Seven partners exit Kirkland & Ellis for Sidley Austin

Seven partners have left Kirkland & Ellis for Sidley Austin, citing the firm's 'team culture' and efforts 'to move forward as a truly global firm' as core reasons for the dramatic exit.


The seven partners will be joining Sidley Austin’s private equity, corporate and restructuring practices.

Not the first mass exit

This move comes only a year after a six-partner team from Kirkland announced they would exit the firm to set up the city private equity team at Sidley Austin.

The group will be headed by Volker Kullmann and an eighth partner joining the firm - Kolja von Bismarck, head of the German Banking and Financial Restructuring group at Linklaters.

Joining Mr Kullmann in the move from Kirkland are tax partner Roderic Pagel, corporate partners Björn Holland, Christian Zuleger, Marcus Klie and Nicole Schlatter, and finance/capital markets partner Markus Feil - a close-knit team who have worked together for many years.

Team culture and global ambition

Mr Kullmann’s comments on the mass move shed some light on why so many partners have turned their backs on Kirkland simultaneously: “Like all my colleagues now joining Sidley’s Munich office, I am delighted by the outstanding prospects of this move.

“What has impressed me most about Sidley is its willingness to move forward as a truly global firm, its strive for excellence and its team culture. I have no doubt that Sidley’s global success story will continue to unfold, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

The eight new Munich partners will join corporate partner Jan Schinköth, who joined Sidley's Munich office last month and Erik Dahl, who opened Sidley's Munich office last year, coming with his team of five private equity-focused partners based in London also from Kirkland.

Growing team

With these new partners, Sidley will have been joined by 21 new private equity-focused corporate, finance, restructuring and tax partners in London and Munich, with nearly all of them having worked closely together prior to joining Sidley.

Sidley has 1,900 lawyers in 20 offices around the globe.

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