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Sidley snags Kirkland finance pair in N.Y., San Francisco

2 minute read

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • The two boost Sidley's private equity ambitions
  • Latest of several corporate partners to leave Kirkland

(Reuters) - Chicago-based Sidley Austin has brought on Kirkland & Ellis debt finance partners Nicholas Schwartz and Kristen Smith as partners in the firm’s global finance group.

Schwartz, who joins in New York, and Smith, based in San Francisco, will support "significant growth" in the 2,000-lawyer firm's private equity practice, Dan Clivner, co-leader of Sidley's global M&A and private equity practice, said in a statement Monday.

"We have seen Nick and Kristen in action on several debt financing transactions, and our clients and partners are thrilled they will now be on our team," Clivner said.

Schwartz and Smith are the latest partners to depart Kirkland as other firms look to the transactions powerhouse to beef up their own dealmaking and finance practices.

Latham & Watkins recruited two Kirkland partners earlier this month to strengthen its M&A and capital markets teams in Los Angeles and Chicago, while Holland & Knight the same day hired another former Kirkland corporate partner in Chicago. Dechert has also snapped up two London-based Kirkland partners in the last month for its private equity practice.

A Kirkland representative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Schwartz and Smith's departures.

Schwartz joined Kirkland more than 11 years ago after practicing at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, according to his LinkedIn page. He represents private equity sponsors, portfolio companies and others in acquisitions and other matters, his new firm said. He has represented London-based private equity firm Apax Partners LLP, Clearlake Capital Group LP, 3G Capital and The Blackstone Group Inc in a string of financing transactions, according to his former firm profile.

Smith practiced at Kirkland since 2011, broken up by a stint in-house at Uber Technologies Inc, according to her LinkedIn page. She has represented private equity sponsors, their portfolio companies, and public and private companies in debt financing transactions.

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com

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