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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

2,500 - 5,000 employees  |  
In 1909, two young attorneys — Stewart G. Shepard and Robert R. McCormick — teamed up to form the partnership that would eventually become Kirkland & Ellis LLP. In a sign of what was to come, they built the success of their small firm on a shared vision of excellence in the practice of law. McCormick was the grandson of Joseph Medill, the founder of the Chicago Tribune. McCormick was a larger-than-life figure. In addition to being an innovative and forceful lawyer, he served our country with distinction during World War I. By 1920, McCormick had become so active in the business affairs of the Chicago Tribune that he left the Firm to take over as the Tribune's publisher. From the outset, McCormick pushed the Tribune toward an outspoken and crusading editorial policy. As a consequence, the Tribune soon required the services of a first-class trial lawyer to defend it against a mounting tide of defamation cases. McCormick turned to Weymouth Kirkland, who had joined the Firm in 1915. Over the course of his career, Kirkland attracted some of the Firm's largest clients. Often described as a brilliant trial lawyer, he served as chief counsel to the Tribune and other newspapers in various cases that became landmarks in free speech and libel law. In the late 1950s, The University of Chicago honored his outstanding contributions to the legal profession by naming the moot courtroom in their new law school building "The Weymouth Kirkland Courtroom." Although Kirkland was the Firm's dominant figure during its first fifty years, there was another pivotal contributor to the Firm's early history. Howard Ellis joined the Firm as a young associate in 1915. He and Kirkland formed an incomparable and nearly unbeatable team. Ellis assisted Kirkland in many of his most famous trials. They made legal strides when Ellis pioneered the defense of "fair comment," which is today a basic right of free speech. In 1938, Kirkland and Ellis were able to lure away a dynamic young trial lawyer from the U.S. Department of Justice named Hammond E. Chaffetz. Chaffetz ushered in the modern era of the Firm. A brilliant lawyer and leader, he also set the tone for the future steady expansion of the Firm by recruiting outstanding law school students from excellent schools. He hired and nurtured many of the lawyers who have since comprised the Firm's leadership. Chaffetz also instilled a deep sense of community within our partnership, whose members are proud to have made important contributions to the Chicago Symphony, Steppenwolf, United Way, The University of Chicago and Northwestern Law Schools and other Chicago leading civic, charitable and educational institutions. Today, Kirkland & Ellis LLP has grown to more than 900 attorneys, and our practice areas have continued to expand to meet the needs of our diverse clientele. Kirkland & Ellis LLP partners with clients located throughout the world to obtain cost-effective results in complicated litigation, corporate, intellectual property, bankruptcy, tax, and counseling matters. The growing needs of our clients have also led the Firm to open offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, London, and, most recently, San Francisco, where the Firm's lawyers are also expanding the Firm's proud tradition of excellent client service. The strength and reputation of our Firm was built upon the strong foundation of ingenuity and leadership demonstrated by the likes of McCormick, Kirkland, Ellis and Chaffetz. They believed in hiring the best lawyers to take on the toughest cases and most challenging deals. The guiding principles which so effectively shaped Kirkland & Ellis LLP in its first century have paved the way for continued excellence in its second century.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP strongly emphasizes its demonstrated ability to represent leading corporations in major litigation, corporate, intellectual property, bankruptcy, tax, and counseling matters. Our commitment to handling the full array of legal services, ranging from the highly sophisticated and complicated to the routine, has allowed us to assist our clients in a wide range of matters.
Founded over 100 years ago, Kirkland & Ellis LLP has been called upon to handle complicated litigation, corporate, intellectual property, bankruptcy, tax, and counseling matters for major national and international clients. Today, Kirkland & Ellis LLP continues to work with a long-standing base of clients engaged in industries as varied as manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications, private equity/venture capital, pharmaceutical, technology, energy, health care, real estate, chemicals, food products, finance, insurance, e-commerce, advertising, and accounting. In fact, in every year since 1995, The National Law Journal's survey entitled "Who Defends Corporate America" has ranked Kirkland & Ellis among the top five most frequently used firms by Fortune 250 corporations. In 2002, Kirkland & Ellis was named one of the top two firms most mentioned as primary outside counsel by corporate America's in-house attorneys.

Chicago Office 300 N. LaSalle, Chicago, Illinois 60601 Tel: (312)-862-2000 Fax: (312)-862-2200 Hong Kong Office Gloucester Tower, 26th floor The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road Central Tel: +852-3761-3300 Fax: +852-3761-3301 London Office 30 St Mary Axe London EC3A 8AF United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 7469 2000 Fax: +44 (0)20 7469 2001 Los Angeles Office 777 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, California 90017 Tel: (213)-680-8400 Fax: (213)-680-8500 Munich Office Maximilianstrasse 11 80539 Munich Germany Tel: +49 (0)89 2030 6000 Fax: +49 (0)89 2030 6100 New York Office Citigroup Center 153 East 53rd Street New York, New York 10022-4675 Tel: (212)-446-4800 Fax: (212)-446-4900 San Francisco 555 California Street, 27th floor San Francisco, California 94104 Tel: (415)-439-1400 Fax: (415)-439-1500 Shanghai Office HSBC Building 11th floor Shanghai IFC 8 Century Ave, Pudong New District Shanghai 200120, P.R. China Tel +8621-3857-6300 Fax: +8621-3857-6301 Washington D.C. Office 655 Fifteenth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20005 Tel: (202)-879-5000 Fax: (202)-879-5200

At Kirkland, we believe that our ability to function at the very highest level of our profession is significantly enhanced by building a team of lawyers who bring us the benefits of a broad range of socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and personal backgrounds. Our commitment to diversity is reflected not only in the Firm's policies, programs and committees, but also through our efforts to build and maintain a culture that values and gathers strength from difference.