Kirkland & Ellis boosts German private equity offering with Freshfields addition

Dr Hendrik Braun joins as a partner in Munich in a heated market for private equity hires

Dr Hendrik Braun Image courtesy of Kirkland & Ellis

At a busy time for private equity recruitment, Kirkland & Ellis has once again boosted the ranks of its private equity team with the addition of Dr Hendrik Braun in Munich, its sole office in Germany.

Kirkland has been using its significant financial clout to make a series of hires from Magic Circle firms, with Braun’s addition following hot on the heels of Freshfields losing two of its private equity rising stars, partners Vincent Bergin and Keir MacLennan, to the US giant in London.

Braun joins Kirkland as a partner after 13 years at Freshfields, having begun there as a trainee and working his way up to a role as a counsel in 2019. He specialises in advising financial investors on national and international M&A transactions and advises private equity investors on investments and exits, management participation programs and reorganisations, as well as on corporate law issues related to the investment in their portfolio companies.

Juve reported that he has been involved in a number of high-profile transactions at Freshfields, including advising One Equity Partners on the sale of the Italian Lutech Group to Apax and Blackstone on the acquisition of Schenck Process.

Braun described the move as ‘a fantastic opportunity to join the growing team at K&E on what I think will be a very successful journey.’ He will be reunited in Munich with former Freshfields colleague Dr Sebastian Häfele, who joined Kirkland’s M&A/private equity practice in 2018 and was promoted to partner at the beginning of October in a round that saw a total of 151 lawyers made up across the firm.  

Kirkland currently sits atop the global rankings of law firms by revenue, and placed first in The American Lawyer’s 2021 AmLaw 200 ranking after raking in $4.8bn in gross revenue in 2020. The firm’s profit per equity partner notched in at $6.1m. 

The also firm topped Mergermarket’s global M&A advisory league table for the first half of 2021 by deal count in July, advising on 420 deals worth just shy of $317bn – up from second place in 2020.

Braun’s arrival will bring the lawyer headcount of Munich’s Kirkland office to 37, 14 of whom are partners. The team practices in the areas of private equity/M&A, capital markets, debt finance and tax matters, and advises on all aspects of domestic and cross-border insolvencies and financial restructurings. 

Munich-based Kirkland partner Benjamin Leyendecker commented: "We are delighted that Hendrik will join our team, and we look very much forward to working with him. He is an outstanding lawyer with many years of experience and will further strengthen our private equity practice in Munich."

Braun’s addition should go some way to plugging the gap left by the departure of private equity partners Volkmar Bruckner and Dr Mark Aschenbrenner from the Munich office in June, with both moving to Clifford Chance. Going the other way, Kirkland secured Clifford Chance rising star Gregory Scott as a partner in May, marking the first time Kirkland made a major hire from the Magic Circle firm’s London private equity team.   


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