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Kirkland & Ellis has scooped Shearman & Sterling high yield partner Ward McKimm in its latest foray into the lateral hiring market.
McKimm, who is understood to have resigned from Shearman yesterday, is considered to be one of the biggest names in European high yield, acting for institutions such as Citibank and Merrill Lynch as well as a variety of private equity houses.
The recruitment of McKimm signals a push into the bank market by Kirkland, which has hitherto based much of its transactional practice on sponsors.
High yield has become a key recruitment battleground in the City as European sponsors turn to the US markets for their funding requirements. Last year Linklaters hired Mark Hageman from Cravath Swaine & Moore (13 September 2010), following in the footsteps of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which hired Gil Strauss from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (26 July 2010), and Allen & Overy, which recruited Kevin Muzilla from Milbank Tweed in 2009.