Kirkland secures tax partner from Linklaters in London

James Morgan’s hire follows 12-partner raid on Kirkland by Paul Weiss that included two London tax partners

Kirkland & Ellis has hired a senior tax partner in London from Linklaters as it restocks its bench following a raid by Paul Weiss. 

James Morgan is set to join Kirkland, the largest law firm in the world by revenue, after almost seven years at Linklaters. 

His hire follows news in September that London tax duo Timothy Lowe and Cian O’Connor were set to exit Kirkland as part of a 12-partner private equity raid on the firm by Paul Weiss across both sides of the Atlantic. Alongside the 12 Kirkland partners, Paul Weiss also hired London corporate partner William Aitken-Davies from Linklaters. 

Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee, said Morgan brought “an outstanding reputation and versatile skill set” that aligned with the firm’s business. “He will be a great addition to our European tax team,” he added. 

Morgan advises private equity sponsors and other alternative asset managers on the tax and structural issues arising from complex corporate transactions and financings. Kirkland highlighted his significant experience advising on the tax aspects of corporate reorganisations and debt restructuring transactions, as well as credit-related transactions and credit funds.

Morgan has worked with clients including PwC, 23 Capital and Lloyds Banking Group, where earlier in his career he spent eight years as a technical tax expert in the strategic transactions group. 

At Kirkland he will work in a tax practice that houses nearly 200 lawyers globally, around 40 of whom are based in London. The London tax practice is led by partner Jonathan Kandel and is ranked Band 1 by Chambers, which notes its strength in investment fund restructuring, restructuring and insolvency and private equity transactions. 

The partner count of Kirkland’s London tax team was also boosted last month when Anthony Antioch and Loviisa Langdon were promoted to partner as part of a 205-strong global round that included a total of 26 promotions in London. 

A Linklaters spokesperson commented: “We can confirm that James Morgan will be leaving Linklaters. We thank him for his contribution and wish him all the best for the future.”

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