Kevin Morris, a prominent Kirkland & Ellis private equity partner, died this week at age 46 after a three-year battle with brain cancer.
Morris was one of only a small number of African American lawyers heavily involved in dealmaking in major law firms.
He had worked at Kirkland all his career with the firm saying he “had a wonderfully calm, unflappable demeanor and gentle, relentless drive to succeed.”
Morris joined Kirkland & Ellis in 2002 after graduating from the University of Chicago Law School. He worked in complex business transactions, including private equity transactions, leveraged and strategic acquisitions, recapitalizations and joint ventures.
“We’re very proud and fortunate to have him as our partner,” said Kirkland’s Richard Porter, who has worked alongside Morris since Morris’ start at the firm nearly two decades ago.
“He was a special guy and it’s a real loss for us, it’s a loss for his family, it’s a loss for the community,” said Porter, a corporate partner.
Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Morris was a “scrappy, middle-class kid” who had big dreams, a competitive spirit, and the intellect needed to become a world-class dealmaker, Porter said.