Kirkland & Ellis

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Kirkland & Ellis
No. of offices18 (2021)[1]
No. of attorneys2,725 (2021)[2]
No. of employees5,721 (2021)[3]
Key peopleJon A. Ballis,[4] chairman, global management executive committee
RevenueIncrease US$4.83 billion (2020) [5]
Date founded1909; 113 years ago (1909)
FounderRobert R. McCormick
Company typeLimited liability partnership
Websitewww.kirkland.com

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is an American law firm. Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, Kirkland & Ellis is the largest law firm in the world by revenue and the seventh-largest by number of attorneys,[6] and was the first law firm in the world to reach US$4 billion in revenue.[7] As of 2021, Kirkland & Ellis ranks third on Am Law's list of profits per equity partner.[8] While Kirkland & Ellis was historically considered a firm focused on litigation, during the 2010s, it expanded private equity and restructuring practices which, together with large-scale commercial litigation, comprise the core legal service areas of the firm.[9]

Many attorneys from the firm have served as federal officials or judges, including United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and former Attorney General William Barr.

Chicago office at 300 North LaSalle

History[edit]

London office at 30 St Mary Axe, popularly known as the Gherkin

In 1909, two attorneys, Stuart G. Shepard and Robert R. McCormick, formed the Chicago-based partnership that would eventually become Kirkland & Ellis. McCormick was the grandson of Joseph Medill, who had founded the Chicago Tribune. McCormick became president of the Tribune Company in 1914 and, in 1925, sole publisher of the Tribune.[10]

Weymouth Kirkland and his associate Howard Ellis joined the firm in 1915. Kirkland served as chief counsel to the Tribune and other newspapers in various free speech and defamation cases, including Near v. Minnesota. In 1938, Kirkland and Ellis hired young trial lawyer Hammond Chaffetz from the U.S. Department of Justice. Chaffetz spent six decades with the firm, during which it grew to about 780 lawyers, making it one of the 30 largest in the country.[11] Kirkland & Ellis has 15 offices in four countries.[12]

In 2020, "Kirkland, along with some other out-of-town firms like Sidley Austin and Latham & Watkins," have been reported in media as using "aggressive lateral recruiting to draw from New York's dealmaking talent pool."[13][14] The firm earned just under $5 billion in revenue in 2020.[5] The increase came from heightened demand, induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

Rankings[edit]

The American Lawyer ranked Kirkland & Ellis as the 2018 Law Firm of the Year.[16] "Mergers & Acquisitions" ranked Kirkland & Ellis as the 2019 Law Firm of the Year for advising on 400 U.S. based-deals (more than twice that of the firm ranked second), and for advising on the largest number of global deals, in each case, in 2019.[17] As of 2021, Am Law lists Kirkland & Ellis as the largest law firm in the United States by gross revenue and third greatest in profits per equity partner.[8] Kirkland & Ellis was ranked second in the 2017 ATL Power 100 law firm rankings.[18] Vault ranked Kirkland & Ellis as the most prestigious firm in Chicago and the number-one firm in the U.S. for private equity, restructuring and business outlook in 2018.[19]

Notable clients and cases[edit]

Notable attorneys and alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of the firm include, among others, more than two dozen attorneys who resigned when appointed to roles in government.[42] Alumni include:

Endowed professorships[edit]

The firm has endowed professorships in its name at four law schools: Harvard Law School,[78] Northwestern University School of Law,[79] University of Michigan Law School,[80][81] and the University of Chicago Law School.[82]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  5. ^ a b "Kirkland & Ellis LLP". Law.com. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  6. ^ "Kirkland's Reign Continues as Firm Hits $4 Billion in Revenue". Law.com. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Wake Up Call: In Pre-Covid 2019, Kirkland Topped $4 Billion Revenues". news.bloomberglaw.com.
  8. ^ a b "Against All Odds, The Am Law 100 Were Stunningly Successful in 2020". Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  9. ^ "How a private equity boom fuelled the world's biggest law firm". www.ft.com.
  10. ^ "Robert R. McCormick Biography", First Division Museum. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Johnston, David Cay (January 17, 2001). "H. E. Chaffetz, 93, Lawyer On Antitrust and Price Fixing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
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  13. ^ "Wall Street 'Nightmare' Alive as Kirkland Poaches From Wachtell". news.bloomberglaw.com. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  14. ^ Stewart, James B. (April 26, 2018). "$11 Million a Year for a Law Partner? Bidding War Grows at Top-Tier Firms". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  15. ^ Beioley, Kate; Massoudi, Arash. "Kirkland & Ellis revenue set to surge to $5bn on private equity deals". Financial Times. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  16. ^ Seal, Ben (December 5, 2018). "Kirkland & Ellis Named Law Firm of the Year at American Lawyer Industry Awards". The American Lawyer. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  17. ^ Seal, Ben (April 2, 2020). "Kirkland & Ellis wins Law Firm of the Year for closing 400 U.S. PE deals". The Middle Market. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  18. ^ Shepherd, David Lat, Elie Mystal, Staci Zaretsky, Kashmir Hill, Marin, Mark Herrmann, Jay. "The ATL 2017 Power 100 Law Firm Rankings". Above the Law. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
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  24. ^ Tribe, Meghan (June 25, 2019). "Kirkland, Wachtell Advise On AbbVie's $63B Merger With Allergan". Bloomberg.
  25. ^ "The Deal Awards New York 2020 Winners". Reuters. January 3, 2019.
  26. ^ Daga, Anshuman; Contractor, Sabahatjahan (June 3, 2019). "Blackstone in record $18.7 billion deal to buy U.S. warehouse assets from GLP". Reuters.
  27. ^ Thompson, Richard (February 22, 2013). "Meet the lead attorneys involved in the BP oil spill trial". The Times-Picayune. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  28. ^ Ruddick, Graham (September 23, 2015). "Volkswagen hires BP oil spill lawyers to defend emissions cases". The Guardian. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
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  36. ^ Sweeney, Annie (October 26, 2020). "Fired Buffalo police officer who contends she stopped another cop from choking a man finds new support — in Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  37. ^ Kanno-Youngs, Zolan (April 23, 2020). "As Coronavirus Threatens, Teenage Migrants 'Age Out' Into ICE Jails Those initially detained by the government's Office of Refugee Resettlement are being held until their 18th birthday, then transferred to ICE custody". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  38. ^ Moore, Robert (May 29, 2019). "'He Started Calling Me Papa Again': A Separated Migrant Father and Son Reunite After 378 Days Apart". Texas Monthly. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
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  40. ^ Douglas-Gabriel, Danielle; Wiggins, Ovetta (March 24, 2021). "Hogan signs off on $577 million for Maryland's historically Black colleges and universities". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  41. ^ "Boeing's former chief technical pilot on 737 MAX indicted on fraud charges". The Seattle Times. October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
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  43. ^ Salam, Maya (April 27, 2017). "Senate Confirms R. Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  44. ^ "Secretary of Health and Human Services: Who Is Alex Azar?". AllGov. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
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  49. ^ Murphy, H. Lee. "Ruben Castillo Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
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  53. ^ Benner, Katie (October 7, 2021). "Report Cites New Details of Trump Pressure on Justice Dept. Over Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
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  76. ^ Bravin, Jess (December 2, 2019). "Supreme Court Appears Unlikely to Expand Gun Rights in New York Case". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  77. ^ Bogardus, Kevin; Cama, Timothy (March 22, 2021). "White HOuse: Biden's climate deputy has fossil fuel ties". www.eenews.net. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
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  81. ^ "Clark, Sherman J. – University of Michigan Law School". umich.edu. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  82. ^ "Eric Posner". uchicago.edu. Retrieved September 23, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]