Kirkland rebuilds in Munich with Weil Gotshal private equity hire

Munich skyline Kirkland & Ellis has taken its first step towards rebuilding in Munich following a seven-partner raid by Sidley Austin, with the hire of a private equity partner from Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Volkmar Bruckner is leaving Weil’s Munich office for Kirkland, less than two years after he joined in June 2015 from Latham & Watkins, where he had also been a partner.

He specialises in advising German and international clients on complex cross-border buyouts, carve-outs and other M&A transactions, and has worked with clients including Siemens and Bain Capital.

Following Bruckner’s arrival, Kirkland’s Munich office will consist of 38 lawyers, including 15 partners.

Last month, the office was hit by the walkout of a seven-partner team to US rival Sidley Austin. The team was led by private equity and M&A partner Volker Kullmann and included tax partner Roderic Pagel, corporate partners Björn Holland, Christian Zuleger, Marcus Klie and Nicole Schlatter, and finance partner Markus Feil.

Their hires marked the second raid on Kirkland by Sidley in a year, with Sidley hiring six partners in London from Kirkland’s City base in February last year.

That team included buyout partner Erik Dahl, who at that point split his time between London and Munich for Kirkland, but now heads Sidley’s Munich office.

In November 2016, Dechert also picked up a private equity partner from Kirkland, bringing in Ross Allardice from the US firm’s City base.

In March last year, Legal Week reported that Kirkland had doubled its notice period for equity partners worldwide and introduced a month-long notice period for its salaried partner rank in response to a number of partner exits.

The move increased the notice period for equity partners from 60 days to 120 days, prompting a number of partners to hand in their notice ahead of the new terms coming into effect.