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Chicago litigation and M&A practice Kirkland & Ellis is negotiating to expand from a third (9,000sq ft) to a whole floor of the former NatWest Tower, now the International Financial Centre, as part of a drive to double the 11-strong London office by 1999.
Sam Haubold, managing partner of the firm's London office, one of the few US firms in the City not to employ UK lawyers, said the expansion was largely driven by work in high yield debt equity - junk bonds - and private equity firms in the US looking for cheaper deals in Europe.
"We don't believe a bolt-on group of UK lawyers adds value," he said. He added that if a demand for dual capability came to be "in the offing, we can always augment our firm to deal with that".