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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

New York

Kirkland & Ellis LLP - Chicago
  • 601 Lexington Avenue
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10022
  • Number of partners: 742
  • Number of other lawyers: 844
  • International offices China, Germany, Hong Kong, United Kingdom

Firm Overview:
For more than 100 years, Kirkland & Ellis has provided exceptional service to clients around the world in complex corporate, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, restructuring, tax and counseling matters.

Main Areas of Practice:
Kirkland is a full-service law firm focusing in the following core practice areas:

Corporate: Kirkland’s corporate lawyers cover the full spectrum of corporate transactions important to businesses in today’s global marketplace. Because of the firm’s consistently high volume of complex transactional engagements, it has developed a broad vision of the issues that confront business organizations and an aptitude for developing novel, creative and constructive solutions. Kirkland’s emphasis on teamwork allows it to synthesize the specialty areas needed to support a top-tier transactional practice for the benefit of its clients. Chambers and Partners named Kirkland as ‘Private Equity Law Firm of the Year’ for two years in a row, and has recognized the firm’s Corporate/M&A and Private Funds Groups with Awards for Excellence. In 2013, for the third year in a row, Kirkland was ranked No. 1 in Global Buyouts by volume and No. 1 for US M&A by Volume in Mergermarket’s League Tables of Legal Advisers to M&A for Year End 2013. The firm was also one of five selected M&A ‘Practice Groups of the Year’ in 2011 and 2013, and Private Equity ‘Practice Groups of the Year’ in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Law360.

Intellectual Property: Kirkland’s Intellectual Property Practice Group is one of the oldest such practices in a full-service firm in the country, having been an integral part of Kirkland since 1925. Located in the firm’s Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington, DC offices, Kirkland’s intellectual property lawyers are experienced in a variety of technical disciplines and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Kirkland’s lawyers have been recognized for their experience in litigation, transactions, counseling and administrative matters involving all areas of intellectual property. Kirkland has been recognized with an Award for Excellence in the IP Litigation Team category by Chambers and Partners. The BTI Consulting Group named Kirkland as a ‘Powerhouse Firm’ for IP Litigation in 2013. The firm also handled the second most federal district court patent suits in 2012, according to Corporate Counsel’s Patent Litigation Survey.

Litigation & Arbitration: Kirkland litigators expect – and are expected – to try cases. The firm believes that the best litigation results happen when the lawyers and client form a team that assumes it will try the case. Because of this trial-ready philosophy, the firm is able to offer clients a deep bench of lawyers who have been taking cases to verdict since the early stages of their careers. Whether in the courtroom, at the bargaining table or helping clients avoid risks without litigation, Kirkland has a long and proven track record of generating successful results for clients in their most high-stakes cases. In 2013, for the 12th consecutive year, Kirkland was named a ‘go-to’ firm for litigation in the Corporate Counsel survey ‘Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies?’. The American Lawyer has recognized Kirkland as a top firm in every ‘Litigation Department of the Year’ contest since 2002. Kirkland’s appellate and class action practices were also selected as 2012 ‘Practice Groups of the Year’ by Law360.

Real Estate: The members of the Real Estate Practice Group pursue an interdisciplinary approach to sophisticated real estate transactions to offer clients flexible and creative solutions to difficult problems across a broad range of transactions in the commercial real estate industry. In the summer of 2011, Kirkland recruited 10 seasoned real estate partners in New York and Chicago to add depth and breadth to several areas that involve important aspects of the real estate market, including joint ventures, complex debt restructurings, workouts and equity recapitalizations, fund formation, first mortgage and mortgage financings, capital markets and tax, in addition to core real estate transactional and development work. In 2011, Kirkland was one of five selected Real Estate ‘Practice Groups of the Year’ by Law360.

Restructuring: By combining sophisticated business advisory and crisis management skills with extensive experience in domestic and international insolvency matters, Kirkland’s Restructuring Practice 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 wide range of global clients in complex corporate restructuring, workout and bankruptcy planning, negotiation and litigation. The practice was named second in ‘best in practice’ in the 2013 Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms and was one of five selected Restructuring ‘Practice Groups of the Year’ by Law360 in 2011 and 2013.

Tax, Benefits & Estate Planning: The firm’s Tax Practice Group has handled an array of matters for clients in the courtroom and the boardroom, with proven results in the fund formation, merger and acquisition and tax litigation arenas. Kirkland’s employee benefits lawyers provide traditional employee benefits counseling and creative approaches to issues arising in the transactional, post-transactional and restructuring settings. Through the firm’s trusts and estates lawyers, individual and corporate fiduciaries receive counsel in connection with the preservation, management and transfer of wealth. Kirkland has been repeatedly honored as ‘Chicago Tax Firm of the Year’, and in 2012 as the ‘Americas Tax Restructuring Team of the Year’ at the International Tax Review’s Americas Tax Awards. Kirkland also has lawyers with significant experience in the areas of antitrust and competition, regulatory, government, internal investigation and whitecollar criminal defense, and securities enforcement. Kirkland’s competition and securities practices were selected as 2012 ‘Practice Groups of the Year’ by Law360. 

Branches

  • 333 South Hope Street,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90071
  • Tel +1 213 680 8400
  • Fax +1 213 680 8500
  • Email : mark.holscher@kirkland.com
  • 3330 Hillview Avenue,
  • Palo Alto,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94304
  • Tel +1 650 859 7000
  • Fax +1 650 859 7500
  • Email : adam.phillips@kirkland.com
  • 555 California Street,
  • San Francisco,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94104
  • Tel +1 415 439 1400
  • Fax +1 415 439 1500
  • Email : david.breach@kirkland.com
  • 655 Fifteenth Street, N.W.,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20005-5793
  • Tel +1 202 879 5000
  • Fax +1 202 879 5200
  • Email : eugene.assaf@kirkland.com
  • 601 Lexington Avenue,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10022
  • Tel +1 212 446 4800
  • Fax +1 212 446 4900
  • Email : lefkowitz@kirkland.com

Capital Markets - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago and New York.

What the team is known for Attracts the respect of the business community for its representation of clients on significant IPOs. An active presence in the high-yield debt market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I am very impressed with their business understanding, legal knowledge and the overall quick turnaround." 

Work highlights Represented Smurfit Kappa on several notes offerings including an EUR400 million offering of senior secured notes.

Represented Clear Channel Communications and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings on a $1.2 billion private offering of senior notes in a bond-for-bond-and-cash exchange offer. 

Represented Taminco on its $236.84 million IPO. 

Notable practitioners  

Joshua Korff is "super service-oriented" and has a "total command of the subject matter," say his clients. He represented Trinseo Materials Operating and Trinseo Materials Finance on an offering of $1.325 billion of senior secured notes.

Significant clients Avis Budget, Bain Capital, Golden Gate Capital, Community Health Systems, Solera.

Life Sciences - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Maintains an excellent reputation for representing life sciences companies of all sizes in litigation. Its experienced dispute teams are particularly adept at handling intellectual property disputes, regulatory issues and product liability suits.

Work highlights The team achieved a significant victory in a patent dispute between Pfizer and Watson Pharmaceuticals, regarding Watson's proposed generic version of Pfizer's patented drug Rapamune.

Successfully defended Teva in a case brought by a consumer who claimed to have developed tardive dyskinesia after taking Teva's generic form of Reglan.

Notable practitioners  

Clients describe Leora Ben-Ami as "a brilliant individual who is a very effective litigator. She is a go-to practitioner for the life sciences." Her primary focus is intellectual property, and she is held in particularly high regard by sources for her patent litigation work.

Significant clients RanBaxy, DuPont, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead Sciences. 

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

What the team is known for A leading debtor-side practice with expertise in handling out-of-court restructurings and some of the most significant Chapter 11 proceedings in the USA. Deep bench of attorneys with extensive skills in domestic and international cases and experience in DIP financing arrangements, distressed asset sales and reorganization plans.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They have a great ability to understand the big picture and strategy, as well as in-depth technical knowledge in every aspect."

"They are endlessly creative and they have deep relationships in the restructuring industry that allow the client to benefit from the credibility they have built up."

Work highlights Advised Cengage Learning, a leading US textbook publisher with additional international operations, in relation to the restructuring of its $5.4 billion debt and its attempts to reorganize its capital structure.

Acted for Ally Financial and Ally Bank in the bankruptcy case of Residential Capital. The group represented its clients through mediation proceedings aimed at reaching a Chapter 11 plan confirmation and negotiated a favorable settlement for the client.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Cieri represents companies in financially distressed situations and boards of directors and company officers in matters concerning their fiduciary duty. Interviewees say: "He is the gold standard of US restructuring lawyers" and agree that "he is a tremendous guy who does excellent work."

James Sprayregen practices in both the Chicago and New York offices on matters spanning from restructuring distressed companies to representing buyers of distressed assets. Notable work highlights include the confirmation of a restructuring plan of Global Aviation Holdings in Chapter 11 proceedings. Clients note that "he is extremely commercial and he carries a great deal of gravitas in high-level issues." 

Thrilled clients praise Paul Basta as a "superstar and a 'go-to' for complex bankruptcy matters." His practice involves work with debtors, creditors and investors in the restructuring of distressed companies. He has acted as debtor's counsel for Longview Power after it voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection in order to restructure more than $1 billion in liabilities and assets.

Sources observe that Jonathan Henes "has good judgment and is good on his feet in court." One admiring client praises his advocacy skills, in particular his "ability to defend you in very tough situations," where he remains "unflappable." His practice includes advising debtor companies, creditors' committees and distressed investors in complex bankruptcy proceedings.

Edward Sassower is widely praised by interviewees for his "deep relationships in the bankruptcy community" and for his "great understanding of the business impact of decisions." He advised on the Chapter 11 proceedings of MSR Resort Golf Course, where the final confirmed plan led to a 100% recovery for general unsecured creditors.

The "very impressive" Joshua Sussberg has stood out to interviewees, who commend his maturity and "unflappable" demeanor. He works with debtors, equity holders and creditors and recently co-led in advising Conexant Systems in Chapter 11 proceedings.

According to clients, Nicole Greenblatt is "passionate, smart and has the right balance of aggression and consensual deal-making ability." She acted for an ad hoc committee of senior secured noteholders and certain DIP lenders in the Reader's Digest Association Chapter 11 proceedings. 

Significant clients Global Aviation Holdings, Pipeline Data, Prommis Holdings, Conexant Systems, Longview Power.

Corporate/M&A - New York

What the team is known for Traditionally strong in private equity, with a flourishing public company practice. Frequently called upon for complex and high-profile transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I highly value their responsiveness, availability, level of experience and creativity, and the breadth of their service offering. No matter what specialty you need, they have someone who can help you."

"Kirkland is always striving for outstanding quality and service to the client."

What's new? New clients include Accenture, The Blackstone Group and Hess Corporation.

Work highlights Acted for 3G Partners on the $28 billion acquisition of HJ Heinz with Berkshire Hathaway.

Advised Clearwire on its approximately $14 billion sale to Sprint Nextel.

Notable practitioners 

David Fox represents targets and acquirers in M&A and private equity matters, as well as advising boards of directors and special committees. Clients are full of praise, identifying him as "a top M&A lawyer" and adding that "if you have a complex M&A deal, you want to use him." He recently acted for the special committee of the board of directors of rue21 on the company's approximately $1.1 billion purchase by Apax Partners.

Stephen Fraidin's practice encompasses M&A and corporate counseling for companies and investment clients. He recently acted on 3G's acquisition, with Berkshire Hathaway, of HJ Heinz. Peers commend his approach to deal-making, saying: "There are few people who interact with clients and counsel clients in the way he does. He doesn't feel compelled to prove he is the smartest in the room; he is instead very much focused on the outcome."

Daniel Wolf advises private, public and private equity clients on M&A matters. He recently acted for Duff & Phelps on its acquisition by a consortium including The Carlyle Group and Stone Point Capital. Clients commend Wolf as being "extremely responsive, thoughtful and creative," adding that he is "practical in his responses and in how he deals with situations that arise in the course of negotiating a deal."

Sarkis Jebejian handles domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, as well as corporate counseling. He recently represented Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital in the $6.9 billion investor group acquisition of BMC Software. Clients say: "He is always practical, business-oriented, responsive and hard-working."

Clients say Leo Greenberg is "excellent, very commercial and super hard-working." He focuses on private equity representations, acting for both buyout funds and portfolio companies.

William Sorabella represents strategic acquirers and targets in M&A transactions, as well as private equity clients. He recently acted alongside partner Stephen Fraidin on 3G's acquisition, with Berkshire Hathaway, of HJ Heinz.

Significant clients Bristol-Myers Squibb, Community Health Systems, Accenture, Avis Budget Group, Wyndham Worldwide.

Intellectual Property - New York

What the team is known for One of the most formidable patent litigation offerings in the country, with depth in hi-tech, electronics and life sciences. Also a leading trademark and copyright practice, relied on by media and entertainment, consumer products, fashion and technology clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I have continued to use Kirkland & Ellis because they provide consistent high-quality representation, formulate a successful strategy early in the case, demonstrate superior writing skills and pay attention to every detail of the case."

"Besides being extremely competent in what they do, they are also very down to earth and just really nice people."

Work highlights Secured a complete defense verdict for client Alcatel-Lucent in a patent infringement jury trial against Wi-LAN concerning standard-essential cellular wireless technology.

Acted for Facebook in an action filed by e-commerce company CVG-SAB, which contended the client had infringed a trademark for its 'want' button feature.

Notable practitioners  

The highly regarded Dale Cendali heads the firm's trademark, copyright and internet division. She has a national reputation for her superb handling of complex litigation in these areas, often acting on behalf of media, consumer products and software companies.

Claudia Ray excels at copyright and trademark matters, litigious and noncontentious, and is considered a leading authority throughout the country and beyond. She counsels on and defends brands and copyrighted material for clients operating in a wide array of sectors.

Leora Ben-Ami's arrival at Kirkland has in the last few years taken its New York office into the premier league of life sciences and pharmaceutical litigation. She is considered to be one of the "top patent litigators in the city."

Gregory Arovas is garlanded by clients and peers as a "smart, thorough and tactically savvy patent litigator." He is a go-to trial lawyer for clients operating in the electronics and hi-technology arena. 

Steven Cherny is a patent litigator and trial lawyer with a national reputation for his representations of clients in software and computer technology. He has recently distinguished himself in significant matters relating to standard-essential patents.

Significant clients Bank of America, Cisco Systems, IBM, Colgate-Palmolive, J.K. Rowling.

Litigation - New York

What the team is known for Nationally renowned litigation expertise. Visible presence in the commercial dispute arena in New York complemented by particular strength in the representation of clients in the pharmaceutical and medical device arena. Also fields notable securities litigation capabilities and an increasingly recognized white-collar group.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're excellent, very competent and extremely responsive. Their litigation reputation is tremendous, justifiable and well deserved. We were very pleased with them."

"Very experienced practice and very effective in understanding the strategy for effective and positive resolution from the standpoint of the company. They know the terrain, know the courts very well and have an excellent work product."

"I have a very positive impression of their responsiveness, experience and judgment. Kirkland has always struck me as having outstanding practitioners who are also very responsive and accessible." 

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Mutual Pharmaceutical in a highly publicized matter in the US Supreme Court relating to claims surrounding a generic drug.

Lead counsel for Facebook in numerous derivative lawsuits and shareholder class actions brought in multiple jurisdictions arising out of Facebook’s IPO. 

Notable practitioners  

Former federal prosecutor Andrew Genser is praised for his extensive trial experience. He focuses his practice on representation of individuals and companies in a range of criminal and regulatory investigations.

Jay Lefkowitz has a broad commercial practice and is recognized for his appellate expertise. His recent representations include the successful defense of IBM in a case involving breach of contract claims. Clients highlight him as being "extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of litigation. He recommends clear and decisive litigation paths, provide timely advice and is extremely responsive in times of need."

William Pratt is well regarded for his commercial litigation experience. One client praises his "excellent trial skills and excellent technical understanding; very responsive and very attentive to detail."

Joseph Serino has significant expertise in complex securities disputes. Sources note that "his presence and composure in court is exceptional and his ability to think on his feet is impressive."

Andrew Clubok recently handled numerous shareholder claims and putative class action suits filed against Accretive Health. One client comments: "He's very smart, very aggressive in the appropriate ways, very detail-oriented and hard-working - I have a lot of confidence in him."

Significant clients Teva, SuperMedia, Ally Financial, Community Health Systems, RBS.

Media & Entertainment - New York

What the team is known for Strong media litigation practice with expertise in trademark, copyright, advertising and internet law as part of a broad IP group. Represents a series of household names from the broadcasting, film, internet and sports sectors. 

Work highlights Acted on behalf of 8 Legged Productions in a series of cases against the former director of its 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' Broadway musical.

Defended Facebook against e-commerce company CVG-SAB in a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Notable practitioners  

Dale Cendali offers trademark and copyright expertise and is regarded as "a fabulous lawyer" and "an extraordinary litigator." She is recognized for her representation of some of the major studios and media and entertainment companies.   

Significant clients Fox News Network, J.K. Rowling, The Tetris Company.

Real Estate - New York

What the team is known for Represents private equity fund sponsors on fund-raising, structuring, deployment of capital and disposition. Offers expertise in debt restructuring and workouts, and equity recapitalization expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)  
"It is a good-quality service and we are happy with the product. They are extremely knowledgeable and service-oriented."

"They have very broad experience which provides us with insights beyond just knowledge of the law."

Work highlights Represented Dune Real Estate Partners in the recapitalization and construction financing of 56 Leonard Street, including a $350 million construction loan and $120 million in mezzanine financing.

Advised GID Investment Advisers on its acquisition of two luxury rental properties in Riverside South Park.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Schechter is "very capable, smart, resourceful and hard-working," say clients. He recently advised Lubert-Adler Partners on a joint venture with L&L Holding to acquire a leasehold interest in 114 Fifth Avenue.

Scott Berger represented Starwood Capital on raising Starwood Distressed Opportunity Fund IX, a $4.2 billion fund. Market sources praise his expertise on private equity-related real estate transactions.

Jennifer Morgan is "very practical, business-minded" and "very good at navigating through tense or complicated situations," according to her clients. She advised Pantzer Properties on the formation of a co-investment vehicle to acquire The Georgian, a high-rise apartment complex in Maryland.

Significant clients Brookfield Asset Management, Kerzner International, The Lionstone Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Teays River Investments.

Tax - New York

What the team is known for Handles a broad range of domestic and international tax planning matters, and federal, state and local tax controversies. Renowned for its expertise in restructuring, private equity and M&A.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A very formidable group of tax lawyers that can handle sophisticated planning matters."

"They do a very effective job for the client." 

Work highlights Advised 3G Capital Partners in connection with its acquisition of HJ Heinz for $28 billion.

Advised ABRY Partners in connection with its acquisitions of Emerging Market Communications and Confie Seguros Holding.  

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Gallagher heads the firm's tax group and handles tax issues relating to financings, divestitures, public offerings, M&A and fund formation. He is regarded as "a very talented attorney" who "represents his clients very well."

Russell Light handles private equity fund formation, REITs, restructurings and controversies. "He is just a very bright tax attorney," say clients, who add that "he has a lot of insight into complicated transactions."

Steven Clemens focuses his practice on domestic and international M&A, securities and investment fund formation. "He is an easygoing and constructive lawyer who will get a deal done," states a market source.

Significant clients Apax Partners, Clearwire, Duff & Phelps, Oaktree Capital Management, Strategic Value Partners.