Willkie Recruits Specialist in Private Equity Deals

, The Am Law Daily

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Kirk Radke
Kirk Radke

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has bolstered its private equity practice by adding Kirkland & Ellis partner Kirk Radke as a partner in its New York office. Radke, 55, is a senior partner in Kirkland's New York office and a leading attorney in the private equity sector. He joined Kirkland as an associate in Chicago in 1984 and moved to New York as a partner when the firm launched there in 1990. Radke's roster of private equity clients includes Apax Partners, Avista Capital Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners.

"The increasingly complex and sophisticated nature of the private equity environment requires an integrated and focused approach in order to help clients gain a competitive advantage," Radke said in a statement. "Willkie's deep experience, market credibility, and integrated approach to private equity deal making, regulation and fund formation provides that advantage."

Willkie cochairman Steven Gartner said in a statement that "Kirk's joining Willkie further strengthens our private equity platform, which we believe is now recognized by clients and practitioners as one of the very best in the United States and Europe."

In leaving Kirkland, Radke is parting ways with a firm that regularly represents such leading private equity clients as Apax, Blackstone, KKR and Thoma Bravo. Kirkland ranked fifth in The American Lawyer's most recent Am Law 100 rankings of the nation's highest-grossing firms, with $1.9 billion gross revenue in 2012 and profits per partner of $3.25 million. Willkie placed 59th on the Am Law list, with $533 million in gross revenues in 2012 and profits per partner of $2.07 million.

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