Kirkland’s White set for global management role

Kirkland & Ellis private equity partner Graham White is set to take over as de facto head of the US firm’s London office next week.

White is likely to be voted onto Kirkland’s 15-person global management executive committee, known simply as the firm committee, this weekend. White will take over as de facto London head from Jim Learner, who resigned earlier this year and is returning to the US (20 January 2012).

Officially Kirkland does not maintain a London managing partner title. Unofficially, White’s appointment to the committee is a tacit recognition of his new leadership role.

“Graham is seen as one of the leaders in the London office,” said one Kirkland lawyer. “There’s no formal title of London head but it’s fair to say he’s taking Jim’s place.”

More than 25 per cent of Kirkland’s lawyers are based outside the US and the appointment of UK partner White is seen internally as a necessary recognition of that geographic spread.

In total five appointments are set to be made tomorrow (Saturday 19 May), including three reappointments and that of Chicago-based corporate partner Matt Steinmetz.

Former Dickson Minto partner White joined Kirkland in 2006 from Linklaters, where he was a partner from 2001 (having joined the Magic Circle firm from SJ Berwin, where he was also a partner, in 2001).