Kirkland & Ellis managing partner departs for private equity firm

January 23, 2012 The managing partner of US firm Kirkland & Ellis has surprised the firm by handing in his resignation for 'personal reasons'. James "Jim" Learner has quit the role and his place on the firm's committee, leaving the firm's London base and moving back to the US to join a US-based private equity house as a managing partner.

Learner moved to Europe in 1994 to set up the firm's operations there, and has seen the firm grow through an aggressive recruitment strategy. The firm's London office now has 120 of the best-paid lawyers in London.

Kirkland will be considering what the move means for its relationship with Bain Capital, a major client with whom Learner was the European relationship manager.

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