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Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Up to 20 vacancies
20 trainees
195 partners
782 staff

Kirkland & Ellis is a global law firm specializing in advising on private equity M&A and financing transactions, fund formation, litigation and restructuring.

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

The first stage of the application process involves an online application as well as uploading a CV and cover letter. Each year Kirkland receives around 1,000 applications for up to twenty training contract places. Following a video interview stage, the firm runs assessment days in late January and early February. The final stage of the recruitment process is an interview with at least two partners.

Apply online (  by 31 December 2023 for training contract beginning in August 2026.

Applications to

Ms Lauren Logier

Method of application

Online 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.

Based in the heart of the City, our London office – comprising over 500 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 (across our practice areas) but also recognised for our experience across the corporate spectrum:

Kirkland has the largest corporate practice in Europe, focused solely on private equity and financial sponsors. The team advises across the full spectrum of corporate matters including acquisitions, reorganisations, restructurings, public to privates, minority investments, carve outs and sales.

Debt finance
Kirkland has the largest sponsor-focused debt finance practice in Europe, advising on TLB, second lien, PIK, bank/bond, ABL, unitranche and preferred equity structures across large cap and middle market deals. This also includes a market-leading fund finance practice.

Investment funds
Kirkland has the largest and most active investment funds practice in the world and is uniquely positioned to serve clients across all verticals, including private equity funds, credit funds, secondaries, real estate and infrastructure funds. The practice represents a deeper and wider set of sponsors and products than any other firm.

Kirkland has earned a distinguished international reputation acting for a varied range of clients in complex restructurings The team provides a range of executable solutions from insolvency to distressed and special situations to event-driven financings through to exit.

Real estate finance
Kirkland has a broad experience in real estate secured lending and structured finance, advising across the full spectrum of products, from acquisitions to developments, restructurings and disposals.

Kirkland has a strong international reputation for providing sophisticated tax advice to private equity and financial sponsor clients. The tax team also advises on credit, real estate, infrastructure and fundraising issues as well as acting for clients in tax disputes worldwide.

Capital markets
Kirkland advises issuers and sponsors on a wide variety of international securities transactions, across every major industry, with a particular focus on offerings of high-yield, liability management transactions, initial public offerings, SPACs and other complex debt securities.

Technology and IP transactions
Kirkland represents clients in all areas of IP, trademark matters, outsourcing, computer software, licensing, distribution, joint venture agreements, biotechnology, data protection and e-commerce issues.

Financial services regulatory
Kirkland advises clients in relation to regulations affecting private equity firms, alternative investment funds, fund managers and investment advisers.

Antitrust and competition
Kirkland advises across the full spectrum of requirements, from wide-scale multijurisdictional cartel investigations and litigation, to specific antitrust queries such as distribution and resale structures, pricing and behavioural conduct, competitor cooperation agreements and State aid.

Intellectual property litigation
Kirkland supports clients across four areas (i) strategic life sciences patent and product lifecycle advice; (ii) patent litigation; (iii) coordinating global IP enforcement/defence cases; and (iv) standard essential patent (SEP) and FRAND disputes.

Iinternational arbitration and litigation
Kirkland advises multinational corporations, governments and government-owned entities in international arbitration and litigation cases around the world. We represent clients under the auspices of all leading arbitral organisations, including the ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, ICSID and the SIAC, as well as ad-hoc arbitrations.

Thanks to the relatively 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. Three of our main practice areas are corporate, finance and investment funds and so it is likely trainees will spend a seat in each of these. The other seats will be allocated from one of our other complementary practice areas.

On the job training is actively supported by a carefully tailored education programme.

Kirkland’s commitment to diversity has made the firm more vital, more competitive, and better able to serve a broad and varied client base in complex matters. Diversity at Kirkland transcends race, gender identity, gender, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Our lawyers boast rich and varied backgrounds, knowledge and skills, and we value and encourage diversity with respect to each individual’s work style, career path and experiences.

We work closely with diversity organisations such as Aspiring Solicitors and SEO and many of our current trainees and associates came through this route.

We partner with The University of Law for the PGDL(if required) and the SQE. Full sponsorship is provided for these courses plus a maintenance grant of £20,000.

  • Corporate
  • Debt finance
  • Investment funds
  • One other complementary practice area
  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8AF
Phone: 020 7469 2000
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Minimum qualification: 2:1 degree
Start salary: £60,000
Fees paid for:
  • SQE
Training programme applications: 1,000 (2023)
Retention rate: 100% (2023)
  • Austin
  • Bay Area
  • Beijing
  • Boston
  • Brussels
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Hong Kong
  • Houston
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Munich
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Salt Lake City
  • Shanghai
  • Washington DC
  • Amicus
  • University House Legal Advice Centre
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • SEO London