Bloomberg Law
Sept. 12, 2016, 5:57 PM

Kirkland & Ellis to Acquire Top SCOTUS Boutique

Casey Sullivan

Kirkland & Ellis never ceases to wow.

On Monday, the firm announced that it’s hiring Paul D. Clement, the former U.S. Solicitor General and top U.S. Supreme Court lawyer who will join as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Anyone else coming with Clement? Yeah: All of the attorney’s at Bancroft PLLC, one of the most active appellate litigation shops at the Supreme Court. It was founded by Viet D. Dinh, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for legal policy.

Dinh, as well as 15 other attorneys will join Kirkland by Oct. 1, the firm said, noting that it will be in time for the new Supreme Court Term.[Read here for our complete coverage of Kirkland’s acquisition, including interviews with Clement and Vinh.]

Dinh was one of the top architects of the U.S.A. Patriot Act and is a well-connected conservative who served as assistant attorney general of the United States from 2001 to 2003, under the presidency of George W. Bush.

Born in Saigon, South Vietnam, he is a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and specializes in constitutional law and corporate law.

Clement, on the other hand, served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States from June 2005 to June 2008. He is one of the most active members of the Supreme Court bar, arguing over 80 cases before the court.

He’s well-known for arguing against the constitutionality of President Obama’s healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, in NFIB v. Sebelius. A divided Supreme Court ultimately upheld the ACA. But Clement has continued to argue against the application of the law, making appearances in two recent clashes between the Obama administration and religious groups, Hobby Lobby v. Burwell and Zubik v. Burwell.

Clement frequently represents big businesses and government agencies. He successfully argued on behalf of ABC and other major broadcasters in a 2014 copyright dispute, ABC v. Aereo, and represented the state of Arizona in litigation over its “Show Me Your Papers” law in Arizona v. United States.

Kirkland, a firm that brought in $2.3 billion in revenue in 2015, is known for acquiring star partners from competitor firms. Its partners profited an average of $3.6 million in 2015, according to The American Lawyer.

The firm made waves in the New York legal community in 2009 when it poached David Fox and Daniel Wolf, top corporate partners at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. The firm also recruits top hires from the government: In 2013, it hired former Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami for a compensation package reported to be $5 million in the New York Times.

--With assistance from Jessie Kamens and Kimberly Robinson.

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