Kirkland & Ellis secures Paul Weiss London head Alvaro Membrillera

Departure leaves Paul Weiss with three partners in London office according to website

Kirkland & Ellis has secured leading private equity lawyer Alvaro Membrillera in London from rival Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. 

Membrillera has joined Kirkland as a corporate partner after a little more than six years at Paul Weiss, where he led the London office. He represents private equity firms and their portfolio companies on cross-border M&A and leveraged transactions across Europe and at Paul Weiss worked with clients including General Atlantic, BC Partners and KKR. 

“Alvaro is one of Europe’s top private equity lawyers with substantial experience leading complex cross-border transactions for sophisticated financial sponsors,” said Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee.

“We’re very pleased that the Kirkland platform continues to attract leading talent like Alvaro, particularly in Europe, which is one of our fastest growing markets.”

Membrillera joined Paul Weiss in 2017 after nearly 16 years at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, becoming the firm’s first UK partner hire since it opened its London outpost in 2001. Earlier he practised at leading Spanish firm Cuatrecasas. 

Membrillera’s move leaves Paul Weiss with just three partners in London according to its website – leveraged finance lawyer David Carmona and corporate/M&A duo David Lakhdhir and Adam Wollstein. It also follows the departure of London deputy head Ramy Wahbeh for Sidley Austin in May alongside fellow corporate partner Kaisa Kuusk, with Wahbeh now co-head of Sidley’s private equity group. 

Meantime, Kirkland’s private equity team in the UK houses around 40 partners, among them a number of leading practitioners like David Higgins and Adrian Maguire. Recognised as an outstanding sponsor-side practice, its expertise covers LBOs, going-private deals, restructurings and recapitalisations among other matters for leading investor clients including The Carlyle Group, Partners Group and BC Partners. 

Paul Weiss did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Membrillera’s departure. 

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