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Kirkland & Ellis’s core relationship with Bain Capital will come under threat when fellow US firm Ropes & Gray launches a UK office, as first revealed on The Lawyer.com (22 October).
The two firms have long shared Bain as an international client, but Kirkland has emerged as its key European adviser thanks to its presences in London and Munich. Until now Ropes has had no European offices.
Boston-headquartered Ropes, which has been looking for an entry to the UK market for the past decade, has hired finance partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz to lead the new office.
The pair, who left Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in August after a year at the firm, were instrumental in building a finance practice at White & Case, where they were partners for eight years.
Ropes corporate partner Newcomb Stillwell said of the Bain relationship: “Bain has been a global client for a long time. We have other international offices, but what’s been missing is London. This gives us a fantastic opportunity.”
Last year Stillwell and fellow Ropes partner Alfred Rose advised Bain on its $2.15bn (£1.3bn) acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ asset management arm Neuberger Berman. The Lawyer can reveal that Allen and Goetz have been joined at Ropes’ London office by Jonathan Bloom, a US-qualified high-yield partner from White & Case’s London office.