Kirkland & Ellis secures Allen & Overy's global infrastructure co-head in London

Sara Pickersgill joins to lead US giant's European energy and infrastructure growth push
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Kirkland & Ellis has hired Allen & Overy’s (A&O) global co-head of infrastructure, Sara Pickersgill, as a partner in London. 

Pickersgill, who spent two decades at A&O, will be tasked with leading Chicago-based Kirkland’s expansion in the European energy and infrastructure sector. She brings with her extensive experience advising on transactions in the infrastructure, energy, utilities, transportation and telecoms sectors. 

Some of Pickersgill’s recent notable work includes her role in advising 3i Infrastructure on its agreement to acquire Global Cloud Xchange in November 2021. 

Andrew Calder, a member of Kirkland’s executive committee, said he anticipated Pickersgill to be the “first of several hires in the sector in Europe”. 

“A strong European infrastructure team is a natural extension of our leading energy and infrastructure platform in the United States,” he said. “Many of our sponsor clients in particular have a global focus with respect to deployment of infrastructure capital and expect us to provide top tier advice across many jurisdictions.”

Kirkland’s global energy and infrastructure group boasts more than 400 lawyers with a large concentration in Texas, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC and London. 

The global giant has been relentlessly leveraging its profitability to lure partner-level talent from London rivals, including the UK's Magic Circle, as it continues to grow its already formidable London presence.

In August, Kirkland boosted its European investment funds platform with two partner hires from Ashurst and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in the City.

Standout hires have included the arrivals of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner duo Vincent Bergin and Keir MacLennan last October. The firm also landed regulatory partner Julia Dixon from Linklaters just a few weeks prior. 

Last autumn, Kirkland announced plans to move its London headquarters from the Gherkin to new premises at 40 Leadenhall Street in 2023. The firm has occupied its current office since 2006. After first landing in London in 1994, the firm has grown its office size to around 550 lawyers and professional staff.

The firm ranked third in the global M&A legal advisor league tables by deal value, up from sixth in 2020 having worked on 977 deals worth $572bn.

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