Kirkland & Ellis has offered all staff in its London office German lessons following the launch of its German office this year.
The lessons were offered to all members of staff at the firm and Kirkland has been overwhelmed by the response. The German teacher visits the firm’s Gherkin-based office three times a week for three hours, with learners of all levels taking part.
One partner told The Lawyer: “I don’t think the idea is to be at a level where you can do business in German, but to have conversational skills. It’s also providing an opportunity to learn something new.”
When asked if he had practised his new skills on his German colleagues, the lawyer admitted that he had, but that they were yet to be impressed and had laughed at him.
Another admitted that the secretaries were proving to be better than the partners.
Kirkland launched in Munich at the start of the year, giving the firm its first office in Continental Europe. The US firm scooped a team from Clifford Chance for the launch, which included highly rated private equity specialist Volker Kullman.