Make it your first choice, you won’t regret itKapil Kirpalani (LL.B, 2003)
Kapil Kirpalani was born in Hong Kong and completed the British O-level and A-level exams before coming to Durham. Upon completion of his LL.B.(Hons), Kapil obtained an LL.M. from Nottingham Law School and completed postgraduate studies in international corporate law at the London School of Economics, and studies in management science, corporate leadership and entrepreneurship at the University of Cambridge.
At Durham Kapil was a student representative on the Law Student Staff Consultative Committee (SSCC) and served as an editor of Inter Alia (the student Law Journal). He was also a keen moot student and was on the team that won the Allen & Overy Best Legal Memorial Award at the Jessup International Moot Court National Finals. Outside of the department he was involved in his college JCR, was a student tutor, was elected President of the International Students Association and played college and university level basketball.
Kapil is currently Director, Legal and CCO for the Pacific Harbor Group, an established Pan-Asian asset management firm with a focus on credit investments. He helped build a substantial Asian debt trading and investment business with approximately US$3Bn invested to date, generating an annualized net return in excess of 13%. Kapil's practice focuses on secured trade finance, secured bridge finance, and acquisition financing in a number of Asian jurisdictions, with varying governing laws. He has experience in high yield, stressed and distressed debt transactions, as well as private placements with a focus on undervalued, relatively liquid sub-investment grade debt investments, in Asia. During his time at Durham, the culture of idea generation and critical thinking prepared him for the challenges that he now faces.
Prior to joining the Pacific Harbor Group, Kapil worked in the Corporate Transactions, Finance & Governance Group at Haarmann Hemmelrath & Partners, in London and Frankfurt. His primary focus was the sale and acquisition of businesses; legal, financial and tax due diligence through tax structuring and contract negotiations and representation before national authorities; structuring of financial plans and company valuations as well as restructuring plans taking account of corporate accounting requirements and tax burdens. A key skill from his studies at Durham, Kapil was taught to develop strategies for success to help make the decisions required to advise businesses how to manage through good times and downturns.
During the course of the 3-year law degree, he completed several competitive internship programs in Asia with international law firms, including Allen & Overy, where he represented underwriters and issuers in public and private offerings of debt, equity and equity-linked securities, out-of-court restructurings, pre-packaged bankruptcies and exit financings for companies emerging from bankruptcy. Since then, Kapil has also acted for banks and finance companies in connection with loan and credit recovery, and enforcement of securities, banking facilities, financial instruments, syndicated loans, guarantees and bills of exchange. He began his career under The Hon. Mr. Justice Gall at the Hong Kong High Court, an opportunity he was fortunate to have because of Durham's strong reputation amongst the legal community.
Kapil is a frequent contributor at seminars and conferences around the Asian region and has been featured on CNN. He attributes his career progress to date to the strong foundations that were laid during his time at Durham. World-class academics, intellectually stimulating classmates and a strong college support system allowed an entrepreneurial mindset and pool of ideas to develop in the midst of a traditional legal education.
Advice to applicants - "make it your first choice, you won't regret it."