Kirkland takes second New York restructuring lateral

Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis has further bolstered its New York restructuring practice with the hire of the former chief legal adviser on insolvency and credit rights issues at the World Bank.

Gordon Johnson, who has been advising the bank for seven years, has joined the firm’s New York office as a partner focusing on international restructuring issues.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Johnson was an associate in the business finance and restructuring practice of Weil Gotshal & Manges London and Houston offices.

Johnson is the second major lateral hire to join Kirkland’s New York restructuring practice this year. His arrival follows that of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s high-profile restructuring head Rick Cieri, who joined in February. Cieri had previously also headed the restructuring practice at Jones Day.

Johnson’s hire is also the second senior hire globally for Kirkland in as many weeks. It follows the raid on Shearman & Sterling’s London office last week to hire highly rated litigation and arbitration partner Chris Colbridge.

Colbridge is joining Kirkland to launch a standalone London litigation and arbitration practice.

Kirkland already has a partner-level contentious capability in London in the form of restructuring litigation partner Richard East, but has none in pure commercial litigation and arbitration.