K&L Gates hands fifth term to chairman Kalis

K&L Gates has re-elected chairman Peter Kalis for a fifth consecutive term, putting him in the top role until February 2017.

Peter Kalis
Peter Kalis

New York-based Kalis took over the position in 1997, when the firm was known as Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, and has since guided it through eight mergers. In his fifth term as chairman Kalis is expected to steer the firm through at least one more merger after it was recently announced that the firm was in tie-up talks with Australian outfit Middletons (17 August 2012).

The re-election comes days after Kalis was forced to release a memo to staff after a Chicago-based newspaper reported that lawyers from Bell Boyd & Lloyd, which merged with K&L Gates in 2009, are leaving the firm’s Chicago office in significant numbers.

K&L Gates reported gross revenues of $1bn (£636.4m) and average profit per partner of $890,000 for the 2011 financial year. London revenue rose by 10 per cent to £33m, an increase that rises to 14 per cent proportionately when converted to dollars.

Kalis said that growth in the firm’s London office over the past two years, during which time revenues have risen by 18 per cent on a static headcount, was primarily due to the reorientation of the office from a domestic mid-market player to an internationally focused part of the firm’s platform.

“London recorded its best-ever numbers, exceeding the previous record set in 2008,” he said. “All disciplines showed good growth with standout performances by competition, litigation and structured finance. Lateral hiring has been fundamental to that restructuring and will continue into 2012.”