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Kirkland & Ellis LLP


Kirkland & Ellis LLP - Chicago
  • 300 North LaSalle
  • Chicago
  • Illinois
  • USA
  • IL 60654
  • Tel:+1 312 862 2000
  • Fax:+1 312 862 2200
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • 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. 


  • 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

Banking & Finance - California

What the team is known for Continues to establish a substantial presence in the California market with significant borrower-side expertise. Represents a wealth of private equity funds, offering skill across a wide array of debt financing transactions such as dividend recapitalizations, leveraged financings, opportunistic investments and restructurings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent - the thing I'm most pleased with is the availability and the very quick and accurate work."

"Their turnaround is very quick, they're really good at coordinating a lot of groups - they've got everybody covered."

Work highlights Represented Blum Capital and Golden Gate Capital in connection with $555 million of committed senior secured financing used to part fund the acquisition of Collective Brands' Payless ShoeSource business.

Acted on behalf of Insight Pharmaceuticals and Swander Pace Capital with regards to its £310 million senior secured dividend recapitalization financing.

Notable practitioners  

Samantha Good offers a broad range of experience that covers exit financings, workouts and subordinated debt and mezzanine financing. Sources find her "super responsive," and admire the fact that "she isn't afraid to push on behalf of the client," and note that "it feels good to have her on your side."

David Nemecek advises on recapitalizations, leveraged buyouts and other sophisticated finance transactions on behalf of hedge funds, corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors. Interviewees highlight that he is "a very smart and talented lawyer."

The "extremely commercial" Christopher Kirkham wins praise for the fact that he does not "get bogged down in the minutiae." Of recent note he represented Insight Pharmaceuticals and Swander Pace Capital in relation to its $310 million dividend recapitalization financing.

Significant clients Thorna Bravo, Francisco Partners, Vista Equity Partners, Vector Capital, H.I.G. Capital.

Corporate/M&A - California

What the team is known for Market-leading private equity practice with particular expertise in leveraged buyouts. Represents high-end and middle-market private equity firms as well as portfolio companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are simply the best advisers we have. They are crucial partners in our success."

"They take a full view of our business beyond the simply transactional. We really feel like this is a partnership."

What's new? Rick Madden joins the team from Skadden Arps.

Work highlights Acted on Oaktree Capital Management's acquisition of Osmose Holdings.

Represented Shamrock Capital Advisors on the acquisition of collegiate sports radio producer and syndicator Learfield Communications.

Notable practitioners 

David Breach is "a very talented lawyer," focusing on formation and M&A matters for private equity firms. Clients appreciate his ability to "make a transaction happen even when the two sides are in disagreement."

The well-regarded John Weissenbach is based in the firm's Los Angeles office. He focuses on leveraged buyouts, investments and M&A. 

David Dixon is resident in the San Francisco office. His practice covers buyouts, investments, financings and M&A. Clients say he is "quite strong" and a "very good attorney."

Sources are full of praise for Los Angeles-based Rick Madden, saying he is "incredibly smart" and has "tremendous recall." His practice focuses on representing private equity firms in acquisitions and divestitures. Clients add that he is "a great private equity lawyer, who offers practical yet careful advice."

Rising star Damon Fisher "does an excellent job identifying potential issues and communicating them in a clear fashion." Clients appreciate his ability to remain "super calm in the pocket of high-pressure transactions" while delivering "rock-solid business advice." He recently represented Oaktree Capital Management and JSA International in the latter's $1.3 billion acquisition by Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance.

Significant clients Golden Gate Capital, Gryphon Investors, Huntsman Gay Global Capital, GI Partners, The Carlyle Group.

Intellectual Property - California

What the team is known for Strong trial team, with a robust group of courtroom attorneys and a sophisticated approach to complex litigation. Represents a fine choice of counsel for software and hi-tech businesses.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are responsive and well organized, and have some really strong associates and senior associates."

"The team are very effective as litigation counsel, and that is a testament to their quality as attorneys."

Work highlights Secured two successful rulings regarding RAND obligations in a patent litigation brought against Cisco, Motorola, Netgear and a large number of their leading clients. The 23 patents at issue relate to WiFi internet technology.

Notable practitioners

IP litigator Michael De Vries elicits particular praise for his versatility, with one client describing him as "phenomenal at managing a case, but also phenomenal in a court."

Significant clients Alcatel-Lucent, Biedermann Motech, Intel, Medtronic, Teleflex.

Litigation - California

What the team is known for Offers depth of experience in class action defense from three California offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. Clients come from a range of industries including the technology, pharmaceutical and aviation sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've been extremely responsive and creative with us, as well as being very diligent. I rate them very highly."

"I was very, very impressed with the level of their work. One thing that applies to all the staff there is that they are very responsive. They were always communicating with updates and suggestions."

Work highlights Represented Pfizer in defense of class action claims relating to misleading expiration dates on its Advil labeling.

Defended Facebook in an antitrust suit brought by Sambreel relating to software designed to modify Facebook's webpages.

Notable practitioners  

Mark McKane is described by sources as "diligent and very responsive to client needs." He practices across a broad span of commercial litigation matters, including disputes arising from mergers and acquisitions, antitrust disputes and consumer class actions.

Significant clients Boeing, Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems, Union Carbide, 24hr Fitness.

Antitrust - District of Columbia

What the team is known for Highly capable team of antitrust attorneys with notable expertise in merger reviews and filings, as well as strong capabilities in civil litigation. Advises a broad client base including pharmaceuticals, energy and healthcare sector entities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're in the very top echelon for responsiveness and client service." 

"They have a tremendous Hart-Scott-Rodino team - some of the best in the business for that."

Work highlights Represented 3G Capital Partners in its joint acquisition, alongside Berkshire Hathaway, of H J Heinz for $28 billion.

Acted for Community Health Systems in its $7.6 billion proposed purchase of Health Management Associates.

Notable practitioners  

Timothy Muris is "one of the most knowledgeable people in the business" and "exceptional in the M&A and antitrust economics areas." He is highly experienced, with 40 years spent working on antitrust matters.

Mark Kovner is "responsive and thoughtful" and "has great expertise in the field," according to sources. He was the lead antitrust lawyer on 3G Capital's joint acquisition of H J Heinz with Berkshire Hathaway for $28 billion.

Christine Wilson is a highly regarded partner who practices across antitrust and consumer protection matters. She recently acted for Leap Wireless International in its $1.2 billion acquisition by AT&T.

Significant clients Avis Budget Group, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Hess, Jeppesen Sanderson, Wyndham Worldwide.

Corporate/M&A - District of Columbia

What the team is known for National firm with strong local practice and an excellent reputation in private equity matters. Also represents high-profile public clients on transactional matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very responsive, very commercial and they know what a reasonable stance to take is. To have so much experience helps us get deals done more quickly. They're a superb firm."

"They are a large firm that provides very comprehensive service in all areas, and they do it seamlessly."

What's new? New clients include Hess Corporation and Crestview Partners.

Work highlights Acted for MidOcean Partners on its $985 million sale of its portfolio company Bushnell Group Holdings to ATK.

Advised nuclear power plant operator Exelon on the consolidation of its joint venture with EDF into Exelon's nuclear fleet.

Notable practitioners 

George Stamas advises public and private companies on corporate transactions and corporate governance, with clients praising him as "the ultimate consigliere, providing superior legal advice and also great business counsel." Recent work includes acting for MidOcean Partners on the acquisition with Vulcan Capital of Water Pik, a personal and dental care company.

Mark Director focuses on M&A and corporate governance advice for public companies and private equity firms. He recently acted for Hess Corporation on the approximately $1 billion sale of its energy marketing business to Direct Energy.

The well-regarded Andrew Herman handles strategic M&A, LBOs and private equity investments. He recently represented Greenbriar Equity Group in connection with its acquisition of EDAC Technologies and the subsequent acquisition of Parkway Aerospace & Defense.

Significant clients Arlington Capital Partners, CEB, Sagent Pharmaceutical, FTI Consulting, Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

Environment - District of Columbia

What the team is known for Renowned for its formidable group of environmental litigators, who handle a range of actions, including mass torts, government enforcement, rulemaking challenges and Superfund matters. Also has strength in transactional work resulting from corporate deals, such as mergers, acquisitions and financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"We had a great experience with the whole team. They do a pretty great job working as a team – they are seamless and they all know what everyone is doing."

"There is no problem too big for them. They will find an answer. They will find a creative solution and get the job done."

Work highlights Represented BP in various actions arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Provided environmental advice to Bain Capital Partners on its $1.6 billion acquisition of Apex Took Group from Danaher and Eaton.   

Notable practitioners    

Walter Lohmann is head of the environmental transactional practice group at the firm. He concentrates on advising clients on environmental issues connected with corporate and real estate deals. 

The "excellent" and "truly outstanding" Granta Nakayama has a "wealth of knowledge about federal and state emissions regulations," says a client.

Clients praise Brian Land as being "extremely insightful, bright and practical. He can get to the heart of an issue with laser precision." 

Clients hail Stuart Drake as a "recognized expert on Clean Air Act and EPA emission regulations" and "a fearless advocate for his clients."

Significant clients Kia Motors America, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, CF Industries, Saw Mill Capital, Tronox.

Intellectual Property - District of Columbia

What the team is known for An extensive litigation focus, with much of its work concerning patents for pharmaceutical, electrical and petrochemical technologies. The team is particularly comfortable handling federal circuit appeals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Trial preparation was superb and the performance was outstanding." 

"They are very, very impressive" 

Work highlights Successfully defended Cisco Systems in a multiparty patent infringement suit brought by VirnetX.

Upheld on appeal a decision entitling client C. R. Bard to receive past damages and ongoing royalties from W. L. Gore in what may be one of the highest value patent awards in history.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Donovan is praised as an "outstanding lawyer" by client sources. He is a litigator and trial lawyer with much experience handling cases involving electronics and semiconductors before the courts and the ITC.

Gregg LoCascio is lauded by clients and peers alike for his advocacy and intellectual acuity in electrical and mechanical engineering-related cases. Sources say he is a "magnificent trial lawyer" and a "persuasive speaker."

Significant clients IBM, Facebook, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens, Honeywell International.

Litigation - District of Columbia

What the team is known for Substantial team well versed in a wide variety of disputes, including securities, antitrust and M&A. Also sought after for its expertise in insurance coverage and fraud litigation. Extensive experience of acting for Fortune 500 companies in government investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"At trial, our number-one lawyer was terrific, our number-two lawyer was terrific and our number-three lawyer was also terrific."

"I would rate them as my top firm in terms of client service and responsiveness."

Work highlights Representing BP in the numerous civil and criminal investigations related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Successfully defended Siemens in a $10 billion RICO claim brought by the Iraqi government.

Acted for Honeywell against the DOJ in a high-profile False Claims Act claim alleging the production of defective body armor.

Notable practitioners  

Eugene Assaf took the lead in successfully obtaining the dismissal of a nationwide RICO claim brought against BASF. Clients commend him for being "extremely smart and responsive."

Fine litigator Thomas Yannucci maintains a varied civil practice. He formed part of the team defending Siemens in a multibillion-dollar RICO action brought by the Republic of Iraq.

Craig Primis is a "rising star" of the DC litigation Bar. One recent case saw him lead the defense of Honeywell in a claim brought by the DOJ concerning the manufacture of defective body armor.

Significant clients Facebook, SIPC, Raytheon, Wyndham.

Media & Entertainment - District of Columbia

What the team is known for Robust traditional media practice, offering expertise and extensive experience in First Amendment and defamation matters.

Notable practitioners  

The "very preeminent" Thomas Yannucci is a highly regarded litigator in the field and adept in handling defamation, antitrust and intellectual property disputes, while also handling government enforcement and regulatory matters.

Antitrust - Illinois

What the team is known for Considered by many commentators to be the premier antitrust firm in Chicago. Possesses a strong roster of lawyers combined with a breadth and depth of experience primarily in litigation matters. Regularly sighted in almost all of the largest class action matters in the USA.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have some of the smartest lawyers around."

"Kirkland remains outstanding." 

Work highlights Represented Baxter in defense of a class action suit concerning therapies relating to plasma protein.

Acted for Packaging Corporation of America in a case of alleged price-fixing by manufacturers of containerboard.

Notable practitioners  

James Mutchnik has been one of the leading antitrust litigators in Chicago for a number of years. His practice features an emphasis on criminal as well as civil antitrust matters. He continues to act for Hitachi Display Products in the TFT-LCD antitrust class action suit in Northern California.

Daniel Laytin is praised by sources for his intellect, with one source saying: "He's the smartest guy in any room he enters." He is the lead lawyer for Packaging Corporation of America in the containerboard antitrust class action suit.

David Zott is an experienced trial lawyer with "excellent judgment." He practices antitrust alongside other complex commercial litigation and was co-lead with Daniel Laytin for Baxter as a defendant in the plasma therapy antitrust case.

Andrew Langan is able to bring "a wealth of experience" to antitrust and complex commercial litigation, according to sources.

Junior partner Barack Echols is making a name as a "sharp" practitioner who is capably handling matters often assigned to more senior lawyers. He was part of the team acting for Packaging Corporation of America in litigation concerning containerboard boxes.

Significant clients Bain Capital, Baxter, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Hitachi, Navistar International.

Banking & Finance - Illinois

What the team is known for Extensive expertise relating to syndicated finance transactions, particularly on behalf of borrowers. A huge following among private equity sponsors and portfolio companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"What I like most about our working relationship is how much how I have learned about the business by working with them. They are very aggressive and hold their position, I'm grateful for that. They are cutting-edge."

"They did a fantastic job, soup to nuts." 

Work highlights Advised Dex One on the amendment and restatement of three secured term loans worth a combined $1.8 billion. This helped facilitate a groundbreaking Chapter 11 merger with SuperMedia.

Advised Spotless Holdings in the $1.2 billion refinancing of a senior secured term loan and first and second lien facilities.

Notable practitioners  

Linda Myers is "hard to beat," say sources, particularly because she "knows the market extremely well and keeps a good finger on the pulse." Myers regularly represents lenders, private equity funds and public companies in debt financing transactions.

Christopher Butler is well recognized by the market for his work with borrower clients, which include Bain Capital and Infor Global Solutions. Butler advises on secured and unsecured debt financing transactions. 

Michelle Kilkenney represents lenders and borrowers in senior and subordinate debt transactions. A source said: "Her mastery of my company's lending agreements is actually better than my own counsel's." 

Maureen Sweeney is "very enthusiastic, friendly and has a very calming sense," say sources. Her practice consists of advising financial institutions on acquisition financing, restructurings and loan workouts.

Michael Wright gains recognition from the market for being a skilled practitioner. Loan workouts and mezzanine and structured financings are key areas of focus for him.

Significant clients Bristol-Myers Squibb, Edison Mission Energy, Madison Dearborn, KKR, Hanesbrands.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Illinois

What the team is known for Continues to be a powerhouse in the market, with a strong bench of attorneys who are widely recognized as experts in the field. Operates as part of an integrated international network, frequently achieving success in some of the most high-profile cross-border cases. Particularly renowned for its strength acting for debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings, with additional substantial experience advising creditors and purchasers of distressed assets in transactions and out-of-court restructurings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I think Kirkland is world-class – they're probably the marquee debtor shop of today. They actually have all the resources. A lot of distress firms don't have top-shelf private equity expertise, but they do."

"Extraordinary service, unfailingly hard-working and highly responsive."

"They're fast, and they seem to be very good about using associates rather than partners if it's practical. They've been really good about making sure that we're not bombarded with huge bills."

What's new? Marc Kieselstein returned to the Chicago office after spending four years in the firm's New York office, adding further depth to the group's bankruptcy offering in Illinois.

Work highlights Represented Hawker Beechcraft (now known as Beechcraft) in connection with its $2.5 billion financial and operational restructuring following its Chapter 11 filing.

Acted on behalf of AMF Bowling Worldwide with regards to its Chapter 11 filing and related $300 million restructuring process.

Notable practitioners  

The "spectacular" James Sprayregen is hailed as "the godfather of restructuring," with one source noting that there is "not a question or a nuance that I can ask him that he won't know about." Interviewees are impressed by his "boundless energy to work on issues" and his ability to "translate the law into practical application," agreeing that he is "one of the major stars of the industry." He represented Hawker Beechcraft as mentioned above.

Sources describe the "intellectually gifted" Anup Sathy as "an individual of high personal character," who is "creative and resilient," with "a terrific bedside manner." He has a wealth of experience advising buyers, investors and companies, and was recently part of the team providing restructuring advice to Fisker Automotive.

David Seligman "is a thoughtful attorney," whom interviewees find "particularly effective when considering highly complex legal matters," noting that he is "able to communicate those complex matters to his clients in a way that those issues can be understood and acted upon by boards." Of late he has been representing the liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia in connection with a substantial restructuring process.

James Stempel advises a diverse client base of companies, purchasers and creditors across a broad spectrum of bankruptcy and restructuring matters. Interviewees highlight that he is practical in his approach to matters.

The "very highly regarded" Patrick Nash is "wonderful to deal with, very smart and very capable." He recently acted for AMF Bowling Worldwide on issues arising from its Chapter 11 filing.  

David Eaton regularly represents bondholders, unsecured creditors, financial institutions and debtors, among other clients, in bankruptcy litigation, negotiations and restructuring matters. He is well liked in the industry and commended for his abilities in the sector. 

Interviewees admire that the "very business-savvy" Marc Kieselstein "is very practical in his advice," highlighting that he "understands how companies work and is able to cut through to what is important and what needs to be addressed." He provided restructuring advice to Maxcom Telecomunicaciones on its potential filing under Chapter 11.

Significant clients Dex One, Fisker Automotive, Edison Mission Energy, hibu, Liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia.

Corporate/M&A - Illinois

What the team is known for Chicago heavyweight with a market-leading reputation for transactions on behalf of private equity groups and large companies. Highly sought after for multibillion-dollar mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"K&E is an excellent law firm. The firm brings excellent corporate partners to the table and surrounds them with expertise in other areas. They all have a great vision of the endgame."

"I would describe the firm's performance as strong, with a deep bench of professionals and specialists and a strong familiarity with subject matter."

Work highlights Advised Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital on a $6.9 billion take-private acquisition of BMC software. 

Advised Baxter International on its $4 billion purchase of Swedish kidney dialysis product manufacturers Gambro.

Notable practitioners  

Jon Ballis has a formidable reputation in relation to corporate transactional advice, primarily on behalf of private equity companies. His clients include Bain Capital, Blackstone and The Pritzker Group.

Key partner Scott Falk focuses on representing public companies in mergers and acquisitions. Clients say Falk "very much takes an intellectual approach," while also praising his responsiveness and determination to close a deal.

The "top-notch" Sanford Perl recently advised GTCR in relation to its $585 million sale of Actient Holdings to Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. He is particularly strong when advising healthcare, manufacturing and media industry clients.

The "very prominent" Stephen Ritchie specializes in the negotiation and structuring of mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts. His recent highlights include advising GTCR on a number of acquisitions and disposals.

The "exceptional" Matthew Steinmetz recently advised Bain and Golden Gate on their acquisition of BMC.

Douglas Gessner is known for guiding private equity and venture capital entities through leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, startups, investments and fund formation.

Walter Holzer advises a number of private equity funds and well-known companies in relation to a broad array of transactional matters.

Edward Schneidman advises on M&A and securities law as part of a broad corporate practice with a real estate bent to it.

Jeffrey Hammes is an experienced corporate attorney who advises major private equity firms on a wide array of transactional and governance needs.

Significant clients Sun Capital, Madison Dearborn, Oaktree, Summit Partners, Thoma Bravo.

Environment - Illinois

What the team is known for Advises a stellar client list, primarily on contentious issues. Fields specialists in mass torts, responsible party and insurance coverage matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Kirkland is one of our go-to large matter litigation firms. The group is superb in terms of its culture, its litigation style, and the quality throughout the firm's partners."

Work highlights Defended ExxonMobil against damages claims emerging from a ruptured pipe which leaked oil into the Yellowstone River.

Represents Dow Chemical in a long-running putative class action filed by property owners in Midland, Michigan claiming property devaluation caused by contaminated Tittabawassee River floodplains.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Running advises on contamination, toxic tort and product liability matters, and recently defended BP in several putative class actions filed in Illinois, New York and California.

Described as "first-rate" by one source, Mark Lillie is well regarded for his environmental litigation skills, especially in mass tort and contract disputes.

Significant clients BP, Chemtura, Keystone Consolidated Industries, Tronox, W.R. Grace & Co.

Insurance - Illinois

What the team is known for Represents both major policyholders and insurance companies in high-level, complex insurance disputes. Praised by clients for its handling of business interruption matters, claims analysis and corporate restructuring.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're a top-notch firm. True trial lawyers who are always available to the client. Effective communicators and elite insurance lawyers."

"Kirkland & Ellis provides high-quality legal representation and, due to its size, can provide counsel in all areas of the law."

Work highlights Recently acted as co-lead counsel for Union Carbide, regarding an action seeking coverage for asbestos personal injury liabilities. The case is highly complex and involves hundreds of millions of dollars in defense and indemnity costs.

Advised Viking Pump, an IDEX subsidiary, against Century Indemnity and others, in a long-running case worth hundreds of millions of dollars regarding asbestos claims.

Notable practitioners  

The "outstanding" Michael Foradas earns widespread acclaim from peers and clients for his distinguished insurance practice. He is cited by one peer as being "a preeminent practitioner here in Illinois," whilst one client states "his strength is in analysis, communicating that analysis both orally and in writing succinctly, giving clients practical advice and developing effective case strategy."

Nader Boulos recently represented the liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia regarding issues related to its liquidation under Australian law. According to sources, he is "an incredible strategic thinker, and an excellent writer. He's extremely articulate and can distill complex arguments down to easily understood comments. He is always very responsive."

Significant clients Boeing, Allstate Insurance, Dow Chemical, Aon.

Intellectual Property - Illinois

What the team is known for Powerful litigation practice with an excellent capacity to handle large-scale patent disputes. Highly active trial practice, particularly in the electronics, computing and hi-tech sectors.

"Kirkland & Ellis is a spectacular firm; a howitzer!"

"They are good at what they do; they're very thoughtful, and aggressive when we want them to be."

Work highlights Successfully overturned a jury verdict of patent infringement for Research In Motion, including vacating an award of $147.2 million in damages. The patents in question covered the management and remote control of wireless technology.

Advised IBM on a patent infringement suit brought by Financial Systems Technology. 

Notable practitioners  

Kenneth Adamo is rated by clients as an attorney who is "highly professional," "very responsive" and "very attentive." His clients include IBM and Tokyo Electron.

Russell Levine focuses on patent infringement litigation and patent licensing disputes. He recently advised OpenTV in a patent infringement suit against Netflix.

William Streff has substantial experience with IP litigation, transactions and counseling. He frequently represents Japanese companies.

Significant clients Colgate-Palmolive, Syngenta Seeds, Pylon, Aker BioMarine, Pfizer.

Litigation - Illinois

What the team is known for Leading firm in the market with considerable capabilities in civil litigation and federal investigations. Represents companies and individuals in FCPA, anti-corruption and SEC litigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are a fabulous firm - I would turn to them in a conflict." 

"A go-to firm. A class act." 

Work highlights Represented GM and several of its board members in a class action brought against owners of GM stock in relation to alleged infringements of the Securities Act of 1933.

Advised McDonald's in connection to a $65 million case brought against the company by franchisees alleging breach of contract and fraud. The case was dismissed.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Filip heads the firm's government, regulatory and internal investigations group. He advises Fortune 500 companies in connection to FCPA investigations, as well as handling commercial litigations. Clients praise him for being "extremely adept at relationship management." 

Richard Godfrey focuses on commercial litigations and gains recognition from one client for his ability to "take ownership of problems and fix problems." 

Robert Kopecky is highlighted by one market commentator as an "excellent lawyer" for litigation. Kopecky's workload includes representing clients in securities class actions.

Emily Nicklin has a formidable reputation for her handling of cases concerning professional liability, tort and securities fraud among others.

Sallie Smylie specializes in litigation relating to pharmaceutical product liability and she has recently advised Medtronic Inc.  

Significant clients BP, Abbott Laboratories, Baxter, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association, General Motors. 

Real Estate - Illinois

What the team is known for Considerable strength in advising real estate investors such as private equity firms and REITs in joint ventures, restructurings and transactions. Also noted for its handling of real estate private equity fund formations and REIT formations and a range of financing transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Every experience we had with them was perfect." 

"They really know their craft. They're unbelievably dedicated." 

Work highlights Advised MSR Resort Golf in its $1.5 billion sale of four golf courses. This complex matter involved a plethora of issues in relation to bankruptcy, litigation and property management.

Advised Summit Mountain Holding in its $40 million acquisition of Powder Mountain in Utah, the largest ski resort in the country.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Daniel Perlman covers a broad range of matters, including dispositions and acquisitions. Perlman is praised by a commentator for his ability "to bring an able business approach." 

Andrew Small is noted by one industry insider as "a pleasure to work with." Small recently advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co on joint venture, management and lease agreements in relation to the securing of a loan for the acquisition of the Colonie Centre in Albany, New York.

The "very knowledgeable" Rachel Brown is particularly recognized for her borrower representation in real estate financing matters, which she handles as part of a broader transactional practice.

Significant clients Equity Group Investments, Square Mile Capital Management, Philips Edison & Co, Garrison Investment Group, GGPLP.

Tax - Illinois

What the team is known for A powerhouse in the Chicago tax market, with a strong reputation for handling high-value tax planning and contested tax matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Outstanding tax services. They deliver quality work and partner with the client to understand their specific business needs."

"They are really good at explaining matters from an economic standpoint."

Work highlights Advised Bain Capital on its acquisition of Apple Leisure Group.

Notable practitioners  

Jeffrey Sheffield focuses on tax planning matters and is highly regarded as being "highly skilled" and a "top attorney." His clients include Baxter International.

Todd Maynes heads the group and is well regarded for his expertise in bankruptcy and M&A. Commentators praise him as a "terrific lawyer" who is "integral on an international basis."

Donald Rocap specializes in the tax aspects of acquisitions and dispositions. Sources say he is also "fantastic on the tax side of private equity fund formation - he translates tax jargon into understandable language." 

William Welke is noted for his transaction-related tax expertise. Clients praise his "encyclopedic knowledge of tax law."

William Levy "is a really strong tax lawyer with expertise in a lot of areas." One source enthused: "He is very client service-oriented and has great technical expertise."

Gregory Gallagher is acclaimed as being "very business-minded and an outstanding individual in every way." He notably acted on the tax aspects of Bain Capital's acquisition of Apple Leisure Group.

Rachel Cantor focuses on the tax-related elements of transactions. Clients say she is "very pragmatic and solution-oriented."

Significant clients Global Aviation Holdings, Guaranty Financial, Hawker Beechcraft, Madison Dearborn.

Technology - Illinois

What the team is known for Distinguished outsourcing practice. Has acted on behalf of both vendors and suppliers in a broad range of transactional matters involving various issues such as e-commerce, network services, supply chain and customer relationship management.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The quality of their work is excellent - they know the market, they know the technology and they know the law."

"They're practical and they don't get lost in the weeds - they focus on the real-world implications during negotiations."

Work highlights Represented General Growth Properties in negotiating a substantial IT outsourcing agreement to cover data center hosting, data networks and disaster recovery.

Represented vendor Xchanging in a procurement outsourcing deal with BAE Systems concerning a seven-year services agreement for $800 million.

Notable practitioners  

Neil Hirshman is an expert on technology transactions including the formation of strategic alliances and outsourcing agreements. Impressed clients point out that he is "extremely helpful," going on to remark that "he is very knowledgeable and creative in finding the right solution that works for all parties." Clients also appreciate his deft risk management and results-focused approach.

Gregg Kirchhoefer is a computer industry expert and is especially renowned for his work in the IT outsourcing space. Interviewees affirm that he is an "exceptional attorney" who enjoys an "excellent reputation." He works closely with various groups at the firm, including the private equity and restructuring groups, to bolster the service provided to corporate clients.

Dan Lewis's expansive practice incorporates experience in representing large financial organizations and negotiations of managed service agreements. He receives praise for his "outstanding service," as well as his "very detailed work product" and organized and focused approach.

Significant clients Cigna, Dex One, Kellogg, National Grid, Prologis.

Advertising - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department Key offices include Chicago and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Strong advertising practice with a focus on litigation, handling major Lanham Act cases and class action suits. Adept in matters before the NAD.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their attention to detail and breadth of knowledge in the space make Kirkland deserving of recognition."

"A fine litigation firm with really fine litigators."  

Work highlights Defended Abbott Laboratories against a class action alleging false advertising. The complaint was successfully dismissed. A new complaint has been filed and the matter is ongoing.

Represented ZonePerfect in a class action case concerning allegations of false advertising relating to the nutritional bars the company produces. The federal claims were dismissed by the Northern District of California.

Notable practitioners  

Ross Weisman is head of the advertising litigation practice at the firm. He is based in the Chicago office.

Significant clients Dyson, Verizon, Hill’s Pet, Colgate-Palmolive, Allstate.

Antitrust - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Features a strong transactional antitrust capability but also undertakes a range of litigation matters. Has expertise in a number of areas including energy, hi-tech and pharmaceuticals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a tremendous Hart-Scott-Rodino team – some of the best in the business for that."

"They're in the very top echelon in responsiveness and client service."

Work highlights Acted for Leap Wireless International on its proposed acquisition by AT&T for $1.2 billion.

Worked with 3G Capital Partners in its joint acquisition with Berkshire Hathaway of HJ Heinz for $28 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Of counsel Timothy Muris is an "incredibly knowledgeable guy on antitrust," according to sources. He has spent 40 years working in the area and is praised for his superb understanding of transactional antitrust.

The "expert" James Mutchnik is highly regarded as a practitioner in criminal cartel matters and related antitrust litigation. His recent work includes acting for EVA Airways in the air cargo antitrust class action lawsuits.

Significant clients Akom, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Bain Capital Partners, Hitachi, Navistar International.  

Appellate Law - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Fields a strong group of specialized appellate lawyers acting on a range of matters. Frequently retained by clients in the pharmaceutical sector, acting for both generic and branded manufacturers. Often acts on legal issues and key motions at the trial level.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've put together a superstar team and their advice has been terrific."

"They do a really nice job staying ahead of what needs to get done in a case. I like the quality of the relationship and the quality of the work."

Work highlights Represented Don Johnson Productions in a dispute with Rysher Entertainment before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concerning the calculation of profits from a television show under the All Gross Receipts measure.

Represented former US Drug Administration official Shirley Sherrod in defamation proceedings against the late political commentator Andrew Breitbart and his website BigGovernment.com, which had uploaded edited video clips portraying Ms Sherrod's speech to an NAACP convention in a misleading manner.

Notable practitioners 

Christopher Landau recently acted for a group of federal judges on a challenge to judicial compensation rules. Peers say: "He has a mastery of a number of substantive areas and a huge amount of credibility with the Supreme Court. I'd single him out as a hugely impressive lawyer. He's very direct, polished and serious - he really has a lot of good qualities."

Jay Lefkowitz represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in an appeal concerning the nature of a generic drug manufacturer's duty to warn physicians about label changes. Clients say: "Jay is brilliant; there is no other way to put it. He is very good on his feet and very thorough in preparation; Jay just carried the day for us."

Significant clients Charter Communications, Dow AgroSciences, Mutual Pharmaceutical, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Canada), Raytheon.

Banking & Finance - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Widely recognized for its strength in representing borrower-side clients, but has continued to develop its lender-side capability, serving as counsel to a mix of pension funds, banks and mezzanine lenders. Offers expertise across the spectrum of debt finance transactions, including revolving credit facilities, leveraged buyouts and working capital loans.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"What I really like is that they are really strategic, they understand what we want to do and they are able to couple that with a really good understanding of the marketplace." 

"They are very knowledgeable, and the service quality that I get and the familiarity I have with the key partners has been terrific. They are very cognizant of being service providers."  

Work highlights Represented 3G Capital Partners in connection with $14.1 billion in financing, for its $28 billion joint acquisition with Berkshire Hathaway of HJ Heinz.

Acted for Golden Gate Capital and Bain Capital on a $6.2 billion of financing of the $6.9 million acquisition of BMC Software.

Notable practitioners  

The "fantastic" Jay Ptashek is described as a smart lawyer who is "able to think through the business issues." He recently advised 3G Capital Partners in relation to the financing for its joint acquisition of HJ Heinz with Berkshire Hathaway.

Interviewees find Linda Myers to be "very smart, very hard-working" and "extremely client focused," saying that she is "very much organized around the client's needs and delivering the resources of the team to meet those needs." Her expertise covers a range of debt financing transactions, including restructurings, leveraged buyouts and working capital financings.

Christopher Butler is experienced across the spectrum of debt financing matters, but particularly focuses on transactions that are highly leveraged. His clients include public and private companies, private equity houses and commercial lenders.

Ashley Gregory is well liked by sources, who describe her as "really excellent," and also add that they find her to be "one of the nicest, more approachable and user-friendly" lawyers. She has developed substantial experience advising on debt financing matters for a varied client base.

Significant clients Apax Partners, Beechraft, Edison Mission Energy, Madison Dearborn Partners, Infor Global Solutions.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Dominant debtor-side practice handling some of the nation's largest Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings. Skilled in finding solutions to reorganization problems through creative means, with experience in managing DIP financing agreements, sale of distressed assets, debt for equity exchanges and consensual settlements with creditors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a great ability to understand the big picture and strategy as well as having the 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 Represented Platinum Energy Systems, a Texas oilfield services provider, in a comprehensive out-of-court restructuring. The matter included an exchange offer for the client's 14.25% senior secured notes.

Represented AMF Bowling and its subsidiaries in a Chapter 11 case that saw a global settlement reached with unsecured creditors' recoveries exceeding expectations, first lien noteholders being paid in full and second lien noteholders receiving a substantial majority of post-reorganization equity.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Cieri is described as a "superstar" and interviewees say "he is the gold standard of US restructuring lawyers." He recently led the firm's representation of Ally Financial and Ally Bank after their subsidiary, Residential Capital, filed for bankruptcy.

Clients regard James Sprayregen as someone who can "carry a great deal of gravitas on high-level issues." He is active in both the Chicago and New York offices of the firm and has recently led the representation of what was formerly known as Hawker Beechcraft in its successful reorganization of $2.5 billion in funded debt.

Paul Basta is praised by interviewees for being "pretty amazing and very, very smart." His practice involves work with debtors, creditors and investors. Work highlights include acting for MSR Resort Golf Course and its affiliates in a Chapter 11 case that involved the sale of four resort golf courses to provide a 100% recovery for creditors.

Jonathan Henes wins plaudits for his work with debtors, creditors' committees, private equity firms and hedge funds. Clients comment that he "has got good judgment and is good on his feet in court." Recent work has included providing advice to Cengage Learning after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Marc Kieselstein is based in Chicago with a practice that includes significant work for debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 cases, debt transactions and Section 363 sales. He recently worked on the pre-packaged Chapter 11 cases of Dex One and SuperMedia that provided for a merger between the two distressed companies. 

Edward Sassower has significant experience working for a wide range of clients in the energy, shipping, real estate and manufacturing industries. Interviewees say he has a "great understanding of the impact of decisions on business."

Anup Sathy is based in the firm's Chicago office and is described by clients as a "phenomenal lawyer." His broad practice includes representing distressed companies in bankruptcy filings, handling debt-for-equity exchanges for corporate investors, and advising distressed asset purchasers and DIP lenders. 

Significant clients Global Aviation Holdings, Longview Power, Hanesbrands, Prommis Holdings, Edison Mission Energy.

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.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its representation of issuers of asset-backed securities backed by the full range of vehicle assets. Also has expertise in securitizations of mortgage servicing rights, cellular towers and sites, and timeshare loans.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The service has been impressive and excellent." 

Work highlights Represented Barclays Capital in two offerings by Ford Motor Credit of term securities backed by dealer floorplan receivables.

Represented Ally Bank and Ally Financial on four Ally Auto Receivables Trust transactions for prime auto loans and leases with an aggregate value of more than $4.4 billion.

Notable practitioners  

The "very knowledgeable" Kenneth Morrison is "always available and has 30 years of expertise to bring to an issue," impressed clients report. He represented CarMax Business Services on a $1.045 billion public offering of notes backed by a pool of motor vehicle retail installment sale contracts.

Significant clients World Omni Financial, Navistar Financial, CarMax Business Services, Credit Suisse Securities (USA), Lantern Asset Management.

Climate Change - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Recognized as a leading force in litigating significant climate change matters, ranging from challenging rulemakings at federal and state levels to representing notable clients in enforcement actions and appellate matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A very strong litigation team." 

Work highlights Acted for POET LLC and Growth Energy on their challenge to the State of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, arguing successfully that the Standard contravened the Commerce Clause. 

Notable practitioners  

"When people are looking for litigators, Stuart Drake is as good as they get," says one market source. Another observer states that he is considered "a fearless advocate for his clients."

Significant clients US Chamber of Commerce, Hyundai, Kia Motors America.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for National firm with a strong and growing reputation in the M&A market. Acts on high-profile and complex transactions for an excellent roster of corporate and private equity clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very strong in private equity and have made great strides to broaden their practice into strategic work. They are hitting on all sides."

"We have always been impressed. We always use them because we know what we're going to get."

What's new? Accenture, Blackstone and Hess Corporation are new clients.

Work highlights Advised 3G Capital on its acquisition, along with Berkshire Hathaway, of HJ Heinz, a transaction valued at around $28 billion.

Acted for NRG in its $4.1 billion merger with GenOn.

Notable practitioners

Corporate partner David Fox is a key contact.

Significant clients Bristol-Myers Squibb, Clearwire, Duff & Phelps, Community Health Systems, Bain Capital.

Energy & Natural Resources - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Acts for energy companies in M&A deals and joint ventures. Noted for the strength of its restructuring practice, which works closely with its energy team.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very quick, very smart; they are practical and a good firm to work with."

Work highlights Acted for NRG Energy in its $4.1 billion merger with GenOn.

Advised Sumitomo on its investment in Desert Sunlight Solar Farm.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Calder recently joined the firm from from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. He handles corporate governance matters, securities work and M&A for clients in the oil and gas industry. He acted for Blackstone Energy Partners in relation to its formation of a partnership with LLOG Exploration and its investment of $1.2 billion in its Gulf of Mexico oil drilling operations.

Anthony Speier is a new addition to the firm from Baker Botts. He is noted for his oil and gas transactional expertise and while at his previous firm, was part of the team that represented Marathon Oil in relation to a series of oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures. Sources say: "He gets to the right answer with ease and he has a very holistic view of the various issues involved."

Significant clients PBF Energy, US Power Generating, National Grid, Madison Dearborn Partners, Edison Mission Energy.

Environment - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Highly respected litigation practice, experienced in representing clients of national and international note in significant and complex environmental matters. Also provides a comprehensive transactional service to lenders, investors, buyers, sellers and a variety of other corporate clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It is a litigating powerhouse, no doubt about that. They do a lot of really great litigation and people go to them for that."

Work highlights Representing BP in litigation matters arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Defended Boeing in two suits brought by plaintiffs who alleged that they or members of their family developed cancer due to toxic emissions emanating from the defendant's aircraft production facilities at Long Beach, California.  

Notable practitioners

Washington, DC-based Granta Nakayama is a key contact.

Significant clients ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Hyundai, Raytheon Company.

FCPA - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its experience in representing companies and directors in government investigations. Well placed to advise on related litigation, including RICO actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very accommodating to the needs of the client and good at being able to provide real-world, practical recommendations which deal with complex legal issues."

"They're very capable and have a strong understanding of the compliance side."

Notable practitioners  

Mark Filip is a key contact at the firm.

Intellectual Property - 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 Deep bench of patent litigators capable of taking on and winning complex and business-critical cases. Regularly represents leaders in the fields of hi-tech electronics and life sciences.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have achieved some very good results for us - a great work product."

"Trial preparation was superb, and their performance was outstanding."

Work highlights Obtained a comprehensive defense verdict for Alcatel-Lucent against WiLAN in a patent infringement case concerning standard-essential patents for cellular wireless devices.

Won a $1 billion judgment for C.R. Bard in a patent infringement action against competitor WL Gore & Associates concerning vascular grafts.

Notable practitioners  

Gregory Arovas is a key practice contact in the firm's New York office.

Significant clients Cisco Systems, Dyson, Medtronics, Pfizer. 

International Trade - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Fine team well placed to advise on Section 337 matters in the context of larger intellectual property disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team as a whole is stellar - they are smart, quick, dependable, effective written and oral advocates, and good strategists."

Work highlights Defended Aker BioMarine in ITC and district court proceedings concerning Omega-3 products.

Notable practitioners  

Gregory Arovas "is one of the best strategists that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years," notes one source. He proves extremely popular with clients in the world of technology, and as lead counsel, "he is super smart, as well as clear and persuasive in court. He goes out of his way to serve the client."

Significant clients Cisco Systems, IBM, Pylon Manufacturing, Samsung, Seiko Epson.

Investment Funds - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Outstanding private equity offering with expertise in US, Asian and European-focused fund formation. Also acts for limited partners on fund investments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They take a real business and commercial view with our limited partners because they understand how important investors are to funds."

"Make you feel like you are getting the A-team who then make you feel like you are a priority."

Work highlights Represented the Audax Group in the formation of Audax Private Equity Fund IV, a $1.25 billion buyout fund.

Worked on the formation of a $1.64 billion distressed buyout fund for Marlin Equity Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Ettelson is recommended by one impressed client as a "go-to person for mission-critical fund issues as well as being one of the industry's best fund lawyers." Others note the number of deals he does, which gives him an "encyclopedic knowledge of market position."

Chris Kallos is noted as a "good counselor with a good bedside manner" who is "exceptionally available."

Andrew Wright "delivers the highest-quality work product" and is praised for his knowledge of emerging trends. He is noted for being "committed, responsive and available" and for having "a deep well of experience." 

John O'Neil has a strong market presence, which leads clients to praise his "good sense of market terms." He is also singled out for his ability to quickly get to grips with fund documents. 

Sarah Kirson has a wide range of expertise and experience in the private equity world. Her ability as an "excellent negotiator" is praised by clients as is her responsiveness.

Significant clients Energy Capital Partners, Golden Gate Capital, ABRY Partners, AEA Investors, Starwood Capital Group.

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. 

Outsourcing - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Remarkable experience in advising clients on significant business process and IT transactions. Skilled across the entire field of outsourcing, with niche expertise in areas such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) agreements, e-commerce and multi-tower agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They know the ins and outs of international outsourcing, and have helped us in foreign jurisdictions."

"They're practical and they don't get lost in the weeds - they focus on the real-world implications during negotiations."

Work highlights Advised Xchanging on a major agreement with BAE Systems for the outsourcing of multiple business functions, including utilities, telecommunications, transportation and IT.

Advised General Growth Properties on a multi-tower IT outsourcing transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Neil Hirshman took the lead in representing General Growth Properties in a multi-tower transaction focusing on the outsourcing of various IT services, including distributed computing, data center hosting and data networks. Clients report that he is a "very knowledgeable and smart attorney" and "a real pleasure to work with."

Gregg Kirchhoefer is "very good on the technical issues and a very good negotiator." His substantial expertise in nationwide outsourcing transactions includes a wealth of experience in BPO and ITO transactions.

Private Equity - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Leading buyouts practice with a strong bench of lawyers. Focuses on midcap deals and has unrivaled coverage in that market segment. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Incredibly deep with a very broad practice, they remain one of the strongest firms in the space." 

"Leading market share, which means they see many transactions."

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Gessner is based in the firm's Chicago office and has a strong reputation for buyouts work.

Jeffrey Hammes has broad transactional experience and a huge amount of experience working on private equity deals.

Products Liability - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded product liability and mass torts practice, active across a variety of sectors including pharmaceuticals, toxic torts and aviation. Fields an extensive litigation bench that is noted for its work on headline cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A litigation powerhouse." 

"Tremendous talent - they do excellent work."  

What's new? Mike Brock recently joined the firm from Covington & Burling LLP.

Work highlights Represented Baxter in litigation regarding the Phenergan drug produced by the client.

Acted for Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie in litigation related to the Humira drug and its alleged side effects of cancer and serious neurological diseases.

Notable practitioners  

Recent addition to Kirkland & Ellis, Mike Brock is identified for his "great courtroom presence" and is widely acknowledged as "a top trial lawyer." He continues to win praise for his defense of BP in the Deepwater Horizon litigation.

Leslie Smith maintains an active practice in pharmaceutical product liability, recently defending a major client in the sector against actions across the country. She is described by clients as an "exceptionally talented" attorney. 

Significant clients Union Carbide, Boeing, R.J. Reynolds, Dow Chemical, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals.

Real Estate - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Respected for its representation of private equity fund sponsors on the full range of real estate transactions. Key areas of expertise include joint ventures, debt restructurings and workouts, and first mortgage and mezzanine financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are incredibly responsive and experienced on sophisticated transactions."

"They often come up with ingenious alternatives when we hit road blocks."

Work highlights Represented Starwood Capital on its acquisition of seven shopping centers from Westfield Group for $1.64 million.

Advised Dune Real Estate Partners on the $64 million acquisition of an office building in Washington, DC and an associated joint venture.

Notable practitioners  

New York-based Scott Berger is a key contact at the firm.

Securities - Nationwide

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Tax - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Demonstrates excellence in a wide range of corporate tax areas, drawing in high-profile work with impressive clients. Its superb reputation with respect to private equity stands out in particular. Banking work is also among the team's fortes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are cutting-edge and push the envelope."  

"A very formidable group of tax lawyers that can handle sophisticated planning matters."

Work highlights Represented Yankee Candle Group in relation to the sale of subsidiary Yankee Candle Investments to Jarden for $1.75 billion. The deal also included an earn-out provision worth up to $55 million.

Assisted Baxter with its acquisition of Gambro for $4 billion.  

Notable practitioners

Key partners include Todd Maynes and Jeffrey Sheffield, based in Chicago, and Patrick Gallagher, based in New York.

Significant clients Heinz, 3G Capital, Clearwire, Bain Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners. 

Transportation - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Represents major airline and manufacturer clients in the aviation industry. Experienced in handling disputes arising from aircraft accidents as well as related product liability and trade secret disputes. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We have always been impressed at how quickly and efficiently they size up complicated matters."

Work highlights Represented Boeing in claims arising from a fatal Dana Airlines crash in Nigeria in 2012.

Acted for Raytheon Technical Services in claims brought against it by Washington Consulting Group, including allegations of trade secrets misappropriation in relation to air traffic controller training.

Notable practitioners  

"Very bright lawyer" Craig Primis has recently acted as lead counsel for Boeing and Honeywell in matters including aviation accidents and product liability. He is "someone I trust very much with high-profile matters," said one client.

Significant clients Jeppesen Sanderson, Delta Air Lines, EVA Airways, Honeywell International. 

Wealth Management - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department 
Key office is Chicago.

What the team is known for Provides outstanding client service and a proactive approach to trust and estate planning. The client base is expanding, with various generations of wealthy families and an increasing number of private equity fund clients seeking its services.

Notable practitioners

David Handler is a very highly respected figure in the trusts and estates arena, and leads this practice from the Chicago office. He represents a large stable of clients, including closely-held business owners, wealthy families, corporate executives and fund principals.

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.

Dean Shulman is an expert in the fields of fund formation, M&A, restructurings and workouts, among other areas. According to clients, "he has an incredible depth of knowledge" and "never ceases to impress with his facility in a range of different areas." Shulman recently joined the firm from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates.

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