Welcome to the Senate Republican Press Search.

View Article Details

Print

Here's where Illinois' former attorney general has ended up Lisa Madigan becomes a partner in Kirkland & Ellis' litigation practice, working out of its Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices.

Crain's Chicago Business

Wednesday, September 11, 2019  |  Article  |  Claire Bushey

Former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has joined the country’s largest law firm, Kirkland & Ellis.

Madigan is a partner in the firm’s litigation practice, working out of the Chicago and Washington, D.C. offices.

“Lisa brings a wealth of experience on many of the crucial issues our clients face daily,” Kirkland Chairman Jeffrey Hammes said in a statement. “She has been a leader in the legal community, both locally and nationally, and her top-level advocacy and stellar legal skills will be an asset to our firm and our clients.”

Madigan will “handle high-level litigation, government and internal investigations, and crisis management work for Kirkland’s clients,” the statement said, noting her experience in consumer protection, data and privacy issues, health care, the environment, and sexual assault and harassment.

Kirkland reported $3.76 billion in revenue in 2018 and profits per partner of $5 million.

Large law firms compete to hire big names from the public sector. The firm benefits from the cachet and contacts of the lawyer exiting government, while the attorney earns pay that dwarfs the previous paycheck. It’s a gamble for the firm, because excellence in the public sector doesn’t necessarily mean the attorney will win new business in private practice.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom hired former U.S. Attorney in Chicago Patrick Fitzgerald while King & Spalding relied on former U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon to open a local office for the Atlanta-based firm. Schiff Hardin hired former Illinois Executive Inspector General Maggie Hickey to revive its flagging white-collar defense practice, and this week Miami-based Akerman announced that Ruben Castillo, former chief judge of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, will join the Chicago office Sept. 30.

John Gallo, chief executive at Legal Aid Chicago and the former head of Sidley Austin’s litigation practice, called Madigan’s hire at Kirkland “the proverbial win-win.” Kirkland gets a lawyer with “one of the best brand names in the city”—her reputation is one of integrity, courage and good judgment—who has experience but also, at 53, a long career still ahead. Meanwhile, Madigan has the chance to extend her reputation outside Illinois.

“They get the benefit of her local or statewide reputation, and she gets the benefit of building a national or international practice,” he said.