Kirkland & Ellis lands M&A ‘rising star’ partner from Cravath in New York

Partner Allison Wein is the second dealmaker to leave Cravath in the last eight months
Headshot of Allison Wein

Allison Wein Image courtesy of Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis has hired M&A partner Allison Wein from Cravath Swaine & Moore to bolster the firm’s corporate practice group in New York.

Wein brings with her more than a decade of dealmaking experience, having worked on blockbuster transactions such as Disney’s $85bn acquisition of 21st Century Fox and British American Tobacco’s $97bn merger with Reynolds American. Her practice focuses on a broad range of M&A activity, including cross-border and contested transactions, as well as activism defence.

Her departure from Cravath is the second high-profile M&A lawyer the firm has lost in the past eight months, following partner Damian Zoubek’s exit to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in September last year. That comes despite efforts from Cravath to retain its top dealmakers by overhauling its pay structure and removing its pure lockstep model that compensated partners based on seniority rather than merit.

Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee, said: “Allie is an exceptionally talented lawyer and rising M&A star who has advised on some of the largest and most complex M&A deals in the market. As we continue to invest in our strategic M&A business, leading next generation talent like Allie will help us keep pace with demand and provide clients with the market-leading advice they’ve come to expect from Kirkland.”

Wein spent just over a decade at Cravath, joining as an associate in September 2011 before being made partner at the start of 2019.

Eric Schiele, a corporate partner and member of the executive committee, said: “Allie is one of the brightest young M&A talents in the legal world and has developed a reputation as a savvy, go-to advisor for major deals. Her experience counselling clients on high-stakes, transformative M&A matters will complement the incredibly strong platform we have established in New York and across the firm.”

Kirkland’s M&A practice continues to be one of the best performing globally. The firm ranked third last year by deal value in Refinitiv’s global M&A legal advisor rankings, having worked on 977 deals worth $572bn – putting it just behind Latham & Watkins and first place Sullivan & Cromwell. The Chicago-based firm maintained third spot by deal value during the first quarter of this year, advising on 207 deals worth $119bn.


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