntsman Corporation on its $20bn all-stock merger of equals with Clariant. The firm’s ambitious lateral recruitment strategy continues to pay dividends with Jonathan Davis, a 2016 hire from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, advising Mead Johnson Nutrition on its $17.9bn acquisition by UK-headquartered Reckitt Benckiser Group, one of the largest UK to US transactions in history. David Fox operates at the top of the market, as do Daniel Wolf, Sarkis Jebejian, David Feirstein, Peter Martelli and William Sorabella. Chicago-based Scott Falk is ‘a truly effective advocate’ who is ‘very effective at guiding the deal to meet the greater corporate goal’. Dean Shulman provides tax advice on M&A transactions and Washington DC’s Mario Mancuso is a formidable CFIUS specialist. Attorneys are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Daniel Wolf - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

David Fox - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Davis - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s inexorable rise continues. The firm has retained its core client base of big names such as Madison Dearborn and Bain Capital, while developing tighter relationships with the likes of Blackstone, KKR, Cerberus Capital Management, Thomas H Lee Partners and TPG. The firm established a Boston office in 2017 with a series of key partner relocations and several lateral hires, including private equity specialist Matthew Cohn from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. This follows a number of recent lateral recruits in New York and Houston, two key private equity locations. The ‘top-echelon and pre-eminent law firm’ is the ‘crème de la crème’ and is commended for its oil and gas expertise thanks to its ‘unmatched knowledge and transaction expertise’. The ‘commercial’ team ‘can work faster than anyone without forgoing work quality’. In 2017, the firm advised anchor client Bain Capital on a $3.2bn carve-out acquisition from Sealed Air of its Diversey Care division and the food hygiene and cleaning business of its Food Care division. It also advised Blackstone on its $4.8bn acquisition of Aon’s technology-enabled benefits and human resources platform and its $6.1bn acquisition of TeamHealth Holdings. Beyond these large cap-deals, the firm also operates a market-leading mid-market practice. Notable partners include Jon Ballis, Sanford Perl, Matthew Steinmetz, Richard Campbell and New York’s Eunu Chun. Stephen Ritchie and Walter Holzer are ‘extremely practical and business minded’, they ‘consider the upside of every obstacle’ and are ‘very problem solving and creative’. New York’s Peter Martelli has played a key role in cementing the firm’s connection to Blackstone and Andrew Calder is a star performer in Houston. New York-based Michael Weisser and Leo Greenberg are also prominent names, Jeremy Lissis a rare M&A attorney with the ability to cut across multiple practice areas and solve problems’, and Corey Fox is a ‘super star’ whose ‘personal skills set him apart’. Jeffrey Seifman is ‘straightforward, cuts through the nonsense and is able to build consensus on very complex matters’. Steven Napolitano and Brendan Head joined from DLA Piper LLP (US) in May 2018. Attorneys are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Eunu Chun - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Jon Ballis - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing: litigation
Advertising and marketing: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP ‘excels in the litigation space’ and is ‘the team to hire if you want tenacity and strength’, known as ‘aggressive, sharp and effective litigators, who can uncover every angle of an argument, even under difficult circumstances’. ‘Superb advocateRoss Weisman is based in Chicago and leads the department, which also fields ‘second-to-none strategic adviserGregg LoCascio in Washington DC, and Robin McCue, Megan New and Jordan Heinz in the firm’s Chicago office. In a recent highlight, Chicago-based Robert Ellis represented General Motors in a putative class action alleging false advertising regarding claims over the fuel economy of its Lambda line of vehicles. LoCascio, Weisman and McCue also acted for Dyson in a dispute against SharkNinja challenging its claims that its Powered Lift-Away vacuum cleaner is better than Dyson’s DC65. The team also has substantial experience before the NAD, NARB and FTC.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has ‘a passion for the industry, which means its advice is always on point and given in a timely manner’. The New York-based team is noted for its IP expertise, assisting clients with copyright and trademark issues; recent examples include representing 21st Century Fox in a copyright appeal against TVEyes claiming the defendant’s searchable database of television programming infringes its copyrights; managing J.K. Rowling’s trademark portfolio in the US; and defending Damien Hirst in copyright, trade dress and unfair competition claims brought by a Canadian artist relating to Hirst’s pill-inspired jewelry line. Other clients include Facebook, Droga5, Take-Two Interactive Software and FremantleMedia North America. Dale Cendali, whose ‘reputation and expertise are unparalleled’, is ‘the go-to person for IP assistance’ and is highly regarded for theater work; she is acting for the producers and playwright of the Broadway musical production of Anastasia in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Claudia Ray, Johanna Schmitt and Joshua Simmons are also recommended. Shanti Sadtler Conway and Mary Mazzello were promoted to the partnership in 2017, and Eric Schiele joined in 2018 from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

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Outsourcing
Outsourcing - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago was one of the first firms to move into the outsourcing space in the 1980s and it is known for the ‘deep bench of experienced lawyers’ in its technology and IP transactions group, who can ‘get deals done quickly and efficiently’. Outsourcing is a key focus for the group and co-chairs Gregg Kirchhoefer and Neil Hirshman are recognised as experts in the field. Kirchhoefer and rising star Aaron Lorber acted for healthcare billing and revenue cycle management services provider Accretive Health in the renegotiation of its master services agreement with its largest client, which involved $6bn in revenue and the rebadging of 8,000 employees as part of a ten-year deal. Work for buy-side clients included assisting Patterson Medical Holdings with an information technology outsourcing (ITO) arrangement with NTT Data. Matthew Lovell and Daniel Lewis are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Gregg Kirchhoefer - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Neil Hirshman - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Aaron Lorber - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a large and experienced technology transactions practice which collaborates closely with the firm’s corporate, private equity and restructuring attorneys. Chicago-based Daniel Lewis, Matthew Lovell and Neil Hirshman acted for funds advised by Apax Partners in the $200m acquisition of 3M’s electronic monitoring business; and Seth Traxler advised Grubhub on its $287.5m acquisition of Yelp’s online food-ordering business, Eat24. The team also advised Blackstone-affiliated private equity funds on the $4.8bn acquisition of Aon’s technology-enabled benefits and human resources platform; assisted Bioreclamation, a portfolio company of Arsenal Capital Partners, with the creation of a joint venture for the procurement of bio-specimens and related clinical and testing data. Other key Chicago advisers include Vladimir Khodosh, Gregg Kirchhoefer, Aaron Lorber, Matthew Lovell, Jeffery Norman PC and Min Wang, while Edward Sadtler, David MacDonald and Lisa Samenfeld are highly rated New York practitioners. In San Francisco, John Lynn is also widely praised.

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)
Construction (including construction litigation) - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP advises on high-stakes construction and engineering disputes as part of its impressive nationwide litigation practice. Areas of particular activity in 2017 include airport construction and chemical engineering. Chicago-based Jeffrey Willian continues to represent CF Industries in claims against contractors and designers for cost overruns regarding a number of projects (worth over $1bn). The firm also advises clients on issues arising under construction and engineering contracts, with James Nowacki (also Chicago) advising the Academy for Global Citizenship on construction matters associated with the design and construction of a new charter school in South Chicago. Nowacki is also advising the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on development of a theatre on Navy Pier.

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s impressive recent record in REIT M&A is supported by strong skill sets in capital markets, corporate governance and tax matters. The firm routinely acts for major REITs, including CareTrust REIT and Ventas, and it also advises investors. Among its highlights, REIT M&A specialists Sarkis Jebejian and Michael Brueck teamed up with corporate heavyweight David Fox to advise Equity One on its $15.6bn stock-for-stock merger with Regency Centers. Real estate partner Jonathan Schechter is also a key contact and assisted Starwood Property Trust with its $767m acquisition and financing of a medical office portfolio.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a strong focus on public M&A and private equity deals, and is also extremely adept in restructurings, reorganizations, financings, executive compensation arrangements and other transactions with complex tax implications. New York’s Dean Shulman and Chicago’s Mike Carew advised global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals Huntsman on its combination agreement with Swiss-based global specialty chemical company Clariant through an all-stock tax-free cross-border merger, with enterprise value of approximately $20bn. Assisting global pediatric nutrition business Mead Johnson with its $17.9bn cross-border sale to UK-based consumer health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser is another recent highlight. Chicago-based Todd Maynes is also recommended, as is Lee Morlock, who recently joined the Chicago office from Mayer Brown.

Next generation lawyers

Lee Morlock - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Mike Carew - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The ‘excellentKirkland & Ellis LLP assists clients at all stages of the tax controversy process, from pre-audit planning to audit through administrative appeals and post-appeals mediation. Chicago-based Todd Maynes and Natalie Keller have been acting for WR Grace in bankruptcy court litigation seeking a refund from the IRS of excess interest collected on an income tax deficiency. Rachel Cantor and JoAnne Nagjee, who are also located in Chicago, are other key contacts.

Leading lawyers

Natalie Keller - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The ‘excellent and professional’ tax team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable in tax structuring and provides very detailed and quick responses to questions’. Public and private M&A, restructuring and real estate taxation are the primary areas of activity. A recent highlight was advising on the sale of client Avista to Canadian energy company Hydro One for $5.3bn. The ‘responsiveGregory Gallagher in Chicago regularly represents Bain Capital Private Equity, for example during its sale of Consolidated Container to Loews for $1.2bn. Dean Shulman in New York and Mike Carew advised Micro Focus International on acquiring Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business via a Reverse Morris Trust for $8.8bn, while Todd Maynes assisted LINN Energy with its bankruptcy-related reorganization plans, which contained $8bn of funded indebtedness. Also recommended are Rachel Cantor, Lee Morlock and Kevin Coenen. Named attorneys are based in Chicago unless otherwise specified.

Leading lawyers

Dean Shulman - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Todd Maynes - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

William Levy - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gregory Gallagher - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Lee Morlock - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Mike Carew - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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