K&L Gates LLP at a Glance


  • “Real possibility of advancement and eventually partnership”
  • “Substantial amount of responsibility”
  • “Work/life balance”


  • “Compensation somewhat opaque”
  • “Lack of diversity”
  • “Inconsistent hours”

The Buzz

  • “Truly international”
  • “Quality”
  • “Too big”
  • “Uptight”

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 and provided an entrée into the San Diego region's thriving biotech industry.

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, Moscow 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.  


January 2014

Partnering with Puma
K&L Gates LLP advised athletic footwear, apparel and accessory manufacturer PUMA on a five-year partnership deal with Arsenal Football Club to become the official kit partner for the English Premier League club. In addition to producing the playing and training gear for Arsenal FC, PUMA acquired the various licensing rights to develop other Arsenal-branded merchandise around the globe. The partnership, which represents the biggest deal in PUMA and Arsenal's histories and which was reported as the largest commercial deal in the history of British and European football, is the latest in a series of deals for PUMA on which K&L Gates has advised.

October 2013

Above the Clouds
K&L Gates represented Japanese carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) in a landmark deal in which the company acquired 31 of aircraft manufacturer Airbus' A350 planes, along with options for a further 25 aircrafts. This marks JAL's first-ever order with Airbus, in addition to the largest order for the A350 in 2013. JAL and Airbus plan to enter the new planes into service beginning in 2019, with the A350 gradually replacing the airline's fleet over a six-year period.

August and October 2014

Recycling More than Just Bottles
K&L Gates represented Darling International Inc., a Texas-based provider of rendering, recycling and recovery solutions to the nation's food industry, in two acquisitions. The firm represented Darling in its €1.6 billion acquisition of Netherlands-based Vion Ingredients, a worldwide leader in the development and production of specialty ingredients from animal origin for applications in pharmaceuticals, food, feed, pet food, fertilizer and bio-energy. K&L Gates also advised Darling in its approximately CAD $645 million acquisition of Rothsay, a division of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. and a leading recycler of animal by-products in Canada. The company processes raw materials into finished products that are sold in domestic and international markets including the United States, Europe, Mexico and South America.

May 2013

Call Me Maybe
K&L Gates advised German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG and T-Mobile USA in a cash, stock and debt restructuring deal to combine its T-Mobile USA unit with Texas-based wireless service provider MetroPCS Communications, Inc. Under the terms of the business combination agreement, MetroPCS made a cash payment of $1.5 billion to its stockholders and acquired all of T-Mobile's capital stock from Deutsche Telekom in exchange for approximately 74 percent of MetroPCS' common stock on a pro forma basis.

April 2013

A Bright Future
K&L Gates represented Duke Energy in the acquisition from SolarWorld Americas, LLC of two California solar projects having a combined capacity of 21MW. These projects will be run as a single operation and will form the company's largest commercial solar farm in the United States. Southern California Edison Company has entered into power purchase and sale agreements under which it has agreed to purchase all of the energy generated by the projects for a period of 20 years. This acquisition has given Duke Energy its largest commercial solar farm in the United States.

February 2013

Flying at Full Speed
K&L Gates represented AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., in its merger with US Airways Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries PSA Airlines, Inc. and Piedmont Airlines, Inc. The combined carrier, operating under the American Airlines name, creates the world's largest airline with nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries and more than 100,000 employees worldwide. The transaction is expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual net synergies by 2015.

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K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates Center
210 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2613
Phone: (412) 355-6500
Fax: (412) 355-6501


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman and Global Managing Partner: Peter Kalis
  • Firmwide Hiring Partner: Craig W. Budner
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 2,000

  • Employment Contact
    Roslyn M. Pitts
    Firmwide Director of Legal Personnel
    Phone: (412) 355-8273
    Email: roz.pitts@klgates.com
    Please visit the Careers, Lawyers section of
    www.klgates.com for office-specific hiring contacts.

  • Base Salary

    Starting salaries fall between $90,000 and $160,000 based on dynamics of the local market.

  • Summer Associate Offers
    71 out of 76 (permanent offers) (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate & Transactional
    Energy, Infrastructure & Resources
    Financial Services
    Intellectual Property
    Litigation & Dispute Resolution
    Policy & Regulatory
    Real Estate

Major Office Locations

  • Anchorage, AK • Austin, TX • Boston, MA • Charlotte, NC • Charleston, SC • 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 • Spokane, WA • Washington, DC • Wilmington, DE • Beijing • Berlin • Brisbane • Brussels • Doha • Dubai • Frankfurt • Hong Kong • London • Melbourne • Milan • Moscow • Paris • Perth • São Paulo • Seoul • Shanghai • Singapore • Sydney • Taipei • Tokyo • Warsaw

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