In case you missed it, the big news among US firms in London currently is not only that Kirkland & Ellis debt finance partner Stephen Gillespie is leaving the firm, but that he is off to join Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Gillespie has become the Californian firm’s fifth high-profile recruit this year as the California-headquartered firm continues to pour investment into London. The series of high-profile hires not only include Ashurst corporate partners Jonathan Earle (28 April 2014), Nigel Stacey (10 June 2014) and Mark Sperotto but most spectacularly former Ashurst senior partner Charlie Geffen (1 October 2014).
Gillespie joined Kirkland from Allen & Overy eight years ago (27 April 2006). He had been one of the magic circle firm’s biggest billers on lender-based leveraged finance work, but moved squarely into sponsor-side mandates at Kirkland.
As one reader of TheLawyer.com put it: “Very good hire for GDC who seem to be going from strength to strength at the moment.”
Gillespie’s exit comes at a time of considerable lateral movement among US firms. Other big-name departures include Weil Gotshal & Manges leveraged finance partner Stephen Lucas, who joined Kirkland earlier this year (20 May 2014).
So at least it’s not all one way for Kirkland.