Firm Profile > Kirkland & Ellis International LLP > London, England

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Acquisition finance Tier 1

Benefiting from an 'unparalleled depth of knowledge of market practice', gleaned through a huge volume and variety of mandates for its exclusively private equity sponsor client base, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 19-partner team 'know where to push on terms and has such a fierce reputation that most banks don't tend to pick fights with them'. 'At the cutting edge of market terms', the team is able to handle sophisticated deals across the spectrum of financial products including senior, unitranche, Term Loan B  and high yield debt financing. Team head Stephen Lucas is 'exceptional in all respects' and regularly 'works very well with the superbKirsteen Nicol  on mandates for Partners Group, which they both recently advised as part of an investment consortium on the Term Loan B and bond financing to facilitate the acquisition of Techem. Regarded by many as the 'best banking lawyer in Europe on the sponsor side', Neel Sachdev 'brings incredibly unique and extremely high-value added judgement' to deals for many of the most active private equity firms in the market. He recently advised BC Partners on the financing of its £700m acquisition of VetPartners from Ares Management and August Equity. Christopher Shield has a 'high degree of technical expertise' which he deploys to good effect for numerous key private equity sponsor clients of the firm, including Advent International. 'Fully versed and experienced across the financing spectrum', Michael Steele is also a key member of the team and regularly acts for Blackstone in Europe.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Lucas

Other key lawyers:

Neel Sachdev; Chris Shield; Michael Steele; Kirsteen Nicol; Evgeny Zborovsky


Intellectual horsepower, tenacity and willingness to push the market.

The speed of execution is as fast and as surefooted as I’ve seen from any law firm.

Second to none in negotiation strategy.

The team sees everything and has very impressive market knowledge, enabling it to provide the most educated market views out there.

You get the gold-plated technology plus the judgement that comes with every point and overall outcome.

Stephen Lucas and Michael Steele’s ability to deliver in tough situations, to read the market and to negotiate market leading terms is highly valued and they deserve entirely their reputations.

Neel Sachdev’s IQ and feeling for situations makes him stand out head and shoulders above the rest.

Chris Shield is extraordinarily competent and can not only draft flawlessly but can provide valuable advice on negotiating tactics to make sure we get the best terms.

The outstanding Evgeny Zborovsky provides stellar legal work.

Kirsteen Nicol understands client demands and helps achieve end goals.

Key clients

Partners Group


BC Partners

Core Equity Holdings

Summit Partners


Bain Capital

Lone Star

Advent International



Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 1

Under the 'effective leadership' of Partha Kar and Kon Asimacopoulos,    Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 'user-friendly and proactive' seven-partner team 'displays a unique ability to craft innovative restructuring solutions across the European landscape' on behalf of both debtors and creditors. Kar and Asimacopoulos are recognised as 'two of the most highly respected restructuring lawyers in Europe' and have both been central to the firm's market-leading work for Agrokor in the successful completion of its groundbreaking two-year restructuring process (a highly politicised process involving the implementation of an emergency new law). Sean Lacey 'really gets it' and handles an impressive roster of work for funds clients in credit led-restructurings and special situations, including his work for majority noteholders in the House of Fraser restructuring. 'Now the go-to- lawyer in London for CVAs', Elaine Nolan has 'deep technical knowledge of the area' and has been at the forefront of many recent high-profile retail restructurings, including Toys 'R' Us and Homebase. The 'brilliantJames Watson covers a diverse portfolio of stakeholders including debtors, creditors (both banks and alternative capital providers, individually and as ad hoc or co-ordinating committees), sponsors, and insolvency practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Kon Asimacopoulos; Partha Kar

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is senior and has a lot of experience in deal negotiation and market practice.’

‘The team has excellent strategic and tactical instincts, coupled with strong black letter law skills.’

‘The firm’s commercial acumen, speed and innovation is second-to-none.’

‘Partha Kar is very good at streamlining negotiations.’

‘The responsive, attentive, commercial and pragmatic Partha Kar is a great lawyer to have on your side.’

‘Kon Asimacopoulos is a tremendous business and relationship builder and oversees multiple matters with great skill and minimum fuss.’

‘Kon Asimacopoulos is very experienced across a range of situations and  geographies.’

‘Elaine Nolan is an outstanding adviser who excels at navigating complex issues with multiple and often awkward parties.’

‘Sean Lacey totally understands what the client is trying to achieve and will go into bat for it.’


Key clients

Leading investment funds including: KKR, TPG, Oaktree Capital, Centerbridge, Davidson Kempner, Anchorage, Apollo Capital, TowerBrook Capital, Bain Capital, HIG, Bayside Capital, Sun European Partners, HPS, Carlyle, SVP, Oak Hill and King Street

Noble Group



Certain shareholders and lead investors in GHG


Danaos Lenders


CGG Lenders

Shareholders of Jack Wolfskin

Wentworth joint venture, in relation to Lehman Brothers (International) Europe

Toys R Us


Convertible bondholder committee in Steinhoff

Galapagos Holding


Lenders to SGB-SMIT

High yield Tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is the leading player on the sponsor side of the high yield market and the firm has one of the largest US capital markets teams in London. The practice focuses exclusively on US high yield bonds and liability management transactions. Its work for issuers in 2018 accounted for 17 bond offerings. Practice head William Burke and partner Matthew Merkle frequently lead on lead on some of the most ground-breaking and complex high-yield transactions in Europe for sponsors and issuers, which last year included a €2.2bn offering by Bain Capital portfolio company Nexi Capital. The 'super-smart' Cedric Van den Borren is among the few high yield specialists in London who focuses on deals in the French market, where he acts for sponsors and portfolio companies including Partners Group. Up and coming partner Tim Volkheimer handled deals for major private equity sponsors and credit funds active in Europe including Bain Capital.

Practice head(s):

William Burke


“The team is very business-oriented, very educational for first-time issuers. They know very well the market and the best practices.”

“Cedric Van den Borren is pragmatic and very involved.”

“Cedric Van den Borren’s team is super-responsive, very quick to respond to any question no matter the time of day. It is very client focused – with the primary aim of always negotiating the best possible deal for their clients.”

“Cedric Van den Borren is a very focused, highly attentive and an astute high yield lawyer. He always aims to find a solution to complex issues and problems which has allowed a deal to proceed to the finish line which in other circumstances would not have got done.”

Key clients

Advent International

Bain Capital


Bain Capital Private Equity

Houlihan Lokey

TDR Capital

Golden Tree Asset Management


Partners Group

KKR Credit

Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 1

At Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, the private equity team is 'very senior heavy with top-notch individuals able to oversee every aspect of a transaction', according to clients.  With PE a central pillar of the firm's global focus, its client roster boasts host of top US and European buyout houses, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds. In the last year, the group has handled a broad variety of transactions including take-privates, acquisitions and minority deals on both the buy side and the sell side. Capitalising on the public-to-private trend, former Freshfields partner David Higgins, Stuart Boyd and Rory Mullarkey  advised a consortium including Apax, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on the $3.4bn take-private of Inmarsat.. Although partner duo Gavin Gordon and David Arnold departed for Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP in May 2019, the team, which is headed by Higgins and  Matthew Elliott, gained a significant boost with the addition of the highly regarded  Adrian Maguire from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Practice head(s):

David Higgins; Matthew Elliott


Probably the best firm I have worked with in the past five years across Europe and US. They are extremely commercial and quick to find creative solutions to all types of problems. Very capable individuals across the board‘.

Kirkland & Ellis is very strong when it comes to complex PE transactions that involve multi-party negotiations and cross-border dialogues. They are very strong at getting to the bottom of diligence issues and help the client gauge the risk. They are also excellent at deal negotiation‘.

An extremely hard working team who are highly personable and skilled at personality management. They have a strong market awareness which gives the client comfort that their advice reflects the latest practices‘.

David Higgins and Stuart Boyd are excellent; I have worked with David on multiple transactions since 2014 and he really stands out from the rest of the industry in terms of breadth and depth of knowledge, quality of advice and calmness under pressure‘.

Stuart Boyd always focuses on what really matters and keeps the client’s best interests at heart‘.

Rory Mullarkey is very knowledgeable, detail-oriented and strong in communication. He always keeps his calm in the face of difficult negotiations‘.

Matt Elliott is resolute, driven, very commercial and definitely a force in pushing a transaction through to completion‘.

Rory Mullarkey is a skilled manager of difficult personalities who can subtly guide both clients and counterparties towards to the appropriate commercial outcome’

Matt Elliott is a strong and experienced partner who brings a lot of experience to transactions he advises on, as well as good commercial sense. He is not afraid to state opinions and give clear and decisive advice in order to better serve his clients‘.

Key clients



Bain Capital

BC Partners





Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Partners Group

Warburg Pincus

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime Tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP  has built a strong team in London that is adept at handling cross-border investigations and prosecutions brought by regulatory agencies including the SFO, NCA, FCA and HMRC. It also advises on internal company investigations and deals with government agencies on behalf of clients. Given the firm's strength in the private equity sector, Kirkland has a particular focus on advising large buyout houses and their portfolio companies but its client base extends far beyond this. It advises on matters such as anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, financial sanctions, data breaches, fraud, corporate crime prevention and general advisory work.  Co-head of team Satnam Tumani specialises in cases of accounting fraud, tax fraud, data protection infringements, and FCPA/UK Bribery Act matters. Marcus Thompson, who also co-heads the team, specialises in investigations that involve bribery, corruption, sanctions, data breaches and money laundering.

Practice head(s):

Satnam Tumani; Marcus Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Butel; Sarah Klein; Michael Casey; Patrick Navein


‘The team gets to the crux of the matter quickly and provides pragmatic and commercial guidance on potentially sensitive matters’.‘

‘A sound City practice with bright, solid practitioners and good client care’.

‘Satnam Tumani has a huge wealth of experience and knowledge of serious corporate fraud and corruption in national and multi-jurisdictional cases, and an intimate knowledge of the workings of the main prosecuting and investigating authorities’.

‘The team has a wealth and breadth of experience and proven ability to provide global coverage for a global asset manager’.

‘Marcus Thompson is absolutely brilliant; straight talking, commercial and pragmatic’.

‘Mike Casey is highly responsive; he delivers commercial and clear but thorough advice’.           

‘A leader amongst others and particularly suitable for the larger, thornier cases involving the Serious Fraud Office’.

‘Satnam Tumani is exceptional; he is hugely intelligent and able to use his vast experience as a former prosecutor to excellent effect’.              


Key clients

Innospec Limited

Corporate tax Tier 2

Key areas of expertise for Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 12-partner tax group include private equity transactions, real estate, credit transactions, restructuring and fund formation. Drawing on the firm's transatlantic presence, the group is most noted for advising US clients, but it also handles work for clients based in the UK and Europe, with a focus on private equity and financial sponsors. In 2018, the group, which is led by Jonathan Kandel, welcomed Alan Walker from Linklaters LLP, cross-border private equity and M&A specialist Jan Hobbs from Clifford Chance LLP. In November 2019, Chris Smale left to join Linklaters LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Kandel

Other key lawyers:

Timothy Lowe; Dulcie Daly; Alan Walker; Jan Hobbs; Chris Smale; Ian Ferreira; Frixos Hatjantonas


They are a very market focused and commercial team of professionals

They are very thorough, take time to understand our business and what we are trying to achieve and invariably go the extra mile to ensure we get the right result

They are very open and transparent and will tell you if something is not possible

Key clients



TDR Capital

The Carlyle Group

BC Partners


Apax Partners

Private funds Tier 2

Richard Watkins is head of the 'outstanding' investment funds team at Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, which comprises a credit fund practice, led by Anand Damodaran and James Board, and a real assets practice headed up by Jonathan Tadd. Large fundraisings are core area of work for both teams, with Tadd recently advising Ares on the formation of the $6.5bn Ares Credit Europe IV Fund. Tadd also advised BGH Capital on the formation of the A$2.6bn BGH Capital Fund I. The group also includes a liquidity solutions division, which handles a large number of GP-led restructuring mandates, including the recent fund restructuring of EOS Partners, led by Theodore CardosAmala Ejikeme is also recommended, while secondaries expert Andy Shore joined from Proskauer Rose LLP  in February 2019.

Practice head(s):

Richard Watkins


The team provides excellent technical advice with a commercial overlay, which is grounded in its deep market knowledge‘.

The team boasts long-term experience of the market and is always available, proactive and commercially-driven. Having worked with us for a long time, the team knows what is important to us and what is not, and tailors its advice accordingly‘.

Key clients

AMP Capital

Ares Management

CVC Credit Partners

FSN Capital

IK Investment Partners


Montagu Private Equity

Nordic Capital

TDR Capital

Vitruvian Partners

EU and competition Tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP has a particular strength in merger control reviews of high-value transactions. The team has a strong presence in the private equity space, but recent work highlights also demonstrate its involvement in other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, technology, chemicals, consumer goods and financial services. Notably, the London-based group cooperates with its US counterpart, but is also able to rely on the significant ‘best friends’ network it has developed internationally. Paula Riedel heads the department, where Sarah Jordan and Sally Southwell are also highly recommended. The team is growing: most recently, November 2018 saw Thomas Wilson join from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Associate Annie Herdman is noted.

Practice head(s):

Paula Riedel


Unmatchable expertise in merger control matters

A strong team that does exceptional work

Besides its full dedication to providing high-quality services, Kirkland & Ellis’ team is also committed to understanding the client’s industry

With high-quality work comparable to Magic Circle firms’, the team has achieved a good balance between complex UK and EC merger work

Paula Riedel is very persuasive and strong in legal arguments but at the same time, she also remains calm and understanding

Sarah Jordan has a great strategic mind coupled with good business orientation

Paula Riedel and Sarah Jordan are friendly and experienced

Sally Southwell and Thomas Wilson are emerging talents

Sally Southwell is an outstanding lawyer

Key clients

Accuride Corporation

Bain Capital

Bristol-Myers Squibb


Valeo Foods


Centerbridge Partners

Spectrum Brands

The Boeing Company


Vista Equity Partners

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries


SK Capital Partners

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 3

The 'consistently excellent' Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's regulatory practice advises banks, insurers and consumer credit businesses on a range of matters, including the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive  (AIFMD) and other UK/EEA regulatory issues, including MiFID II. The firm specialises in cross-border issues and is acting as regulatory counsel for many leading sponsor clients. Practice head Lisa Cawley is a 'thoughtful, knowledgable safe pair of hands' whose past experience includes advising fintech company FNZ and funds advised by HIG Capital and General Atlantic on regulatory issues around their agreement to sell their investment in FNZ to La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Generation Investment Management LLP.  The 'infinitely practical and helpful' Adam Skinner has experience in financial regulation and funds matters, with a particular focus on regulatory issues arising within the private investment fund industry. Also notable in the team are Prem Mohan, who is known for advising fund sponsors and other regulated firms on all aspects of UK and EU financial services regulation; and associate Deirdre Haugh, who is experienced in FCA and EU single market legislation.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Cawley


‘Accessible and responsive and can always be relied on to deliver trusted and workable solutions’

‘Strikes a perfect balance between technical knowledge, with a keen sense of what the regulator expects, and finding appropriate commercial outcomes for the client’

‘Great understanding of clients and market’

‘Lisa Cawley can always be counted on for practical advice and solutions’

‘Adam Skinner has the gift of being able to explain complex areas of regulation in a digestible way’

Key clients

Apollo Global Management  /  Apollo Management International

ABRY Partners II, LLC

CC Capital Partners, LLC.  Cannae Holdings and Thomas H. Lee Partners

H.I.G. Capital and General Atlantic

Lion Capital LLP

Starwood Capital Advisors

Starr Investment Holdings and ACA Compliance Group

Sun Capital Partners / Sun European Partners

Summit Partners, L.P. and Summit Partners LLP

TPG Europe

The Blackstone Group International Partners

TowerBrook Partners


Warburg Pincus

Intellectual property Tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's practice combines 'technical proficiency, commercial insight, legal depth and excellent organisational capacity' and utilises the 'remarkably seamless cooperation between the team in London and US colleagues'. The arrival of the 'fantastic' Nicola Dagg and her team, including Katie Coltart and Daniel Lim, from Allen & Overy LLP 'created a new force in what is actually quite a small pool of choices at the top level in London' for patent litigation. Since their arrival, the group has continued to be instructed in high-profile disputes, particularly in the life sciences and pharmaceuticals sectors; it is instructed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in an upcoming Supreme Court patent claim against Kymab relating to its proprietary transgenic mouse platform for therapeutic antibody development. The practice also benefits from transactional IP expertise led by Emma Flett; it is advising a consortium led by EQT and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority on the acquisition of Nestlé Skin Healthcare. Newly promoted partner Jenny Wilson is recommended for transactional IP and technology matters.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Dagg; Emma Flett


The Kirkland team always has an eye on the big picture strategy and is really good at coming up with novel and creative approaches for achieving the ultimate commercial and strategic aims.

This is the team that you want running your most complex and strategic cases.

The group always takes a very strategic and commercial approach — including in finding the right leverage for settlement along the way.

Backed by Kirkland & Ellis’ considerable resources and ambition from the US side, Nicola is already building a sizeable team.

Nicola Dagg is extremely strategic and laser-focused on getting the right result for her client.

Nicola Dagg drives the technically strong and client-focused approach.

Jin Ooi is renowed for his ability to master knotty issues and has famed round-the-clock responsiveness.

Nicola Dagg is a phenomenal client handler and strategist and gets the best out of the team below her.

Jin Ooi is brilliant on detail and in plotting out the future stages of litigation.

Katie Coltart has experience way beyond her years, and is likely to be a star partner of the future.

Steve Baldwin is superb, with particular expertise in SPC matters.

Nicola Dagg is highly experienced in life sciences IP litigation at the highest levels, and excellent at managing large multi-disciplinary and multinational teams of experts.

Katie Coltart will be a star in the next generation of top UK IP litigators.

Key clients



Premaitha Health

Procter & Gamble

TCL Corporation



Danaher Corporation

Vista and portfolio company Advanced



International arbitration Tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 'has a brilliant arbitration team of the highest calibre and its lawyers are very passionate about their clients' successes'. It handles high-profile international arbitration cases across the globe, including both ad hoc and institutional proceedings; the team recently received new instructions emanating from the Asian market as well as in areas such as telecoms, infrastructure projects, shipping and pharmaceuticals. It also frequently advises on complex PIL questions. Christopher Colbridge, who has particular expertise in investor-state arbitrations, heads the London international arbitration practice, which also includes Rajinder BassiJonathan Newman and Philipp Kurek.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Colbridge


The firm has great international arbitration experience‘.

Christopher Colbridge has superstar quality and is a leading figure in the field; he is a virtuoso lawyer at the top of his game and an absolutely superb tactician‘.

Chiraag Shah is another star in the firm; he is dedicated to his cases, totally unflappable and exudes confidence. He has the energy of three people and is tireless in achieving the best results for clients‘.

Rajinder Bassi is an excellent lawyer and good tactician‘.

Philipp Kurek is knowledgeable‘.

Jonathan Newman is able to think outside the box, which is why clients trust him and take his advice‘.

Key clients

The Boeing Company

Samsung Electronics

Dow Chemical

General Motors

Naguib Sawiris

Agility Group

Ping An Insurance

EN+ Group

ICS Inspection and Control Services

Alvarez & Marsal

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology Tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP has entered the rankings as a result of 'stand-out achiever' Nicola Dagg and her team joining forces with the firm. The team includes Daniel Lim, who is highlighted for his 'excellent understanding of biotech and regulations', and litigator Katie Coltart, who has a background in biochemistry. With a 'keen intellect and considerable knowledge' Senior associate Jin Ooi  and Steven Baldwin are also core members of a team that has an established success rate in high-stakes patent litigation in the pharma and biosciences sectors. This is combined with the firm's financing and commercial capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Dagg


Known for the highest-quality work to achieve the best results.  Top of their game and must be on everyone’s list to consider using when a big matter needs an IP litigator.’

They demonstrate a clear ability to excel in high-pressure situations.’

Nicola Dagg is a stand-out achiever in the field. She  leaves no stone unturned and is hugely in demand.’

The stand out individuals are Nicola Dagg, Jin Ooi and Katie Coltart. Nicola drives the technically strong and client-focused approach.’

Jin Ooi is an associate to watch out for.  He has a keen attention to detail and will rapidly deploy his considerable knowledge of the facts and related case law to examine the situation at hand.  He has a natural curiosity and strong intellect which lends well to valuable insights and contributions. He is also calm and meticulously organised which ensures the smooth and quick development of a case, no matter how many moving and complex parts there are.’

Daniel Lim has an excellent knowledge and understanding of biotech, as well as impressive knowledge of regulatory law.

Key clients





Premaitha Health


Commercial litigation Tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is 'brilliant tactically and delivers excellent results for clients either by mediating a way through or,  if that is unsuccessful, by bringing its highly skilled and expert litigators to bear'. The team has successfully represented clients in high-profile matters before the English courts, including the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Christopher Colbridge represents multinational corporations, governments and government-owned entities in disputes around the world. Also highly rated are Rajinder Bassi and Richard Boynton.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Colbridge

Other key lawyers:


Rajinder Bassi is well known and highly respected; she is a smart, robust international litigator who is brilliant with clients and opponents alike‘.

Richard Boynton is a truly outstanding, young partner who will undoubtedly be one of the top commercial litigation superstars within five years‘.

Key clients


Gates Worldwide

ICS Inspection and Control Services

Noble Group

Imtech Nordic Group

Property finance Tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP represents many of the market’s leading private equity sponsors, in addition to sovereign wealth funds, pension organisations and other financial investors. The team advises on high-profile acquisition and development financings and restructurings, and has particular expertise in European NPL portfolio transactions. The practice is led by the ‘very talented‘ Jonathan Birks, and also includes NPL specialist Richard Semple, newly promoted partner James Esterkin and Kazik Michalski, who joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Birks


The team is an incredibly strong collection of individuals who excel at teamwork and thus produce a consistent and seamless experience for the client.

Jonathan Birks deserves special mention for his perseverance, willingness to discuss and negotiate at all hours, excellent professionalism and subject matter knowledge.

The team stands out for its ability to put the commercial consideration at the forefront of its analysis.

What makes Kirkland & Ellis unique is the extraordinary consistency of the individuals who work for it. No matter the project, you can always expect that the full team, from partner to juniors, will be of outstanding quality and commitment.

Richard Semple and James Esterkin were impressive for their availability, strong commitment, attention to detail and, most importantly, an incredible ability to grasp commercial issues and solve them in advance for the client.

The team is professional, easy to collaborate with and has excellent sector-specific knowledge. It is very commercial, experienced and – most importantly – able to explain complicated legal issues and structures in straightforward ways, avoiding legal jargon.

Richard Semple and James Esterkin are a very supportive and knowledgeable duo; they are highly responsive and very hardworking, and did their best to ensure the timely completion of the transaction.

Key clients

Bain Capital Credit

The Blackstone Group


Centerbridge Partners


Ares Management Limited

Global Logistics Properties (GLP)GIC

TPG Real Estate

Lone Star Funds

For more than 100 years, major national and international clients have called upon Kirkland & Ellis to handle complicated corporate, restructuring, tax, intellectual property, litigation and counselling matters. Today, approximately 2,700 lawyers in 15 international offices are dedicated to providing the highest quality service to clients around the world.

The firm: Our award-winning team in London of over 300 lawyers focuses on advising financial investors, as well as private equity, real estate, special situations and other investment funds on European transactions, as well as multinationals and other public and private companies. Our lawyers work closely with our European and international offices providing leading expertise in fund formation, corporate transactions, public and private debt financings, restructurings as well as antitrust, regulatory, intellectual property, litigation and investigations.

Types of work undertaken: 

Corporate: Kirkland covers the full spectrum of corporate transactions important to businesses in today’s global marketplace. Because of the firm’s consistently high volume of complex engagements, it has developed an aptitude for developing creative and constructive solutions. Kirkland also synthesises speciality areas needed to support a top-tier transactional practice.

Private equity: Kirkland has one of the most active and highly regarded private equity practices. The firm’s lawyers have extensive experience formulating innovative strategies for structuring acquisitions and financings of private and public companies, negotiated and unsolicited acquisitions, take-private transactions, stock-for-stock acquisitions, spin-off transactions and acquisitions of minority interests.

Debt finance: Kirkland services both borrowers and lenders in a variety of financing transactions across the entire capital structure, including senior, subordinated, mezzanine and bridge financing transactions, and high-yield offerings. Kirkland has unsurpassed experience in structuring and negotiating the various layers of senior and subordinated debt and equity financing in connection with leveraged acquisitions. The group also handles DIP financings, exit financings and debt restructurings.

Capital markets: Kirkland represents issuers, sponsors and underwriters in a variety of international securities transactions, particularly on offerings of high-yield and other complex debt securities.

Investment funds: Kirkland provides sophisticated advice to investment fund sponsors, institutional investors and other market participants in the alternative investment fund space. Kirkland serves its clients in connection with the formation, organisation and operation of buyout, growth-equity, venture, real estate, infrastructure, energy, credit, mezzanine, private equity, hedge funds, and their respective management companies.

Tax: Kirkland has a strong international reputation for providing sophisticated tax counselling and effectively representing clients in tax disputes. Kirkland’s tax practice consists of two areas: tax planning in connection with M&A, buyouts, fund formation, restructurings, financing, executive compensation plans, and other sophisticated transactions; and contested tax matters.

Restructuring: Kirkland’s worldwide restructuring group navigates clients through the turmoil of situations involving financially troubled companies. The firm has earned a distinguished reputation by achieving positive results for a range of global clients in complex corporate restructuring, workout and bankruptcy planning, negotiation and litigation.

International litigation and arbitration: Kirkland represents multinational corporations, governments and government-owned entities in complex litigation and international arbitration cases worldwide. Kirkland is also recognised for conducting white-collar crime investigations on a global basis.

Antitrust and competition: Kirkland advises on all aspects of competition law, including merger control, market dominance, cartel investigations, sector inquiries and private enforcement; representing clients across a range of industries, including financial services, media, communications, energy and transport.

Intellectual property: Kirkland represents the world’s leading technology companies and brings its experience to all areas of IP, patent litigation, trademark, outsourcing, computer software, licensing, distribution, joint venture agreements, biotechnology, data protection, e-commerce issues, and competition law-related matters.

Financial services: Kirkland’s market-leading regulatory practice advises on a range of mandates including the establishment of new investment, banking and insurance business, FCA regulation and AIFMD.

Other offices: Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, Washington DC

Department Name Email Telephone
Private equity Matthew Elliott
Private equity David Higgins
Capital markets William Burke
Capital markets Cedric Van den Borren
Capital markets Matthew Merkle
Investment funds Richard Watkins
Investment funds Christopher Braunack
Investment funds Anand Damodaran
Debt finance Stephen Lucas
Debt finance Neel Sachdev
Tax Jonathan Kandel
Tax Timothy Lowe
Insolvency/restructuring Kon Asimacopoulos
Insolvency/restructuring Partha Kar
International arbitration/litigation Christopher Colbridge
International arbitration/litigation Rajinder Bassi
Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Satnam Tumani
Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Marcus Thompson
Antitrust/competition Paula Riedel
Antitrust/competition Sarah Jordan
Intellectual property Nicola Dagg
Intellectual property Emma Flett
Financial services regulatory Lisa Cawley
Photo Name Position Profile
 Kon Asimacopoulos photo Kon Asimacopoulos
 Rajinder Bassi photo Rajinder Bassi
 Jonathan Birks photo Jonathan Birks
 James Board photo James Board
 Stuart Boyd photo Stuart Boyd
 Richard Boynton photo Richard Boynton
 Christopher Braunack  photo Christopher Braunack
 William Burke photo William Burke
 Andrew Butel  photo Andrew Butel
 Theodore Cardos photo Theodore Cardos
 Michael Casey  photo Michael Casey
 Lisa Cawley photo Lisa Cawley
 Christopher Colbridge photo Christopher Colbridge
 Katie Coltart photo Katie Coltart
 Romin Dabir  photo Romin Dabir
Ms Nicola Dagg photo Ms Nicola Dagg Partner
 Dulcie Daly  photo Dulcie Daly
 Anand Damodaran photo Anand Damodaran
 Aprajita Dhundia  photo Aprajita Dhundia
 David Eich photo David Eich
 Amala Ejikeme photo Amala Ejikeme
 Matthew Elliott photo Matthew Elliott
 Celyn Evans  photo Celyn Evans
 Ian Ferreria  photo Ian Ferreria
 Emma Flett photo Emma Flett
 Mark Gardner  photo Mark Gardner
 Frixos Hatjantonas  photo Frixos Hatjantonas
 Annie Herdman photo Annie Herdman
 David Higgins photo David Higgins
 David Holdsworth  photo David Holdsworth
 Roger Johnson  photo Roger Johnson
 Sarah Jordan photo Sarah Jordan
 Jonathan Kandel photo Jonathan Kandel
 Partha Kar photo Partha Kar
 Sarah Klein  photo Sarah Klein
 Philipp Kurek photo Philipp Kurek
 Sean Lacey photo Sean Lacey
 James Learner  photo James Learner
 Jeremy Leggate  photo Jeremy Leggate
 Daniel Lim photo Daniel Lim
 Timothy Lowe  photo Timothy Lowe
 Stephen Lucas photo Stephen Lucas
 Adrian Maguire photo Adrian Maguire
 Matthew Merkle photo Matthew Merkle
 Prem Mohan photo Prem Mohan
 Rory Mullarkey photo Rory Mullarkey
 Jonathan Newman photo Jonathan Newman
 Kirsteen Nicol photo Kirsteen Nicol
 Elaine Nolan photo Elaine Nolan
 Samuel Norris  photo Samuel Norris
 Paula Riedel photo Paula Riedel
 Neel Sachdev photo Neel Sachdev
 Richard Semple photo Richard Semple
 Christopher Shield photo Christopher Shield
 Andrew Shore  photo Andrew Shore
 Adam Skinner photo Adam Skinner
 Sally Southwell photo Sally Southwell
 Michael Steele photo Michael Steele
 Jonathan Tadd photo Jonathan Tadd
 Marcus Thompson photo Marcus Thompson
 Sarah Thompson  photo Sarah Thompson
 Mark Thompson  photo Mark Thompson
 Satnam Tumani photo Satnam Tumani
 Cedric Van Den Borren photo Cedric Van Den Borren
 Tim Volkheimer photo Tim Volkheimer
 Alan Walker photo Alan Walker
 Richard Watkins photo Richard Watkins
 James Watson photo James Watson
 Andrej Wolf  photo Andrej Wolf
Number of UK partners : 148
Number of other UK fee-earners : 215

The Lex 100 Verdict

Many were encouraged to apply for the Kirkland & Ellis training contract because of the private equity focus and small trainee intake. Reputation and 'global prestige' make the firm a 'most ambitious and dynamic place' to work. Trainees agreed that their training was very 'hands-on' and 'involves more on-the-job learning than at some other firms'. New recruits enjoy greater responsibility in tandem with client contact, but applicants should be prepared as this may mean 'taking on work way above trainee level'. The people at the firm are described as one of the best things about working at Kirkland & Ellis, and are praised for being 'extremely driven' and for their commitment to 'driving forward in the same direction'. The nature of the training is said to be 'entrepreneurial', but this work ethic does have trainees facing unpredictably long hours and a questionable work/life balance. Having said that, applicants acknowledge that 'this is the same for all City firms'. Impressively, the firm has won medals in seven categories this year, including salary, confidence in being kept on, job satisfaction and quality of work. Indeed, job satisfaction at Kirkland & Ellis is extremely high, as survey respondents' best moments indicate: 'being able to run a deal with just a partner overseeing it' and 'working with great people'. On the flip side, 'having to do long, boring tasks' was less favourable. If you want to join a firm that is rated highly for inclusivity and enjoy being 'pushed out of your comfort zone', then apply to Kirkland & Ellis.