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Kirkland & Ellis suffers London mass exit as seven partners walk out in less than a week

Kirkland & Ellis has lost capital markets partner Andrew Hagan to 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. The hire comes after the recruit of high-yield heavyweight Ward McKimm who quit Kirkland to co-head Freshfields European leveraged finance team in London in June 2015.

Some of Hagan’s deal highlights include advising Credit Suisse, Barclays, JP Morgan and KKR in connection with R&R Ice Cream’s offering of €150m senior secured notes due 2020; and representing CVC Capital Partners on the issuance of €550m floating rate senior secured high-yield bonds due 2021 to finance of CVC’s acquisition of ParexGroup Participations SAS.

Freshfields global finance group head David Trott said: ‘The firm is rightly regarded as a first choice for European high yield transactions and Andy’s experience and expertise will ensure that we continue to develop our market-leading leveraged finance platform and to offer clients a first-class high yield capability.’

The news comes after a six-partner team from Kirkland announced they would exit the firm to set up a City private equity team at Sidley Austin. While there has been a lateral partner revolving door between Kirkland and other rival firms, Kirkland rarely loses a sizeable team like this.

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 are set to exit Kirkland to join Sidley Austin.

The team hire will improve Sidley Austin’s private equity offering which currently only cites one partner, Stephen Blackshaw, who also co-heads the corporate group, as advising on private equity transactions in London; alongside two other partners who are also based in the US.