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Kirkland & Ellis took home the award for Best Law Firm of the Year at the first American Lawyer Industry Awards in New York this week, seeing off competition from rivals including Cooley, Hogan Lovells and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.

19% leap in revenue in 2017 helped Kirkland pass the $3bn mark and overtake Latham & Watkins as the biggest law firm in the world, but that was just one facet of a remarkable run. The firm delivered more than 126,000 hours of pro bono work, including its representation of transgender members of the military in striking down President Donald Trump’s ban on their service.

Kirkland handled Seadrill $20bn restructuring and Energy Future Holdings’ $18.8bn merger with Sempra Energy. The firm delivered a series of victories for General Motors in litigation tied to its ignition switch and other recalls, and represented Allergan in a host of investigations, inquiries and civil suits related to its sale and marketing of opioid painkillers. Amid all of that, the firm also maintained its spot atop league tables for M&A, and continued to capitalise on the private equity boom.

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