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Chicago-headquartered Kirkland & Ellis posted a global turnover of $1.75bn in 2011. The firm has six offices in the US — Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington DC — and four other offices in London, Munich, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The turnover for the firm's London office was $112m, which placed it in 10th place in The Lawyer Top 30 International Firms leader board. According to 2011 figures, 103 lawyers work out of Kirkland's London office.
The office had an unexpected change in management in 2012 when Jim Learner resigned suddenly from the firm to join a US private equity house and private equity partner Graham White was appointed London office managing partner.
In spite of this hiccup, 2012 was a strong year for the firm and in the early part of the year partners from the London office joined forces with Kirkland's San Francisco corporate partner David Breach to steer Visa Equity Partners through its $2bn acquisition of UK software company Misys.
Another prime example of the firm's cross-border expertise was shown in September 2012 when the firm was instructed by Chinese insurer, Ping An Life Insurance Company, in a landmark arbitration case against the Kingdom of Belgium. The case, which is being led by Kirkland's London arbitation head Chris Colbridge, is believed to be the first such case to be filed by a Chinese company at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid).