Kirkland & Ellis hires London M&A partner from Clifford Chance in latest European infrastructure push

Toby Parkinson is Kirkland's fourth UK lateral hire from a Magic Circle firm since the summer
A photo of the City of London skyline

Kirkland & Ellis adds fourth London infrastructure-focused partner since September Shutterstock

Kirkland & Ellis has hired M&A specialist Toby Parkinson from Clifford Chance to boost its infrastructure transactions coverage in Europe.

Parkinson – who was co-head of Clifford Chance’s global infrastructure group – joins Kirkland in London as a partner and will co-lead the firm’s expansion in the European energy and infrastructure sector. Parkinson’s practice focuses on domestic and cross-border infrastructure, energy and renewables deals.

Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee, said: “Toby is recognised as one of the top infrastructure M&A lawyers in the market. Together with our other recent infrastructure hires and our leading private equity M&A team, he will further enhance our infrastructure transaction capability in Europe.”

Parkinson arrives at Kirkland after his second spell at Clifford Chance, having rejoined in 2019 as a partner following a three-year stint in-house at OMERS Infrastructure, the infrastructure investment arm of Canadian pension fund OMERS. He originally joined the magic circle firm as a trainee in 2006, working his way up to senior associate.

His arrival is the latest in a string of hires across Kirkland’s London infrastructure and energy team. Last month, the firm lured away a trio of magic circle partners, including Paul Sampson and Sara Pickersgill from Allen & Overy and James Boswell from Clifford Chance. Pickersgill will co-lead Kirkland’s European energy and infrastructure push alongside Parkinson.

Andrew Calder, a member of Kirkland’s executive committee, said: “We are committed to building the premier energy and infrastructure practice in Europe to meet the needs of our sponsor clients looking to deploy infrastructure capital on a global scale. Toby is another important piece of that puzzle.”

The Chicago firm’s hiring spree in Europe is part of an ongoing trend of US powerhouses using their financial clout to raid European firms on their own turf. In August, top 50 US firm Milbank hired a trio of equity capital markets lawyers from Clifford Chance in Frankfurt, while Latham & Watkins hired German real estate partner Carsten Loll from Linklaters.

Also in August, White & Case hired M&A specialist Di Yu from Slaughter and May. While in July, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom hired arbitration partner Kate McGill Davies from Allen & Overy.

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