Kirkland & Ellis’ lateral hire-fueled expansion spree has continued with the firm’s recruitment of Ranesh Ramanathan, a longtime deputy general counsel at buyout giant Bain Capital LP, to beef up a rapidly expanding Boston office.
Ramanathan most recently served as general counsel at Bain Capital Credit, the fixed-income affiliate of the Boston-based global investment firm. He has now joined Kirkland as a corporate partner in Boston, where the firm set up shop a year ago this month in the city’s Bay Back neighborhood.
“The last 10 years at Bain Capital have been an incredible experience, both professionally and personally,” said Ramanathan in a statement. “I’m also very excited about the next chapter in my career, getting back to private practice at Kirkland’s growing Boston office, and contributing to enhancing the firm’s finance offering for credit managers.”
Ramanathan, who was unavailable for an interview Friday, specializes in debt finance, distressed and special situations, alternative investments and credit fund transactions. He has spent the past 15 years in various in-house roles at investment firms, having previously spent a half-dozen years as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
In 2004, Ramanathan joined Citi Alternative Investments at Citigroup Inc. as an associate general counsel, before joining Citi Private Equity as general counsel two years later. In 2008, Ramanathan left the investment bank to join Bain Capital as an associate general counsel. Over the next decade he would become deputy general counsel at Bain Capital and general counsel of Bain Capital Public Equity, the firm’s public equity affiliate that was formerly known as Brookside Capital.
“[Ramanathan] is a talented finance and private investments lawyer with a valuable and unique perspective from his many years in-house at Bain Capital and Citi,” said a statement from Jeffrey Hammes, chairman since 2010 of Kirkland’s 15-person global management executive committee. “His leadership advising on a broad range of complex transactions will bolster our debt finance practice, in particular, our special situations practice acting for credit managers, and benefit our global private equity client base.”
Kirkland’s decision to open an office in Boston was part of a plan to tap into the city’s market for top-tier private equity talent. In less than a year, Kirkland’s office has grown to some 40 lawyers with notable lateral hires from Choate, Hall & Stewart, McDermott Will & Emery and Ropes & Gray that work with some of the firm’s top private equity clients, including Bain Capital.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Bain Capital Credit as a client at a very active and exciting time alongside my new Kirkland colleagues, many of whom I’ve known and worked closely with for several years,” Ramanathan added in his statement.
At Bain Capital, Ramanathan once led a European outside legal panel review for the firm’s credit arm that saw Kirkland compete with Ropes & Gray and Ashurst for legal work, as noted by sibling publication Legal Week. Ropes & Gray and Kirkland have long competed on both sides of the Atlantic for work from Bain Capital and its affiliates.
Ramanathan’s move to Kirkland sees him join former Proskauer Rose senior counsel Marguerite Lombardo, who became a Boston-based tax partner at Kirkland last month. Kirkland previously picked up a pair of former Proskauer private investments funds partners in Boston last summer.
The firm’s new Boston office also made headlines again in March when a video of Jason Triplett, a manager of attorney training, recruiting and development at Kirkland in Boston, went viral of the former Proskauer associate acting as a Good Samaritan during a blizzard.
Kirkland overtook Latham & Watkins last year as the world’s largest firm by gross revenue, thanks to the nearly $3.17 billion it took in during 2017. The American Lawyer has recently reported that Kirkland is poised to bring aboard two top corporate and private equity partners from DLA Piper in Chicago.