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Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

  • 10 vacancies
  • 20 trainees
  • 1070 partners
  • 4796 staff

About Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis is a 2,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in offices around the world.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.

More info

Successful candidates will have a strong academic record and be motivated to work hard in a professional, friendly and entreprenurial team.

Apply online by 12 July 2020 to begin training contracts in August 2022.

Applications to

Ms Lauren Massey

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Partner interview
  • Video interview
  • Written exercise

Kirkland & Ellis is a 2,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in offices around the world; in Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, Washington DC.

For over 100 years, major national and international clients have called upon Kirkland & Ellis to provide superior legal advice and client services. Our London office has been the hub of European operations since 1994. Here, approximately 325 lawyers’ offer detailed expertise to a wide range of UK and international clients.

To find out what it is like to work at Kirkland & Ellis read the firm's Meet the Lawyer profile.

Kirkland & Ellis won Best Trainer (US) Firm in the City in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2019, and Best Quality of Work in the City in 2018.

Types of work

Based in the heart of the City in the iconic Gherkin building, our London office – comprising around 325 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 & litigation, antitrust & competition, technology & 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 & 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. Vacation scheme students will receive £500 per week. 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 GDL and LPC. Full sponsorship is provided for both courses plus a maintenance grant of £10,000 pa.

  • Corporate
  • Debt finance
  • Investment funds
  • Restructuring
  • Real estate finance
  • Tax
  • Financial services regulatory
  • International arbitration & litigation
  • Antitrust & competition
  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8AF
Phone: 020 7469 2000
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 30
Minimum qualification: 2.1 degree
Start salary: £50,000
Sponsorship: GDL/LPC, plus maintenance grant
Starting salary: £50,000
Training contract applications: 800 (2019)
Retention rate: 100% (2019)
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Hong Kong
  • New York
  • Beijing
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Hong Kong
  • Houston
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Munich
  • New York
  • Palo Alto
  • Paris
  • San Francisco
  • Shanghai
  • Washington DC
  • A4ID
  • LawWorks
  • Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre
  • TrustLaw Connect
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • SEO London
  • Stonewall