Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up

‘Nightmare’ Lives for Wall Street as Kirkland Poaches Wachtell

May 8, 2020, 12:28 PM

Kirkland & Ellis chair Jon Ballis, who took the post in January, has already poached a partner from the nearly untouchable ranks of Wachtell despite a pandemic slowing the economy and making many firms wary of big-money lateral hires.

All Grown Up: “That private equity, litigation, bankruptcy shop that used to be really great coming out of Chicago, they’re not that anymore. They’re a nightmare for the Wall Street firms,” legal recruiter Mark Jungers said of Kirkland.

Potent Mix: Kirkland’s sky-high profitability and merit-based compensation system have proven a potent combination in recruiting partners from the most venerated Wall Street firms, and that strategy does not appear to be easing.

Meghan Tribe and Roy Strom have the story.

Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe to our Business & Practice newsletter and get the best of our content delivered to your Inbox every morning.


Business of Law

PRACTITIONER INSIGHT: What GCs Need to Know About the Government When Reopening
Former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II and former Justice Department Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brett Shumate, both now partners at Jones Day, discuss the myriad of litigation, investigatory, reputational, and political risks awaiting businesses as they consider reopening during the pandemic. They discuss five key issues general counsels should consider when advising firms dealing with the government post-pandemic.

Leading Questions: Reed Smith’s Cindy Minniti Stays Positive
Bloomberg Law spoke to Cindy Minniti , managing partner of Reed Smith’s New York office, about her daily routine, the challenges of working from home with two school-aged children, and how she stays connected to clients and colleagues.

Shearman & Sterling Worker Says Covid-19, Age Spurred Firing
Shearman & Sterling targeted its 62-year-old global manager of facilities and audiovisual infrastructure as the first worker to be let go in Covid-19-related layoffs because of his age, a new lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan charges.

Law Firms

Hogan Lovells, Mayer Brown Cut Attorney Pay
Hogan Lovells and Mayer Brown are the latest Big Law firms to cut attorney pay in response to coronavirus impacts.


Big Law Partner Becomes Menlo Ventures’ First General Counsel
Menlo Ventures, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has recruited a newly promoted law firm partner to be its first general counsel.


Illinois Says Law Grads Can Do First-Year Work Without Bar Exam
Illinois law school graduates are “para-professionals” who can do most of the work of first-year associates if properly supervised by a firm attorney even though they haven’t taken the bar exam, the state bar said.

Indiana Lawyer Disbarred for Misuse of Client Funds
An Indiana lawyer who neglected clients and converted their funds was disbarred by the state high court.

Also in the News

Follow Bloomberg Law’s global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic on our Coronavirus Outbreak channel, and track the latest changes in the federal court operations with our interactive map.


BakerHostetler Cuts Pay for Covid ‘Preemptive Savings’
In today’s column, three Big Law firms advised as Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy, the latest in what looks to be an approaching wave of Covid-19 insolvencies; Cooley advised videoconferencing app Zoom on a key acquisition to improve its data security; Zoom also hired a veteran lawyer to guide its policy; #MeToo boutique Wigdor Law said it’s representing Tara Reade in her sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden. An appeals court affirmed most of the $112 million in fees awarded to lawyers for NFL players in their concussion class action against the league.


ANALYSIS: The New Normal—Law Firms May Never Be the Same
The legal industry has been shifting its operations. Some changes are related to the Covid-19 pandemic, like the current work-from-home situation. But some were already in progress, like the integration of basic and long-overdue business practices and professionals. The combination of these pre- and post-Covid-19 changes has created the unique environment required to push the legal industry, and law firms in particular, forward.


INSIGHT: Law School Income-Driven Repayment Plans Can Help, But Have Risks
In Part 2 of a two-part series on law student debt, Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Bryan Gividen examines the advantages and disadvantages of income-driven repayment plans and privately refinancing student loans.

INSIGHT: Voting By Mail in November—It’s Not a Matter of if, But How
Five states—Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—automatically send voting ballots to all registered voters, while another 29 states and Washington, D.C., provide no excuse mail-in ballots at a voter’s request. Steptoe & Johnson LLP attorneys suggest ways to ensure election integrity with mail-in voting and say that for most states, ensuring voter access to ballot boxes just means adjusting current rules, and not starting from square one.

INSIGHT: Can’t Comply With EPA During Pandemic? Documentation Is Key
Companies faced with Covid-19 recently received some relief from environmental compliance after the EPA released guidance that said the agency was using enforcement discretion on noncompliance during the pandemic. Thompson Coburn’s Eric Berry says the guidance is reasonable but is not a license to pollute and gives tips on proper documentation and the agency’s reporting expectations.

INSIGHT: Legal Immigration Can Help Revive the Economy–If We Let It
Now, during Covid-19, is not the time for America to render unlawful, out of status, and deportable the very “smart people” already here from abroad who are poised and eager to help us solve the healthcare crisis and redress the economic devastation of the coronavirus, Seyfarth Shaw’s Angelo Paparelli writes.

INSIGHT: New Joint Employer Rules—What You Need to Know
The issue of joint employment impacts a majority of the businesses in the U.S., particularly with a booming gig economy. Eversheds Sutherland attorneys explore the two new joint employer rules recently released by the Labor Department and National Labor Relations Board and give key takeaways for employers.

INSIGHT: ‘Team Telecom’ Advice to FCC to Bar China Telecom From U.S. Sets Trend
The “Team Telecom” recommendation that the FCC revoke China Telecom’s licenses doesn’t constitute a final determination, but it illustrates the reach of the Executive Branch agencies’ influence on the continued operations of a company with existing authorizations, Crowell & Moring’s Caroline E. Brown says. It also bolsters the pivotal role that Team Telecom has played in transactions involving foreign ownership.


Pillsbury’s London office hired former Jones Day corporate partner Nick Burgess as a senior counsel | White & Case added Sandra Rafferty as a partner to its Mergers & Acquisitions Practice in London from CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP | Stoel Rives said that commercial and antitrust litigator Chuck Samel has joined as a partner, and will split his time between the Southern California and San Francisco offices | Pirkey Barber PLLC has added Michael S. Metteauer, Christopher Weimer and Katherine Klammer Madianos to its Intellectual Property practice in Austin, TX from Norton Rose Fulbright | Cozen O’Connor added nine attorneys in Philadelphia from Baer Crossey McDemus LLC.

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow Bloomberg Law on Twitter, Flipboard, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook and Telegram.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Kaufman in Washington at