Kirkland & Ellis beats Clifford Likelihood for hiring London finance associate

Kirkland & Ellis beats Clifford Chance for hiring London finance partner

Kirkland & Ellis this week hired financial partner James Boswell from Clifford Chance to secure a second Magic Circle partner.

Boswell will join Kirkland as a debt financing partner in its London office, the US firm said on Sept. 22.

Kirkland announced Sept. 21 that it had hired Sara Pickersgill, co-head of global infrastructure at Allen & Overy — an M&A partner — to build a European infrastructure and energy practice.

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Kirkland said it understands Pickersgill’s addition is the “first of several hires” in Europe the company is making for the sector.

Boswell’s practice includes infrastructure finance as well as leveraged finance and restructurings, according to his profile on Clifford Chance’s website.

“James is a very talented lawyer with a solid reputation for leading complex infrastructure finance deals in the UK and across Europe,” said Jon Ballis, Chairman of Kirkland’s Executive Committee.

“He is an important part of the team we are assembling in London, which will work hand-in-hand with our strong infrastructure team in the US,” said Andrew Calder, member of the firm’s Board of Directors.

Meanwhile, on September 22, Clifford Chance announced it was hiring corporate partner Dominic Ross from US firm White & Case in London.

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“Dominic is an excellent addition to our team and continues to strengthen our partner bank for M&A and corporate law,” said Melissa Fogarty, Clifford Chance’s joint head of corporate in London, in a statement. “We look forward to Dominic supporting the continued growth of our corporate practice.”

Last year, Kirkland hired M&A private equity duo Vincent Bergin and Keir MacLennan from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as partners in London.

The firm also hired Gregory Scott, Clifford Chance’s rising private equity star, as a partner last year.

Kirkland flipped its partnering path on its head last year to allow non-equity partners to transition into its equity partnership after three years instead of four.

Under the new system, equity partners will receive $1.5 million in fixed compensation for the first year after promotion before participating in the company’s variable profit sharing pool.

According to American Lawyer magazine, Kirkland’s average earnings per equity partner was $7.38 million in 2021.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or updates, email James Booth