No. 1 by a wide margin
Kirkland & Ellis topped the charts in 2019 for law firms advising on U.S.-based private equity deals, and the competition wasn’t close. According to PitchBook’s 2019 Annual Global League Tables, the law firm advised on 400 U.S.-based deals, more than twice as many as the No. 2 firm: Honigman, which advised on 149 deals. Kirkland & Ellis was also the No. 1 law firm for the most global deals in 2019, with 477.
In addition to representing clients like Cision, Thoma Bravo and Viagogo on prominent deals in 2019. Kirkland & Ellis advised Madison Dearborn Partners-backed moving services company Sirva Worldwide Inc. on a $400 million acquisition and Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) on a $350 million acquisition. Its notable middle-market private equity firm clients in 2019 deals included AE Industrial Partners, Abry Partners, Apax Partners, Arsenal Capital Partners, Butterfly Equity, CIVC Partners, Greenbriar Equity Group, Gryphon Investors, Harvest Partners, Luminate Capital Partners, Olympus Partners and Wind Point Partners.
Kirkland’s mergers and acquisitions group advises clients on cross-border and contested transactions, public companies facing activist shareholders and other governance matters. The M&A practice brings together tax, finance, antitrust, intellectual property, regulatory and executive compensation lawyers to provide integrated service.
Kirkland & Ellis boasts a contingent of 2,700 lawyers working out of 15 offices globally, with no headquarters location designated. In the U.S., it has offices in Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; New York; Palo Alto, California; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C. The firm serves more than 450 private equity clients around the world, ranging from middle market funds to mega funds and including private equity investors across industries and sectors. Its services for private equity firms include advising on fund formation, fundraising, growth equity transactions, leveraged buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, dispositions and exits.
Law.com ranks Kirkland & Ellis as the highest grossing law firm in the world and the seventh largest in the U.S. based on attorney numbers. The firm was founded in 1909 in Chicago by Robert “The Colonel” McCormick, Stuart Shepard and S.E. Thomason.
The Kirkland & Ellis Foundation is a major financial component of the firm’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Kirkland & Ellis partners fund the foundation through annual contributions, and the firm’s employees, associates and partners can have their individual charitable contributions matched through the foundation’s employee matching program. The foundation was founded in 1982, providing money to charitable and law-related organizations worldwide, including groups that improve the administration of legal services in their communities. In 2019, the foundation donated more than $16 million to more than 1,400 organizations.
To see all the award winners, check out Meet the winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Awards.