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Exit strategy: Kirkland & Ellis doubles notice period for equity partners

US firm Kirkland & Ellis has doubled the notice period for all of its global equity partners from 60 days to 120, while introducing a 30-day notice period for all non-equity partners.

The new notice requirements came into effect this week, so all those that departed the firm prior to the announcement have avoided being held to the new notice periods.

Typically, US firms do not have gardening leave so the new constraints will give outgoing partners less leverage in an exit discussion, and will make it harder for other partners and associates to depart with them.

The new notice requirements have not affected the recent departures in London which saw Kirkland lose capital markets partner Andrew Hagan who quit to join Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer within days of the firm losing a six-partner team to Sidley Austin.

Hagan will join the Magic Circle firm in April this year and is a boost for Freshfields which is steadily building its debt markets team. Last year, Freshfields hired high-yield expert Ward Mckimm after it lifted the cap from the top of its lockstep to include a higher pay band offering competitive compensation.

The six-partner team set to join Sidley Austin includes city private equity partners Christian Iwasko, Erik Dahl and Fatema Orjela alongside banking partner Bryan Robson, corporate partner Sava Savov and tax partner Oliver Currall.