Kirkland & Ellis

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP was founded in 1908 by Stewart G. Shepard and Robert R. McCormick and has grown to approximately 1000 attorneys, with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, London, San Francisco, and, most recently, Munich. [1]

Justice Department Incubator

"Not only do DOJ political appointees tend to know somebody important, they often know each other from work outside of government. Indeed, a large number worked in the D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis at some point in the past decade.

"On the roster of former Kirkland lawyers who have served in the Bush administration are Ciongoli; Philbin; Clement; Steven Bradbury, acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel; R. Alexander Acosta, head of the Civil Rights Division; Kannon Shanmugam and Daryl Joseffer, both litigators in the Office of the Solicitor General; Jeffrey Clark, a senior official in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division; and John Wood, chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. Kirkland partner Jay Lefkowitz, who served as domestic policy adviser in the White House, returned to the firm in 2003.

"It's no coincidence that the firm is also home to Starr, the former D.C. Circuit judge and Whitewater independent counsel. In 1993, after leaving the post of solicitor general, Starr went to Kirkland with a handful of other former Justice Department officials, and the group set about building an appellate litigation practice with a conservative ideological bent.

"Starr's reputation as a leading conservative thinker drew young lawyers to Kirkland who identified with his politics. Nearly all came from prestigious appellate and Supreme Court clerkships. Perhaps without fully intending it, Kirkland's recruiting efforts built a farm team for the current Republican administration. Starr, who is of counsel at Kirkland and dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, declined comment.

"Thomas Yannucci, chairman of Kirkland's board and a former official in the Carter Justice Department, says the firm doesn't consider itself Republican or Democrat.

"'We try to recruit from everywhere. We invite all the Supreme Court clerks to come to Kirkland, but obviously there's a stronger pipeline to Scalia and Thomas,' Yannucci says. 'People want to come and work with people they met through clerkships and law school.'"

Tobacco Issues

Kirkland & Ellis is the law firm that represented the defense in Falise.


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