kirkland ellis logo.JPGAlthough the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis is having some issues — e.g., layoffs in Chicago, New York, Washington, and San Francisco — the firm still has a well-deserved reputation for excellence. When you’re involved in a must-win litigation or a major bankruptcy matter, K&E is the firm to see.
But are Kirkland & Ellis lawyers also the people to call when you need a table at a hot restaurant, or last-minute tickets to a sold-out show? Maybe so:

From: [A secretary to a senior partner in Chicago]
Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 2:19 PM
To: All Chicago attorneys

Justice Ginsburg’s granddaughter is having her 19th birthday on October 3rd and wants to celebrate with 5 friends at her favorite restauraunt — Topolobampo. Unfortunately, they are booked solid on that date. Does anyone know Rick Bayless (the owner of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill) who could possibly make a table available for her.

Topolobampo — good choice! When we did our series of open threads on summer associate lunch suggestions, back in 2008 — when law firms still had summer lunch programs — Topolobampo was mentioned frequently and favorably in the Chicago thread.
So, were the K&E concierges able to come through for the Supreme Grandchild?


Less than 24 hours after the original email, this message went around:

From: [A secretary to a senior partner]
Sent: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 1:34 PM
To: All Chicago attorneys

Very much appreciate all the emails and calls in response to my email below. Justices Ginsburg’s grandaughter will celebrate her 19th birthday at Toplolobampo thanks to you.

Kirkland & Ellis: A Law Firm Serving Global Clients. And the grandkids of Supreme Court justices, too!
What’s the connection between RBG’s granddaughter and Kirkland & Ellis? Was she perhaps a summer intern at the firm?
As it turns out, there really is no such connection. It just so happens that a member of the Ginsburg family is a personal friend of a senior Kirkland partner, whose secretary passed along the request.
For the record, the reservation request did not come from Justice Ginsburg or her chambers — so don’t waste your time seeking an RBG recusal in K&E cases. And even if the request had come from her chambers, which it did not, fulfilling it is certainly less of a big deal than a duck hunting trip.
Early birthday wishes to Justice Ginsburg’s granddaughter! If you have an extra spot at your table on October 3, let us know.
UPDATE (4:05 PM): A source points out to us that Marty Ginsburg, the noted tax lawyer and law professor (and husband of Justice Ginsburg), co-authors a corporate tax treatise with Jack Levin, a senior partner at K&E. It would seem like a natural thing for one co-author to help another (or another’s relative).


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