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Bringing home Bacon: Kirkland takes US private equity partner from Freshfields

Kirkland & Ellis has gone back to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for another lateral hire, this time taking corporate partner Doug Bacon from the Magic Circle firm’s New York office.

Advising private equity firms, companies and corporations on complex multinational mergers and acquisitions, Bacon’s client list includes Novartis, Honeywell International, The Blackstone Group, KKR, TPG, Apax Partners, MSD Capital and First Reserve Corp. Prior to Freshfields, he was an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Bacon joins returns to his hometown to join Kirkland’s Houston office which the Chicago-headquartered firm has been working to boost following its opening in 2014. Today (26 October) the office has 93 lawyers.

Bacon said: ‘It was a tough decision, but when the opportunity arose to return to my hometown with a firm of the calibre of Kirkland & Ellis, I was thrilled to join.’

Kirkland and Freshfields are renowned for swapping talent, with the Magic Circle firm taking on capital markets partner Andrew Hagan in February this year. The move followed Kirkland’s hire of Freshfields finance partner Michael Steele in the City in July last year, one month after high-yield heavyweight Ward McKimm quit the US firm to join Freshfields and become co-head of its European leveraged finance group.

The US firm has continued to post robust numbers with a global revenue of $2.3bn from $2.15bn in 2015. While turnover is up 7%, profits per equity partner had a slower uptick growing just 3% to $3.6m. In 2014, partner profits surpassed the $3.5m mark rising 7% to $3.51m, which came after a 1% increase in 2013 to $3.28m. Its non-US revenue was up 10%, growing faster than overall revenue and driven by London.