Kirkland poaches Akin Gump secondaries partner

Aleksander Bakic, who has advised on GP-led deals involving firms such as Permira and Nordic Capital, is set to join the law firm next year.

Kirkland & Ellis has hired a secondaries expert from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

London-based partner Aleksander Bakic resigned from the law firm this week, according to a source familiar with the matter. He is expected to join Kirkland in the new year as a partner.

A spokesman for Kirkland declined to comment when contacted by Secondaries Investor. A spokesman for Akin Gump did not return a request for comment by press time.

Bakic joined Akin Gump in 2019 from O’Melveny & Myers, where he had been a partner. At Akin Gump, he has advised on transactions including GP-led processes involving Permira and Nordic Capital, according to his profile on the law firm’s website.

Akin Gump advised on 62 transactions last year worth around $21 billion, according to the latest Secondaries Investor Law Firm Survey. Fully 90 percent of these were GP-leds, and of those, 90 percent were private equity, with the remainder in real estate. LP stake transactions, which made up 10 percent of overall volume, were a mix of PE, venture capital, real estate and credit. The firm closed two single-asset deals worth approximately $2 billion.

Kirkland & Ellis meanwhile advised on 135 transactions in 2020, representing more than $57 billion of transaction value. The firm completed 49 GP-led deals over that year, aggregating $31 billion, as well as three stapled tender offers, worth $2.55 billion. It advised on 11 single-asset deals, 18 preferred equity transactions, and roughly 15 NAV loans. The majority, 80 percent, came in private equity, with the remainder in infrastructure and real estate.

In October, Kirkland said it had appointed 151 lawyers to partner, including six who work on secondaries deals.