Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has strengthened its London real estate bench with a partner hire from rival Kirkland & Ellis.
James Esterkin, who has been a partner at Kirkland for more than four years in the firm’s debt finance practice group, will rejoin his old firm Simpson Thacher as a partner in the London office.
He previously did a four-year stint as an associate at Simpson between 2013 and 2017. He joined Kirkland in 2017, making partner a year later, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Esterkin’s departure from Kirkland marks the latest in a recent spate of exits from the firm’s London office, including Annie Herdman who left for Ropes & Gray in February and Sarah Jordan, who moved to Goodwin Procter in January.
Esterkin advises private equity sponsors and other investors in connection with the financing of U.K. and European real estate and related assets. He will join Simpson’s real estate practice.
During his time at Kirkland, Esterkin represented and advised investment heavyweights such as Brookfield, Bain and Blackstone on a variety of real estate matters including acquisition and development financing, refinancing and restructuring real estate secured debt.
Tom Lloyd, who leads Simpson Thacher’s real estate team, said in the firm’s statement: “James will be an excellent addition to our team, His extensive experience advising private equity sponsors for almost his entire career will enhance the offerings of our growing real estate finance practice.”
A Kirkland spokesperson said the firm wishes Esterkin well for the future.