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M&A partner leaves Cravath in rare move

Sarkis Jebejian will join Kirkland & Ellis as partner

It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, it makes headlines.

A corporate partner who has been at Cravath, Swaine & Moore for almost two decades has decided to jump ship and head over to Kirkland & Ellis. Kirkland announced yesterday that Sarkis Jebejian will be joining its 75-lawyer mergers and acquisitions group. According to Thomson Reuters, Kirkland—which is known mostly for its strong litigation and bankruptcy practices—has been working to boost its M&A team for the past few years. In 2009, it poached two M&A partners from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Cravath has a reputation for its low attrition rate, but partners leaving the firm does happen from time to time. Earlier this year, Crowell & Moring snagged a partner from Cravath, and a year earlier, one of Cravath’s partners left to go in-house at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Read 11 recent noteworthy in-house career moves.)

No one is commenting on Jebejian’s pay package with Kirkland, but it likely isn’t too shabby. The firm pays its lawyers based on merit, unlike Cravath, which largely decides compensation based on seniority.

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