Kirkland & Ellis has bolstered its London base with the addition of Ashurst partner Catherine Gokah, in the latest stage of its market-disrupting funds strategy.
Gokah will join the firm’s investment funds group from Ashurst, where she has spent over three years. She was promoted to partner in April 2021 having previously been a counsel.
She has significant experience advising fund sponsors on their core fundraising activities, structuring and raising of U.K. and international private investment funds as well as separate account mandates. Her clients include institutional investors, entrepreneurs and family offices across a variety of assets including credit, infrastructure and real estate.
Kirkland investment funds partner Christopher Braunack said that Gokah’s hire “will bring significant additional senior resource to our European and global fundraising practice, in particular as it relates to both infrastructure and real estate funds, at a time when those asset classes are becoming more attractive to institutional investors in light of prevailing macro-economic conditions.”
Kirkland’s European investment funds practice now has over 25 partners as it continues to build its ranks. Rivals and peers recently said that the firm has enacted a specific strategy for the European funds practice, to “take the number twos from all the number ones”.
As a result of that strategy, many believe that many firms’ succession plans for their own European London legal funds succession plans have been disrupted.
In the last three years, several heavyweight partners have joined Kirkland’s European funds practice include Edward Prestwich from Macfarlanes, Amy Fox from Simpson Thacher, Raphael Bloch in Paris from Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Andy Shore from Proskauer Rose.
Gokah will reunite with former Ashurst colleague Alexander Cox in her move. Cox, whose hire was announced by Kirkland in November 2021, will start with the firm in September.
A spokesperson for Ashurst said: “We thank Catherine for the contribution she has made to our highly regarded London investment funds practice and we wish her well for this next stage in her career.
”Our global investment funds team will continue its very strong growth of recent years to meet robust client demand.”