30 November 2020

Ropes & Gray hires second Kirkland & Ellis partner in London this year

Special situations specialist climbs on board as Boston-based firm targets transatlantic deals

Ropes & Gray has hired its second partner from Kirkland & Ellis in London this year after securing longstanding special situations advisor Samuel Norris.

The finance specialist, who made partner at Kirkland in 2012 having qualified in 2006, will be reunited with former Kirkland colleague, restructuring partner Matt Czyzyk, who joined the top 20 US firm’s London office in June.

Earlier this month, another former Kirkland restructuring partner, Ryan Dahl, joined Ropes & Gray in New York from Weil Gothsal & Manges. Dahl, who will divide his time between the Chicago and New York offices, had spent nearly three years at Weil Gotshal having made partner at Kirkland in 2013.

Ropes & Gray said the three new partners would be working together on transatlantic instructions. Norris advises credit funds, public companies, hedge funds, and specialty and special situations investing firms on a range of deals including asset-based financing, distressed M&A and leveraged buyouts.

He was on the team that earlier this month advised self-service food and drinks retailer Selecta Group on a successful recapitalisation while in October last year he co-led the team advising Banijay Group on the debt financing aspects of its $2.2bn acquisition of Endemol Shine.

Ropes & Gray managing partner David Djaha said the firm’s special situations team, which boasts more than 20 partners and 50 associates, gave it “the geographic footprint – spanning Asia, Europe and the US  – as well as the market insight and investment knowledge to act on the most sophisticated special situations matters in the market”.

London managing partner Will Rosen said the hires of Norris and Czyzyk as well as that of asset management specialist Tom Alabaster, who joined from Linklaters in May, reflected the firm's strategy of becoming “London’s pre-eminent international law firm for private capital clients”. 

Ropes & Gray lists 112 lawyers including 26 partners in London, its only European office. It has Asia offices in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.

The depth of Kirkland’s London practice was underlined in October when it made up 16 new UK partners out of a record total of 145.

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