Longtime Kasowitz partners decamp for Kirkland & Ellis

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Longtime Kasowitz Benson Torres partners Aaron Marks and Joshua Greenblatt have joined Kirkland & Ellis.

The firm announced Tuesday that the two would join as partners in the litigation practice group and would be based out of Kirkland’s New York City office. The two will officially join Kirkland on Monday, Sept. 11.

“Aaron and Josh have stellar reputations and successful track records for impressive clients, and bring additional strength to our commercial litigation team,” said Jeffrey Hammes, chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee, in a press release. “Our clients will benefit greatly from their experience on bet-the-company matters.”

In an interview with the ABA Journal, Marks and Greenblatt say that they were impressed by Kirkland’s worldwide capabilities, as well as with the individual lawyers at the firm.

“I’ve been in cases with Kirkland as co-counsel and opposite them, and I’ve long admired Kirkland’s brilliant trial lawyers and litigators,” Marks says. “For us, the opportunity to build a practice on Kirkland’s global platform and be able to provide our clients with a full spectrum of services with world-class practitioners was really attractive to us.”

According to Kirkland’s press release, Marks and Greenblatt have plenty of experience in high-stakes litigation matters involving high-profile clients. The American Lawyer reported that Marks, in particular, has represented a number of private equity funds—one of Kirkland’s bread-and-butter client areas—including clients Apollo Management, Bain Capital, the Carlyle Group and others. Marks and Greenblatt declined to comment about how much business they’ll bring to their new firm, except to say that they’ll bring some clients with them.

For Marks, his arrival at Kirkland marks the end of decades at Kasowitz.

“My 24 years at Kasowitz represents the foundation of my career and I’m incredibly thankful for that,” says Marks, who reiterated that his decision to join Kirkland was based on Kirkland’s global platform, the firm’s synergy with Marks’ and Greenblatt’s existing clients and the “ability to provide clients with a full spectrum of world class services.” Marks, who was one of the first attorneys to join Kasowitz when it opened in 1993, had risen through the ranks to become firm leader Marc Kasowitz’s right-hand man, according to The American Lawyer. Greenblatt, meanwhile, joined Kasowitz in May 2007 after nearly six years at Cahill Gordon & Reindel.

“We appreciate Aaron and Josh’s contributions to the firm and wish them well,” a spokesperson for Kasowitz Benson said in an email statement.

Marks and Greenblatt represent that latest round of departures for Kasowitz. Since 2016, the firm has lost insurance practice leader Robin Cohen and her group to McKool Smith, as well as family lawyer Eleanor Alter, who took five colleagues to start a boutique firm. Kasowitz—who has been in the public eye for his representation of President Donald Trump, also bade farewell to name partner David Friedman, who was confirmed in March as U.S. ambassador to Israel. More recently, according to the American Lawyer, 11-year veteran Charles Miller went to Tarter Krinsky & Drogin in July, while two commercial litigators, Christopher Johnson and Zachary Mazin, left in May, joining Cohen at McKool Smith.




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