Kirkland & Ellis is set to launch an office in Paris—its second base in continental Europe.
The firm has hired two partners from Linklaters in Paris—corporate partners Vincent Ponsonnaille and Laurent Victor-Michel.
The new office will open after the launch is approved by the Paris Bar Association.
Kirkland’s only other office in continental Europe is in Munich. It opened in 2005.
Ponsonaille has been at Linklaters for 17 years, making partner in 2006. Victor-Michel has been at the magic circle firm for 13 years and made partner last year.
Key work the duo have handled for Linklaters in recent months includes advising cosmetics company L’Oreal on the sale of the Body Shop to Natura and acting for private equity house Apax Partners MidMarket on its acquisition of Cipres Assurances from TA Associates.
Kirkland’s Munich office currently has 15 partners, the latest being M&A and private equity lawyer Thomas Krawitz, who made partner earlier this month in the firm’s largest-ever global promotions round.
Kirkland has been rebuilding the Munich office ever since a seven-partner team left for Sidley Austin in early 2017. It recruited private equity partner Volkmar Bruckner from Weil Gotshal & Manges last year.
Kirkland dethroned Latham & Watkins as the world’s largest law firm by revenue in 2017 after taking in $3.165 billion and has been picking off some of the top corporate and private equity partners around the world, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer heavyweight David Higgins. In the U.S., the firm hired former Cravath, Swaine & Moore litigation head Sandra Goldstein in April—a move that reportedly netted her more than $11 million per year. It also added other high-profile partners from Choate, Hall & Stewart; Debevoise & Plimpton; DLA Piper; Jenner & Block; Latham & Watkins; Norton Rose Fulbright; Proskauer Rose; and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Linklaters, which has 30 partners in Paris, declined to comment.