Kirkland & Ellis Adds Attorneys Ward McKimm and William Burke to London Office

Kirkland & Ellis, a 1,500-attorney law firm with offices around the globe has added capital markets attorneys Ward McKimm and William Burke to its London office. Burke was already in the employ of Kirkland & Ellis, working out its Chicago headquarters; McKimm joins from the London office of Shearman & Sterling LLP, where he led the capital markets team and was co-head of the corporate group.

PRESS RELEASE:

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is pleased to announce that Ward McKimm will join the Firm as a capital markets partner in the London office, effective April 18. Mr. McKimm joins Kirkland from the London office of Shearman & Sterling LLP, where he led the capital markets team and was co-head of the corporate group. In a related move, U.S. capital markets partner William Burke will relocate to London from Kirkland’s Chicago office effective May 3.

“Our London office has had a strong transactional offering in M&A, private funds, debt finance, tax and restructuring for many years, but Ward’s international capital markets experience adds a new dimension that we believe will greatly benefit our clients. Ward has a fantastic reputation as one of the leading U.S. securities lawyers practicing in London, and Bill, a highly regarded member of our U.S. capital markets practice, will complement Ward’s arrival and offer continuity and additional U.S. capital markets support to our European clients,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee.

Mr. McKimm regularly represents underwriters and issuers in international securities offerings. His recent high-profile matters include the representation of: Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International and Morgan Stanley in the €317 million offering of senior secured notes due 2018 by Edcon (Proprietary) Limited; Towergate Finance plc and Advent International Corporation in Towergate Finance plc’s concurrent offerings of £230 million of senior secured notes due 2018 and £290 million of senior notes due 2019; Citi, Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, RBC Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank in the concurrent CHF 350 million and $425 million offerings of senior secured notes due 2018 by Aguila 3 S.A. issued in connection with the sale of Swissport International Ltd. to PAI Partners SAS;  Labco S.A.S. and 3i Investors in Labco S.A.S.’s offering of €500 million senior secured notes due 2018; and Credit Suisse, Citi, Morgan Stanley and Crédit Agricole CIB in the €300 million offering of senior notes due 2018 by Picard Bondco S.A. issued in connection with the sale of Picard Sungelés S.A. to Lion Capital.

Mr. McKimm has been consistently cited as a leading lawyer by the Chambers Global, Chambers UK and Chambers Europe guides to the legal profession, The Legal 500 and The IFLR 1000 Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms. He led the team that won “Finance Team of the Year” at the 2011 Legal Business Awards.

Mr. Burke regularly represents issuers and sponsors in the U.S. and in Europe with respect to high-yield offerings, registered equity and debt offerings, restructuring transactions and debt tender/consent solicitations. His recent transactions include the representation of Clear Channel Communications, Inc., a Bain Capital portfolio company, in its offering of $1.0 billion of priority guarantee notes; Air Medical Group Holdings, a Bain Capital portfolio company, in its offering of $545 million of senior secured notes; R&R Ice Cream plc, an Oaktree Capital Management portfolio company, in its offering of €350 million of senior secured notes; Express Inc., a Golden Gate Capital portfolio company, in its initial public offering of common stock and its offering of $250 million of senior notes; Ruth’s Chris Steak House, formerly a Madison Dearborn Partners portfolio company, in its registered rights offering and concurrent PIPE transaction; and Smurfit Kappa Group in its offering of €1.0 billion of senior secured notes.

James Learner, partner in Kirkland’s London office said: “While many of our partners can and do advise on capital markets matters, Ward brings a level of knowledge and expertise that comes from total immersion in this area. We are also very pleased that Bill, an established a member of our U.S. securities practice, has decided to relocate to London.”

Mr. McKimm joined the New York office of Shearman & Sterling in 1997, moved to the London office in 1999 and was named partner in 2005. He holds a B.A. from Clare College, University of Cambridge. His biography is available at www.kirkland.com/wmckimm.

Mr. Burke joined Kirkland’s Chicago office in 2004. He earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School and prior to that served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.His biography is available at www.kirkland.com/wburke.

Kirkland’s Capital Markets Practice Group represents both issuers and underwriters in a wide variety of securities offerings. The large number of corporate transactions in which the Firm is involved has made Kirkland lawyers seasoned in a number of disciplines (including corporate, commercial lending, tax, securities litigation, environmental, intellectual property, ERISA, and real estate) that often need to be marshaled in complex financings.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP (www.kirkland.com) is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex corporate and tax, intellectual property and technology, restructuring, and litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration matters. The Firm has offices in London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.