Ex-Kirkland partner Rory Mullarkey joins Matheson in London

Senior lawyer who led Kirkland’s private equity push will develop Irish firm’s private capital work

(l-r) David Fitzgibbon, co-head of corporate; corporate partner Sandra Lord; and Rory Mullarkey in Matheson's London office Image courtesy of Matheson

Former Kirkland & Ellis partner Rory Mullarkey has joined Matheson as a partner in London, as the Irish firm moves to develop its private capital work.  

Mullarkey has joined the firm’s 120-lawyer corporate M&A practice two years after leaving Kirkland’s London office, where he spent 15 years as a partner and led the growth of its private equity team in London. 

At Matheson he will work alongside private capital lawyers across the firm’s private equity, fundraising and asset management, private client, tax, infrastructure and real estate practices, the firm said. 

Matheson highlighted Mullarkey’s extensive experience in private equity, including work with Bain Capital and Apax Partners at Kirkland, and his “large network of key contacts” in the London, European and US markets.

“I am delighted to welcome Rory to Matheson,” said firm managing partner, Michael Jackson. “His appointment is a significant addition to our team in London. His background and skillset offers us the opportunity to expand our private capital practice across our investment funds, private equity, financial services and tax practices, and will allow us to package together a number of key legal services specifically for our private capital clients.”

Mullarkey joined Kirkland in 2007 as a partner from Allen & Overy. More recent work at Kirkland included advising Bain Capital on its 2021 acquisition of aero engine manufacturer ITP Aero from Rolls-Royce for €1.7bn and advising Inmarsat and its controlling consortium of private equity investors on its $7.3bn combination with Viasat, also in 2021.

Mullarkey will join Matheson in the larger London office in the Octogaon Point building, next to St Paul’s cathedral, where the firm relocated last year in response to what it said was significant growth in its only UK base. 

His hire sees the firm make good on its stated aim to continue to grow its London team, which currently includes around 22 lawyers and is led by insurance disputes specialist Sharon Daly. 

The firm has more than 800 lawyers in total across its Dublin headquarters, Cork, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco as well as London. 

Meantime, Kirkland saw a raft of departures in London in September, when Paul Weiss hired away eight partners from the office as part of a wider private equity raid that also saw it take four partners from Kirkland in the US.

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