Honeywell has switched allegiances from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to Chicago firm Kirkland & Ellis in its ongoing battle with General Electric (GE).
After the failure to get European Union competition clearance for a merger with GE, Honeywell has instructed Kirkland to advise on a possible legal case against GE, on the basis that it violated the agreement by not giving reasonable best efforts to win approval for the deal. Honeywell instructed Skadden Arps Brussels partner James Venit on the competition hearings, but has used Kirkland in the past for litigation. If litigation begins, Honeywell will become just the latest in a line of jilted merger partners turning to the courts with Kirkland's involvement. Verizon ditched its investment plan in liquidated NorthPoint Communications, which prompted NorthPoint to sue, and US Airways has considered litigation against United Airlines after it indicated that it wanted out of the deal. Kirkland represented Verizon and United Airlines in both cases.