Kirkland & Ellis, one the worlds most elite law firms, is recognized for its corporate, intellectual property, litigation, M&A, private equity, and restructuring work. With more than 2,900 lawyers, the firm is regularly recognized as one of the most successful in the world.
In 1909, fresh-faced attorneys Stuart Shepard and Robert McCormick struck up a partnership in Chicago. McCormicks grandfather founded the Chicago Tribune, and McCormick left the firm in 1920 to become the papers publishera move that he used to send more business the firms way, tapping Kirkland trial lawyer Weymouth Kirkland to defend the Trib in defamation suits. Kirkland soon eclipsed the firm founders as the face of the outfit, carving a legacy defined by his defense of newspapers in significant free speech and libel cases. As for the other half of the current firms nameplate, Howard Ellis came on board in 1915. Ellis was a champion of the fair comment defense, a privilege that protects published or spoken opinions directed at public officials and figures.
Megafirm, Mega Practices
Counseling in four main areasIP, litigation, restructuring, and transactionalKirkland lawyers work across more than 60 practice areas. Some of the biggest names around call on the firm for their most complex issues, including Abbott Laboratories, Ares Management, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cisco, Dow Chemical, Facebook, General Motors, IBM, Intel, KKR, Nike, Oaktree Capital, Vista Equity Partnersand the list goes on.
Kirkland has a booming transactional practice. The firm is a private equity powerhousewith more than 500 private equity firms among its client listand is the No. 1 firm in Vaults Private Equity ranking. The firm handles all aspects of deals from fundraising through exits. And its M&A lawyers are among the best in the industry. Nestled within the top five firms of Vaults M&A ranking, Kirkland advises on some of the biggest deals around. The practice brings interdisciplinary experience, with lawyers from antitrust, executive compensation, finance, IP, regulatory, and tax collaborating with the M&A team.
The firm is also home to an all-star restructuring team that works in such wide-ranging industries as automotive, energy, entertainment, health care, manufacturing, media, real estate, retail, telecommunications, and transportation. The firms litigation department is a force as welland we mean force. The firm has more than 700 litigators around the globe, handling everything from consumer fraud to ERISA to product liability to securities litigation, and so much more.
Colleagues for Life
Theres no such thing as burning bridges at Kirklandlawyers who retire or who pursue outside opportunities are considered colleagues for life. The firms career support program CareerLinkwhich was recognized by Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers Awards in 2016provides the firms lawyers and alumni access to one-on-one, confidential career coaching, a job search playbook, a job board, and job-search tips on everything from resumes to interviews to networking. Alumni also have access to a comprehensive directory, networking events, concierge services, and free CLEs.