Kirkland launches in Germany with CC team

Kirkland & Ellis is set to raid Clifford Chance to launch its first German office.

Highly-rated private equity specialist Volker Kullman is understood to be in negotiations to join Kirkland, where he will spearhead the firm’s push into Munich.

Kullman has been a partner at Clifford Chance since 1999 and was instrumental in the development of the firm’s Munich operation. Last year, he advised private equity investors Hellman & Friedman on the €350m (£243.9m) acquisition of a 19.4 per cent stake in newspaper publisher Axel Springer. Private equity firm Carlyle is another client.

Kirkland’s Munich launch represents the firm’s first foray into Continental Europe. The Chicago-based giant currently has more than 1,000 lawyers across six locations – Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Kirkland and Clifford Chance declined to comment. Kullman was unavailable for comment.