Kirkland & Ellis hits Clifford Chance for London finance partner hire

Kirkland & Ellis hired finance partner James Boswell from Clifford Chance in its second poach of a Magic Circle partner this week.

Boswell is set to join Kirkland as a debt finance partner in its London office, the US law firm said on 22 September.

Kirkland said on 21 September that it had hired Allen & Overy’s global infrastructure co-head Sara Pickersgill — an M&A partner — to establish a European infrastructure and energy practice.

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Kirkland said it anticipated Pickersgill’s addition being the “first of several hires” in Europe the firm makes for the sector.

Boswell’s practice includes infrastructure financing, according to his profile on Clifford Chance’s website, as well as leveraged financing and restructuring.

“James is a very talented lawyer with a strong reputation for leading complex infrastructure financings in the UK and throughout Europe,” said Jon Ballis, chair of Kirkland’s executive committee.

“He is a key piece of the team we are assembling in London, which will work hand in hand with our strong infrastructure team in the US,” said Andrew Calder, a member of the firm’s executive committee.

Meanwhile, Clifford Chance said on 22 September that it was hiring corporate partner Dominic Ross from US firm White & Case in London.

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“Dominic is an excellent addition to our team and further deepens our partner bench for M&A and corporate,” Melissa Fogarty, Clifford Chance’s joint head of corporate in London said in a statement. “We look forward to Dominic supporting the continued growth of our corporate practice.”

Last year Kirkland hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s M&A private equity duo Vincent Bergin and Keir MacLennan as partners in London.

The firm also hired Clifford Chance private equity rising star Gregory Scott as a partner last year.

Kirkland shook up its partner track last year to allow non-share partners to graduate to its equity partnership after three years rather than four.

Under the new system, equity partners are paid a fixed $1.5m in compensation in their first year post-promotion, before moving on to participate in the firm’s variable profit sharing pool.

Average profit per equity partner at Kirkland was $7.38m in 2021, according to the American Lawyer magazines.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth


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