Kirkland moves into Germany

Kirkland & Ellis is planning to open an office in Munich early next year, to be co-led by former Clifford Chance partner Volker Kullman.

International corporate law firm Kirkland & Ellis International has announced that it is opening a new office in Munich in early 2005.
 
The office will be the firm's seventh worldwide and its second in Europe. It will be headed up Thomas Verhoeven, who currently leads the firm's German practice from London, and Volker Kullman, who joins the firm from Clifford Chance's German private equity group. Approximately ten other attorneys are expected to join the Munich office, according to a press release.
 
James Learner, a partner in Kirkland's London office, said that the firm had been planning a German office since 2002, but had been searching for a team with the right combination of local expertise and experience to lead it. He added that this was a good time to expand the firm's European operation, because at present 'there is more excitement about Europe than the US'.
 
Kirkland & Ellis currently has offices in London, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC. It employs 1,000 lawyers, the majority of whom focus on private equity. 
 
In Germany, the firm cites Bank of America Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners and MidOcean Capital Partners among its clients. Last year, it represented buyout giant Bain Capital in a €1.4 billion LBO of Brenntag and Interfer Groups from Stinnes AG.
 
Kirkland also represented Bain in its €280 million LBO of flexible film maker Trespaphan Group, and its €50 million acquisition of German sportswear manufacturer Jack Wolfskin.