Kirkland & Ellis London M&A star asked to leave after leak of talks with rival

Kirkland & Ellis London M&A partner Roger Johnson was asked to leave the US law firm after news leaked that he was in talks with a rival, according to people familiar with the situation.

Private equity deals lawyer Johnson was one of Kirkland’s top partners in London.

He joined the firm from Linklaters in 2015 as the US firm looked to muscle into the private equity M&A space in the City.

READ MORE: Paul Weiss London head joins Kirkland & Ellis

Johnson was asked to leave the firm this week after its leadership discovered he was in talks with a rival firm about a move, according to people familiar with the situation.

“We do not comment on personnel matters. But we can confirm that Roger Johnson is no longer affiliated with the firm. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” a spokesperson for Kirkland said.

Johnson’s recent deals include acting for private equity firm EQT on its £4.5bn takeover of veterinary pharmaceuticals company Dechra, which was announced in June.

Johnson’s fellow Linklaters alumnus David Holdsworth left Kirkland last year to join private equity firm TDR Capital as general counsel.

Separately, Kirkland said on 2 August it had hired Paul Weiss’s London head Alvaro Membrillera.

Membrillera is a highly rated private equity M&A partner whose clients include buyout firms KKR, BC Partners and General Atlantic.

Average equity partner pay at Kirkland hit $7.5m in 2022, with the firm’s revenue rising nearly 8% to $6.5bn.

Legal Business first reported Johnson was leaving Kirkland.

From Financial News

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