Biglaw, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Weirdness

Musical Chairs: Is Ted Freedman Out at Kirkland?
Plus a request for updates on ex-DPW and S&C partners.

Theodore Freedman is — or was — a prominent bankruptcy and restructuring partner at Kirkland & Ellis, based out of the firm’s New York office. Freedman has been practicing law for almost 40 years; he graduated from Northwestern Law in 1972 and is admitted to the bars of D.C. (1973), Illinois (1976), and New York (1992).

Word on the street, however, is that Ted Freedman has left, or is in the process of leaving, K&E. He’s no longer on the Kirkland website. Check out the list of K&E lawyers whose last names start with F; he’s not there.

Then try running a Google search for theodore freedman kirkland ellis — even the Google cache version is gone. Nice work, Kirkland IT people.

So what happened to Ted Freedman?

First, a caveat: although Freedman is no longer on the K&E website, his ties to the firm have not been completely severed. If you email his Kirkland address, as we did, you don’t get a bounceback. If you call his Kirkland direct dial, as we did, you get either an assistant, who answers the phone on behalf of Ted Freedman’s office, or voice mail, with Ted Freedman’s recorded voice.

Here’s one interesting possibility: Is Ted Freedman leaving Kirkland to start his own firm? There’s now a LinkedIn profile — perhaps brand-new, since the profile currently has zero connections — for a “Theodore Levy Freedman,” owner of a law practice. This would appear to be the same Theodore Freedman from Kirkland. If you look up Theodore Freedman in New York State’s attorney registration database, you’ll find a listing for “Theodore Levy Freedman” of Kirkland & Ellis.

We’ve heard some interesting rumors about what’s going on with Ted Freedman and Kirkland, but we don’t have enough sourcing to publish them yet. We tried to reach out to Freedman for comment, via his Kirkland email and phone number, but he did not respond to our repeated email and voice-mail messages. Kirkland’s spokesperson, Kate Kortenkamp, also did not respond to multiple email and voice-mail messages.

We’re sure the truth will eventually emerge, but we’d love to accelerate the process. If you have info you can share about Theodore Freedman and Kirkland, please text us or email us (subject line: “Ted Freedman”). Thanks.

UPDATE: One knowledgeable source informs us:

The story and rumors about Ted are bogus. Ted is 62 years old, has a very long commute from his farm (where he spends most of his time), and is ready to retire and spend time with his wife. Plus, the big Grace bankruptcy wrapped up in January. All that’s really left to do is wait for the judge to rule and hopefully confirm the Plan. There is a retirement party planned for his close friends and people he’s worked closely with. I would be shocked if he landed somewhere else, as he has discussed doing some work as a consultant.

So that’s one perspective. If we hear anything else, we’ll let you know, of course.

P.S. Speaking of partners mysteriously disappearing from firm websites, if anyone has updates on the current activities or whereabouts of Patrick Bradford, formerly of Davis Polk, or John O’Brien, formerly of Sullivan & Cromwell, we’d love to hear from you.

UPDATE (7/4/2011): Ted Freedman has been hit with federal criminal tax charges.

Theodore Levy Freedman [New York State Attorney Registration]
Theodore Levy Freedman [LinkedIn]

Earlier: Musical Chairs: Kirkland Litigation Partner David Bernick to Philip Morris

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