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Successful candidates will have a strong academic record and be motivated to work hard in a professional, friendly and entreprenurial team.
Apply online by 1 January 2023 for vacation schemes taking place in spring and summer, or by 2 July 2023 to begin training contracts in August 2025.
How to applyukgraduate.kirkland.com
Ms Lauren Logier
Method of applicationOnline Application Form
Method of assessment
- Assessment centre
- Partner interview
- Video interview
- Written exercise
Kirkland & Ellis is a global law firm specializing in advising on private equity M&A and financing transactions, fund formation, litigation and restructuring. The firm is pre-eminent in those areas globally across its 19 offices in US, Europe and Asia. The firm has developed its leading position by focusing on, empowering its lawyers with accelerated career paths to partnership, rewarding dedication, focus and teamwork and allowing its lawyers to be entrepreneurial and client facing at all stages in their careers.
Types of work
Based in the heart of the City in the iconic Gherkin building, our London office – comprising over 450 lawyers – acts in some of the most complex, high value and high profile corporate transactions in Europe. At Kirkland & Ellis, we are renowned for our private equity work, but we are also recognised for our experience and capabilities in legal advice across the corporate spectrum, including debt finance; investment funds; restructuring; real estate finance; financial services regulatory; tax; international arbitration and litigation; antitrust and competition; technology and IP transactions; IP litigation; and capital markets.
Private equity: our London office acts on behalf of financial sponsors and private equity owners and has advised on some of Europe's largest leveraged buyouts. We also operate within international capital markets and securities regulation.
Debt finance: for major financial transactions across Europe, borrowers, lenders and insurers turn to us for reliable and specialist advice. Our London office concentrates particularly on acquisition finance, debt restructuring, capital markets, high-yield issuance and syndicated lending.
Investment funds: our team addresses the legal, regulatory, tax and commercial challenges facing a diverse group of investment fund clients, ranging from some of the world’s largest alternative-asset managers and financial institutions to independent boutiques and first-time fund sponsors.
Restructuring: we enjoy an ever-growing reputation for multi-jurisdictional restructurings and insolvency proceedings, especially planning and strategies for cross-border deals. Our client list features shareholders, directors, creditors, debtors, turnaround advisors and insolvency agents.
Real estate finance: lawyers practising in the real estate area at Kirkland have broad experience in real estate secured lending and structured finance, both in the representation of lenders and borrowers.
Financial services regulatory: our regulatory practice is engaged on a daily basis with issues including structuring, marketing, approved person issues, market abuse/insider dealing questions, conflicts, anti-bribery and corruption, regulatory capital issues, compliance policies and procedures, perimeter and scope of permission issues.
Tax: every year we operate at the centre of numerous complex domestic and international transactions. The team acts on corporate mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, debt and equity financings, as well as fund formation.
International litigation and arbitration: around the world, multinational corporations, governments and subsidiaries seek our help in international litigation and arbitration cases. Partners at our London office are qualified to carry out investigations into white collar crime at a global level.
Antitrust and competition: our London office advises clients across a range of industries on all aspects of EU and UK competition law. Our specialist knowledge includes merger control, market dominance and cartel investigations, as well as sector inquiries and antitrust legislation.
Technology and IP transactions: we handle patent litigation matters for unfair competition, trademark and copyright disputes. The team manages IP transactions on behalf of some of the world's largest companies, from transferring and commercialising new technologies to purchasing product lines.
IP litigation: our UK IP Litigation practice supports clients across four areas: (1) strategic life sciences patent and product lifecycle advice; (2) patent litigation; (3) co-ordinating global IP enforcement/defence cases; and (4) standard essential patent (SEP) and FRAND disputes.
Capital markets: we represent issuers and underwriters in a broad range of securities offerings. By drawing on the multiple areas of expertise within the firm, we can efficiently handle corporate affairs, commercial lending, taxation, securities litigation, environmental issues, IP and property – marshalling deals from inception to closure.
We offer two two-week placements throughout the spring and summer months. Candidates are eligible to apply if they are in their penultimate year of a law degree, final year of a non-law degree or beyond. Ideally we look to recruit as many of our future trainees as possible from the vacation scheme.
To find out what it's like to undertake a placement at Kirkland & Ellis read the firm's Vac Scheme Insider report.
Thanks to the small intakes, trainees are given early responsibility to work on complex multi-jurisdictional matters.
The principal focus of the training is on transactional law with a specialism in private equity. Trainees complete four, six-month seats and obtain training in areas such as corporate, debt finance, investment funds, restructuring, real estate finance, fiancial services regulatory, tax, international arbitration and litigation, and antitrust and competition. In addition there are opportunities to apply to undertake an overseas secondment, enabling you to experience the international resources and capabilities of Kirkland & Ellis. There are also opportunities for client secondments.
On the job training is actively supported by an extensive education programme, carefully tailored to meet their needs.
We partner with The University of Law for the PGDL/LPC/SQE. Full sponsorship is provided for these courses plus a maintenance grant.
- Debt finance
- Investment funds
- Real estate finance
- Financial services regulatory
- International arbitration & litigation
- Antitrust & competition
- Technology & IP transactions
- Corporate & Commercial
Banking & finance
Sponsored by Milbank LLP. Banking and finance involves many financial products, from bank loans to companies to highly structured financing arrangements across multiple jurisdictions.
Capital markets lawyers work with transactions involving the issue of debt or equity securities to the public or investors.
Competition & EU law
Competition and regulatory work includes merger control, regulatory and court proceedings, issues arising from sector-specific regulation and utility procurement issues.
Corporate tax involves advising on the most tax-efficient means of acquiring, selling or restructuring assets.
Sponsored by RPC. Commercial litigators represent and advise commercial clients when disputes arise from joint venture projects, civil fraud, commercial and banking transactions, corporate governance, financial services regulation and professional negligence.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the covid-19 pandemic and various financial scandals, there is always lots going on in this area.
Restructuring and insolvency lawyers are necessary when a company, individual or other organisation is in financial difficulties.
|Training contract applications:||800 (2019)|
|Retention rate:||100% (2019)|
|Has overseas secondments:||Yes|
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