IN-DEPTH RESEARCH REPORT
on Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- - Financial Information
- - Compensation
- - Billing Rates
- - Lateral Partner Moves
- - Pro bono
- - Key Contacts
Kirkland & Ellis
- Designation: National
- Head Count: 1,517
- Gross Revenues: $1,937,500,000
- Revenue Per Lawyer: $1,275,000
- Profits Per Partner: $3,250,000
- Year Over Year Change: no change
Its only fitting, perhaps, that a firm with a knack for getting in the newspapers representing clients like BP p.l.c. in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation, and counting well-known figures like Robert Bork and Kenneth Starr among its alumni made its name defending the press. While Kirkland & Elliss modern namesakes, Weymouth Kirkland and Howard Ellis, didnt join the firm until six years after its founding in 1909, they burnished the firms reputation representing the Chicago Tribune (published by firm cofounder Robert McCormick) and other newspapers in landmark free speech cases, and pioneering the concept of fair comment. While Kirkland & Ellis may not be known for its international footprint in early 2011 it counted just four overseas locations among its ten offices it is recognized for its take-no-prisoners litigation style and success. It was recognized in three consecutive Litigation Department of the Year competitions by The American Lawyer, winning the title once (2008) and taking an honorable mention twice (2010 and 2012).
Kirkland can also be a very profitable place to work for its partners. In 2011 the firm ranked sixth in profits per partner, just crossing the $3 million mark a marked jump from its 2010 figure of nearly $2.5 million.
Overall, Kirkland ranked sixth in gross revenues in 2011, seeing a 14 percent spike in revenues from the previous year. Arguably, one of the factors that has helped Kirkland adapt to and ultimately thrive in a changed economic climate is its longtime embrace of alternative fees. For more than two decades, while many other firms resisted any move away from the billable hour, Kirkland has taken cases under contingency, fixed-fee, holdback/success fee, and other non-traditional arrangements.
Yet weathering the recession did not come without costs. Like many of its brethren, Kirkland laid off attorneys at the height of the downturn (its lawyer count of 1,379 on the 2011 Am Law 100 list was a drop from 1,411 the year before). Morale, too, suffered, at least among the more junior lawyers.
Kirkland ranked 117th on The American Lawyer-s 2010 Midlevel Associates Survey, which was conducted when firms were feeling the full impact of the recession. That improved markedly, however, on the 2011 survey, with Kirkland coming in at eighty-first a sign that a firm known for remaking itself in the face of change is adapting once again.
Updated as of 1/1/12
|Survey||Rank||Year Over Year Change||Description|
|Am Law 100||5||no change||Gross revenue|
|Am Law 200||5||no change||Gross revenue|
|NLJ 250||13||no change||Lawyer head count|
|The A-List||25||2||Overall excellence|
|Pro Bono Scorecard||55||15||Pro-bono commitment|
|Diversity Scorecard||40||10||Minority head count|
|Midlevel Associates Survey||81||36||Job satisfaction|
|Summer Associates Survey||58||8||Summer programs|
In the News
Brian Baxter : The Am Law Daily : May 10, 2013
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Greenberg Traurig, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have grabbed roles on private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners's $835 million purchase of struggling premium jeans maker True Religion Apparel.
Monica Bay : Law Technology News : May 10, 2013
Mother's Day is a great opportunity to treat your favorite mom to a new tech experience.
Matthew Huisman : The National Law Journal : May 10, 2013
Thirty years ago, Richard Wiley and Bert Rein opened the law firm that bears their names with 37 attorneys from Kirkland & Ellis. Today, the firm is among the largest in Washington, D.C., with about 275 attorneys. In this Q&A, Wiley and Rein consider what it takes for a law firm to succeed.
Tom Huddleston Jr. : The Am Law Daily : May 10, 2013
Jebejian led the Kirkland & Ellis team advising a private equity consortium led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital on its $6.9 billion acquisition of business software company BMC Software.
Steven J. Harper : The Am Law Daily : May 10, 2013
Devising new ways to entice unsuspecting young people to enroll in law school doesn't qualify as bringing innovation to legal education.
Christine Simmons : New York Law Journal : May 9, 2013
Growth was steady last year for most of the 20 largest law firms in New York, with slight to moderate gains in gross revenue and profits per partner.
Victor Li : The Litigation Daily : May 9, 2013
Tania Karas : New York Law Journal : May 9, 2013
Business software vendor BMC Software has agreed to sell itself to a consortium of private investors led by buyout firms Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital for $6.9 billion in cash, the companies announced on May 6.
Brian Baxter : The Am Law Daily : May 8, 2013
Weil is counseling an Ontario retirement system on its $600 million buy of a British software maker Civica; Fried Frank is advising Toronto-based private equity firm Onex on its $950 million purchase of Nielsen Expositions; and Freshfields and Linklaters have landed roles on a $1.4 billion airport concession involving a Canadian pension fund.
Tom Huddleston Jr. : The Am Law Daily : May 6, 2013
A year after waging a proxy battle with an activist investor over exploring a possible sale, BMC Software has agreed to be bought by an investment consortium led by buyout firms Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital in a cash deal worth $6.9 billion. Kirkland & Ellis, Sidley Austin, and Willkie are advising the investors while Wachtell is representing BMC.
- Adams and Reese
- Akerman Senterfitt
- Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
- Allen & Overy
- Baker & McKenzie
- Brown Rudnick
- Buist Moore
- Cahill Gordon & Reindel
- Carlton Fields
- Clayton Utz
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
- Clifford Chance
- Davis Polk & Wardwell
- Dewey & LeBoeuf
- Diamond McCarthy
- DLA Piper
- Dorsey & Whitney
- Dreier LLP
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
- Herbert Smith
- Herrick, Feinstein
- Hogan Lovells
- Jones Day
- K&L Gates
- Kirkland & Ellis
- Latham & Watkins
- McKool Smith
- Minter Ellison
- Moore & Van Allen
- Morrison & Foerster
- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
- Nexsen Pruet
- Nixon Peabody
- Norton Rose
- O?Melveny & Myers
- Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart,
- Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
- Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein
- Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitman
- Potter Anderson & Corroon
- Proskauer Rose
- Reed Smith
- Richards, Layton & Finger
- Ropes & Gray
- Ruden McClosky
- Shea & Gould
- Shearman & Sterling
- Simmons & Simmons
- Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
- Sullivan & Cromwell
- Weil, Gotshal & Manges
- White & Case
- Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
- Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice