Bloomberg Law
Jan. 8, 2020, 9:55 AM

How Kirkland ‘Partners in Name Only’ Live in Limbo

Roy Strom
Roy Strom

Matthew Topic was named a Kirkland & Ellis partner in 2012. That’s right around the time he began looking for his next job.

Topic wasn’t a partner in the traditional sense—owning a nearly lifelong share of the firm’s annual profit pool. Instead, he was, in Kirkland lingo, “a non-share” partner. Some at the firm jokingly refer to the position as “PINO”—Partner in Name Only.

Among the 84 lawyers in Topic’s 2012 class of those promoted to non-share partner, fewer than 40% remain at the firm and only 14% are publicly identifiable as equity partners, according to a Bloomberg Law analysis. ...

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