K&L Gates LLP at a Glance


  • “Quality of work”
  • “Flexibility”
  • “Mentorship”


  • “Overworked”
  • “Lack of training for professional advancement”
  • “High billable hour requirement”

About K&L Gates LLP

What a difference a couple of years make: the firm now branded K&L Gates has undergone a series of identity-shifting mergers in modern times. On the strength of several such deals, the firm has grown into one of BigLaw's more massive operations while working on everything from corporate transactions and complex litigation to environmental law and policy work.

Gathering Momentum

The new Millennium saw a flurry of mergers, which formed what we now know as K&L Gates. In January 2007, Seattle's Preston Gates & Ellis got hitched to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (itself the product of one of the largest U.S.-U.K. mergers in legal history: the 2005 pairing of Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and London's Nicholson Graham & Jones). A year later, the reshaped firm merged with Texas-based Hughes & Luce, increasing K&L Gates' presence in the Lone Star State. In July 2008, the firm combined with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, a household name in Carolina legal circles; the merger gave K&L Gates a significant presence throughout the Carolinas. The addition of Chicago firm Bell, Boyd & Lloyd's 250 lawyers and lobbyists eight months thereafter (in March 2009) bolstered K&L Gates' ranks in Chicago and DC.

With all of these parts comes a lot of history. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart dates back to 1946, when a team of seven Reed Smith attorneys hung out a shingle together. After flourishing in Pennsylvania, the firm reached the Washington, DC area through a 1981 tie-up with Hill Christopher & Phillips, a boutique focused on securities law. From there, the firm spread to Boston, Miami, New York, Texas, and California. The merger with Nicholson Graham-a firm that dated back to mid-19th-century England-cemented K&L Gates' status as an international firm.

As for Preston Gates-as in William H. Gates Sr., father of Microsoft honcho Bill-the West Coast firm was well-known for its work in the IP, technology, and public policy sectors, as well as its lobbying clout.

Still Going…

International expansion has been on K&L Gates' agenda in recent years. The firm has broadened its presence in Europe and Asia with the opening of offices in Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, Milan, Munich, and Warsaw; has debuted in the growing Middle East markets with Dubai and Doha offices; and entered the South American market with an office in São Paulo. In January 2013, K&L Gates combined with Australian national law firm Middletons, adding four offices in Australia and extending the firm's presence in the Asia Pacific region. 2013 also saw a few strategic moves in the United States, with office openings in Wilmington and Houston, along with the consolidation of the four-lawyer San Diego office and the firm's growing Orange County office to allow the firm to take advantage of the synergies in practice between the two.

At the same time, the firm has expanded the scope of its practice, taking a full-service approach to its work with clients across many industries (don't be fooled by the short list of core practice areas; each contains a slew of specialist and industry sub-groups). Unlike some big firms that rely on a few key clients for the bulk of their billings, K&L Gates' policy of diversification means that its revenues are spread widely across many clients.


February 2017
Satellite In My Eyes

K&L Gates LLP advised Singapore-based Kacific Broadband Satellites on a $147 million financing deal involving a mix of equity, debt and consumer prepayments for a condominium satellite called "Kacific-1," which is based on the Boeing 702 satellite platform and will cover 20 Pacific and South East Asian nations.

Virtual Reality

K&L Gates advised Hexagon AB, a leading global provider of information technologies that drive productivity and quality across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications, on the purchase of MSC Software Corporation for $834 million. MSC is a leading provider of computer-aided engineering solutions, including simulation software for virtual product and manufacturing process development. The acquisition will further expand Hexagon's manufacturing intelligence.

January 2017
The Damned United

K&L Gates LLP advised Greenfield Investments (a subsidiary of Aser Group) on the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in Leeds United Football Club. The transaction builds on the firm's rich history of high-end work in the football industry, including advising the Bundesliga on its international media rights tender, European Professional Football Leagues, La Liga, and PUMA.

September 2016
Data Driven

K&L Gates advised global interconnection and data center company Equinix on the acquisition of Digital Realty's operating business in St. Denis, Paris, including its real estate and data center facility, for approximately €190 million. The acquisition of the new Paris site enhances Equinix's recently expanded data center portfolio in EMEA.

May 2016
Lighting the Way

K&L Gates represented longstanding client LKQ Corporation in a patent suit with Clearlamp LLC.  A federal judge in the N. District of Illinois ruled that the claims set forth in Clearlamp's patent involving a process to refurbish vehicle headlights were not inventive enough and therefore invalid. This ruling follows a victory at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in 2014, one of the first decisions under the America Invents Act procedure called inter partes review.  LKQ is a publicly traded Fortune 500 company with US$7 billion in revenue that provides aftermarket auto parts and accessories around the world.

February 2016
My name... is Neo

K&L Gates advised cancer genetics diagnostic company NeoGenomics Inc. in its complex $310 million cash and stock acquisition of General Electric Health Care Life Sciences unit Clarient Inc.  The deal, which engaged nearly 30 lawyers across ten K&L Gates offices and involved nearly a year of negotiations, allows NeoGenomics to accelerate growth, broaden its offerings to hospitals and physicians, and leverage its existing infrastructure to lower costs.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates Center
210 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 355-6500


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman of Management Committee: Michael S. Caccese
  • Global Managing Partner: James R. Segerdahl
  • U.S. Regional Managing Partner: Michael G. Zanic
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 2,000

  • Base Salary

    Starting salaries fall between $140,000 and $180,000, based on dynamics of the local market.

  • Summer Associate Offers
    69 out of 75 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Corporate & Transactional • Energy, Infrastructure & Resources • Finance • Financial Services • Intellectual Property • Labor, Employment and Workplace Safety • Litigation & Dispute Resolution • Policy & Regulatory • Real Estate

Major Office Locations

  • Austin, TX • Boston, MA • Charleston, SC • Charlotte, NC • Chicago, IL • Dallas, TX • Fort Worth, TX • Harrisburg, PA • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • Miami, FL • New York, NY • Newark, NJ • Orange County, CA • Palo Alto, CA • Pittsburgh, PA • Portland, OR • Raleigh, NC • Research Triangle Park, NC • San Francisco, CA • Seattle, WA • Washington, DC • Wilmington, DE Beijing • Berlin • Brisbane • Brussels • Doha • Dubai • Frankfurt • Hong Kong • London • Melbourne • Milan •Munich Paris • Perth • São Paulo • Seoul • Shanghai • Singapore • Sydney • Taipei • Tokyo • Warsaw