Kirkland rainmaker lands top job at Conseco

A leading corporate partner from Kirkland & Ellis has been appointed as president and chief executive of recovering US insurance giant Conseco.

William Kirsch, a lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis since 1981, had been serving as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Conseco since September last year when the insurance group emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He is replacing William Shea.

From the beginning of the year, Kirsch was acting general counsel at the group.

Acting for the debtor, Kirkland & Ellis had, by the end of December 2003, billed $24.8m. A team at the firm, led by the head of the restructuring group James Sprayregen, has advised on the Conseco deal since December 2002 while Kirsch has been on issues connected to the company’s officers and directors.