Kirkland & Ellis has added a new partner to its leveraged finance team in London.

Michael Steele joins the team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He advises lenders and sponsors on leveraged, acquistion and real estate finance and restructurings.

He was the UK firm's relationship partner for Goldman Sachs and the Blackstone Group.

His experience includes advising Blackston on its acquistion of the O'Flynn Group; acting for Cinven on its acquistion of CPA Global; advising CVC on the acquisition of Ahlsell; and advising Goldman Sachs as underwirter on high yield issues by Kion.

There has been a lot of movement in and out of Kirkland's London office in the past 12 months. Former London managing partner Jim Learner returned after a stint at private equity firm HGGC. The firm also added M&A partner Matthew Elliott from Linklaters and finance partner Stephen Lucas from Weil Gotshal. 

On the other side the firm lost high yield specialist Ward McKimm to Freshfields and key M&A partner Graham White who joined Fried Frank. The same firm also hired the funds team of Mark Mifsud, Kate Downey and Alexandra Conroy.

Elsewhere funds lawyer John MacGarty moved to Jones Day and financial services partner Stephanie Biggs left for Travers Smith. Finance specialist Stephen Gillespie left for Gibson Dunn and was joined by Philip Crump, while James Crook left for Willkie Farr. Corporate lawyer James Howe moved to Proskauer.