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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

ONE LIBERTY PLAZA, NEW YORK, NY 10006, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 225 2000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 225 3999
Web:
www.cgsh.com
Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cologne, Frankfurt and 10 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has an ‘outstanding antitrust practice’, with a team of six partners representing a diverse client base in cartel investigations by regulators in the US, Europe and Asia. In a recent highlight, the firm acted as global counsel to several financial institutions, including HSBC, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, regarding foreign exchange trading, LIBOR and other benchmark rates. Mark Leddy was one of the lead partners in a number of matters; together with the recommended Jeremy Calsyn, he represented freight forwarder “K” Line in the global investigation into the car shipping industry. The firm was also involved in investigations regarding the e-books and refrigeration compressor industries. Other key clients include Bosch and Valeo. Elaine Ewing was promoted to partner, while the New York-based Michael Lazerwitz retired from the partnership and became a senior counsel. Brian Byrne, Leah Brannon and Mark Nelson are also noted. All attorneys are in Washington DC except where noted otherwise.

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Civil litigation/class actions
Civil litigation/class actions - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP impresses with its breadth of expertise, as demonstrated by its recent caseload, which includes successfully defending, on appeal, Keurig Green Mountain in blocking a motion for preliminary injunction brought against the coffeemaker by competitors as part of a complex set of antitrust claims, and successfully winning the dismissal of price-fixing class actions brought against Japanese maritime transportation company “K” Line. Other notable clients include Goldman Sachs, Sanofi and Sabre Holdings. The bulk of the practice is in Washington DC, where George Cary, Mark Nelson, Leah Brannon and Brian Byrne are key contacts. Names to note in the New York office include Mark Leddy, Carmine Boccuzzi and Lev Dassin.

Leading lawyers

George Cary - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

The six partners and 40 associates in Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s antitrust team handle the full range of cross-border merger clearance matters in cooperation with the firm’s European and global competition practice. The firm has advised on significant domestic and global transactions of late, including assisting Google secure global antitrust clearance as part of its sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group. In another highlight, Mark Leddy and Leah Brannon acted as counsel to Coca-Cola in its acquisition of an equity stake in Monster Beverage Corporation. The firm was also involved in ‘a real game changer for M&A’, as described by The Telegraph, representing GlaxoSmithKline in securing global antitrust clearance for its multibillion-dollar three-part transaction with Novartis. Mark Nelson, Brian Byrne and the former deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, George Cary, are the key partners. Jeremy Calsyn is also noted. Michael Lazerwitz in New York retired as partner and became senior counsel in early 2015. All attorneys are based in Washington DC except where noted otherwise.

Leading lawyers

George Cary - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Mark Leddy - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Mark Nelson - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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United States: Dispute resolution

Financial services: litigation
Financial services: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Employing a multi-disciplinary approach which utilizes practitioners from the firm’s New York and Washington DC offices, in addition to its global network, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is well positioned to represent financial institutions in many of the highest profile enforcement actions and related civil actions brought against them. Recognized for its ‘deep industry knowledge’ and ‘overall bench strength’, recent highlights for the team include representing numerous major global banks including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs in coordinated global investigations and related civil actions regarding alleged market manipulation across various benchmark rates including LIBOR, Forex and ISDAFIX. Led by Robin Bergen, the ‘very thoughtful’ Lewis Liman and the ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ Giovanni Prezioso, the group has defended numerous banks including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch in enforcement actions and private litigation brought against them for their roles in the structuring and marketing of structured products including CDOs and RMBS. Meredith Kotler successfully defended Barclays against allegations made by Aozora Bank that it, and several other banks and collateral managers, misrepresented the credit ratings of the CDOs and the selection process for the CDOs’ collateral that it invested in. As well as being heavily involved in the aforementioned market manipulation matters, former federal prosecutor David Brodsky also recently represented Commerzbank in its resolution of various US criminal and regulatory matters related to alleged deficiencies in its internal controls, including its AML program.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a popular choice for financial institutions in securities, commercial and antitrust cases. Its work for financial services clients in Madoff-related litigation is indicative of its reputation in this sector: most recently, the team secured victories for Bank of New York Mellon in three actions in the New York State Supreme Court alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and professional negligence. Clients outside of this space include 3M, which retained a team including Leah Brannon in Washington DC and Lawrence Friedman and Arminda Bepko in New York in patent infringement, monopolization and false advertising litigation. New York-based Thomas Moloney is another noted name.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s international arbitration group excels in a variety of commercial and investor-state matters. Christopher Moore, who splits time between the New York and London offices, achieved an important victory for Greece when an ICSID arbitration - initiated by a Slovak bank and its former Cypriot shareholders - dismissed all claims against the state due to lack of jurisdiction. Lawrence Friedman and Matthew Slater act as lead counsel to the Russian Federation in multiple arbitrations related to claims brought by former shareholders of Yukos Oil Company regarding its dissolution. In another highlight, Jonathan Blackman and Jeffrey Rosenthal secured a major victory in mid-2014 when a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) tribunal issued an approximately $131m award in favor the firm’s client, Tatneft, one of Russia’s largest oil companies. The group also represents Argentina, Egypt, Telecom Italia, DP World and Rosneft.

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s international litigation practice excels at handling matters for multinational and domestic financial institutions and corporations, sovereign governments and state-owned institutions. The firm has had an international presence since the opening of its Paris office in 1949, and today’s international litigation and arbitration team tries cases under US and foreign laws for clients in the US, Europe, Russia, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Jonathan Blackman, who splits his time between New York and London, is particularly adept in international litigation, securities litigation and letters of credit. Washington DC-based Matthew Slater often represents clients in international arbitration-related litigation in US courts, and has expertise in, among other things, government regulatory and enforcement actions, securities law and product liability. New York’s Howard Zelbo often represents international bidders and targets in takeover litigation.

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M&A: litigation: defense
M&A: litigation: defense - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s litigation team, which is based in New York, is ‘at the top of its game and can easily manage complex matters at the top end of the market’. Meredith Kotler is one of the firm’s standout lawyers, and alongside Mitchell Lowenthal, she advised Family Dollar on a challenge to its sale to Dollar Tree and defeated the preliminary injunction bid. With Lawrence Friedman, she defended Google against challenges to its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, winning motion to dismiss in all claims. Roger Cooper is also a key player and he worked with Lowenthal to advise EVOQ Properties on a challenge to its sale to Atlas Capital Group and other investors.

Leading lawyers

Meredith Kotler - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Securities litigation - defense
Securities litigation - defense - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York ‘has deep expertise and knowledge of the law, provides superior advice and has specialist knowledge of complex financial products’. Lewis Liman and Meredith Kotler are the key partners in the practice, which counts Bank of America, Google, HSBC, Citigroup and Dow among its clients. Five partners including Roger Cooper and ‘really excellent lawyer’ Mitchell Lowenthal are representing Petrobras in a securities fraud class action filed in New York alleging communications to investors contained materially false and misleading statements. The case is the largest securities litigation matter ever brought in the US. Cooper and Lawrence Friedman are involved in heavyweight litigation for Atlantic Power Corporation. Kotler’s highlights included winning a motion to dismiss for Barclays Bank in claims arising out of its investment in CDOs, and representing a leading bank in investigations into the manipulation of ISDAFIX.

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White-collar criminal defense
White-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

The ‘meticulous and thorough’ lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP are ‘exemplary in every respect’. The New York-based team, which has advised HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and others on forex-related investigations, includes the ‘highly knowledgeable and responsive’ David Brodsky, the ‘thoughtful, engaged and proactive’ Jennifer Kennedy Park, the ‘fantastic’ Lev Dassin, Breon Peace and Victor Hou, who displays ‘a pristine work ethic and great instincts’. Lewis Liman, also based in New York, represented José Hawilla in investigations relating to allegations of corruption within FIFA. Along with the Washington DC-based Robin Bergen and Giovanni Prezioso, Liman also continues to represent Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs in investigations by multiple regulators into the marketing of CDOs. Other matters handled by the firm included Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) work and insider trading investigations.

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, praised for being ‘service-oriented and sensitive to pricing’, continues to be sought out by issuers and underwriters to advise on some of the most complex and high-value capital markets deals in the market. In early 2015, the firm assisted Actavis with its purchase of Allergan, which included financing via a $21bn notes offering; the bond deal, led by Jeffrey Karpf, was the second largest corporate debt issuance ever. The firm does not appoint practice heads, but other key names include Craig Brod and Michael Volkovitsch; Volkovitsch acted for Credit Suisse in what was the first issuance of ‘bail in’ securities by a Swiss bank, further demonstrating the firm’s leading-edge practice. On the bank side, in relation to a series of debt deals by AIG, Brod and Karpf advised various parties including underwriters, structuring agents and dealer managers. Counsel James Small left for an in-house role while Adam Brenneman was promoted to partner.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York-based group advised on numerous precedent-setting capital markets deals throughout 2015, including Actavis’ $9bn financing of its high-profile acquisition of Allergan, a major deal in the healthcare and pharmaceutical space. The transaction was handled by Jeffrey Karpf, who, together with Craig Brod, also acted for underwriters Citigroup and Goldman Sachs on the $3.7bn secondary public offering of American International Group. Leslie Silverman also led a number of deals for a group of underwriters, including Morgan Stanley, RBS Securities, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, advising on the secondary public offerings of RBS subsidiaries totaling $9bn. Other notable capital markets experts include David Lopez, who assisted a group of underwriters with the $1.4bn secondary public offering of common stock in IMS Health Holdings; Duane McLaughlin, who acted for New Media in its $150m follow-on offering; and senior counsel Alan Beller.

Leading lawyers

Alan Beller - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Leslie Silverman - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Capital markets: global offerings
Capital markets: global offerings - advice to corporates - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to financial institutions - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

With 16 offices worldwide, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is an undoubted global force in the capital markets arena and advises an extensive client roster both on the issuer and underwriter side. In the global high-yield sphere, the highly regarded team has a particular strong standing in Latin America; Francesca Odell recently assisted Brazilian energy corporation Petrobras with a $2.5bn SEC-registered offering of guaranteed senior notes. This deal represented the largest century bond offering to date, as well as the first by a Brazilian issuer. In other high-yield work, the group advised several international banks as initial purchasers on a $500m global bond offering by Mexican IT company KIO Networks. On the equity side, Jeffrey Karpf assisted Actavis with the largest acquisition financing securities offering to date, which consisted of $4.1bn worth of ordinary and $4.9bn worth of convertible preferred shares; the proceeds were used to finance parts of its acquisition of UK-based pharmaceutical company Allergan. Adam Brenneman, who is especially active in Latin America matters, made partner. Craig Brod is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Karpf - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 3

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is well known for its quality in handling complex capital markets transactions, and in the high-yield arena it is an attractive option for issuers as well as for underwriters and initial purchasers. Key names in this practice - which is closely tied to the firm’s private equity, acquisition finance and M&A practices - include Craig Brod and Michael Volkovitsch. In a highlight from 2015, Francesca Odell advised longstanding client Petrobras on what was the first-ever ‘century bond’ offering by a Brazilian issuer - $2.5bn of senior notes due in 2115. Elsewhere, Brod acted for Canadian company OpenText in an $800m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering, and David Lopez assisted Warburg Pincus and Sterigenics-Nordion Holdings with Sterigenics-Nordion’s $450m notes offering, the proceeds of which were used to finance the Warburg Pincus-sponsored purchase of a majority stake in Sterigenics. Duane McLaughlin, Pamela Marcogliese and counsel David Webb are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

David Lopez - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a strong track record in borrower-side work and confirms its status as a go-to firm for large strategic financings. Headline matters included its advice to Actavis on the $40.2bn financing of its acquisition of Allergan, which involved practitioners across its US and European offices and also included debt and equity offerings. It has made a concerted effort in recent years to increase its roster of private equity clients, as evidenced by its recent work for TPG and Warburg Pincus; Meme Peponis led advice to the latter on the financing of its acquisition of a minority stake in Sterigenics, as well as assisting with the $1.2bn financing of its acquisitions of majority stakes in Universal Services of America and Guardsmark. Duane McLaughlin advised a consortium led by TPG and including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and PAG on financing in excess of $1.1bn for acquiring DTZ and Cassidy Turley; McLaughlin then assisted with $1.4bn of debt financing for DTZ’s $2bn acquisition of Cushman & Wakefield. Amy Shapiro is another key name in the New York-based team.

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Financial services: regulatory
Financial services: regulatory - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Led by the ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Robert Tortoriello, the team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provides ‘top-notch business understanding’ to banks, trade bodies and broker-dealers across the panoply of issues affecting their operations. Clients benefit from the expertise of lawyers who are ‘able to see the big picture’ and who ‘not only consider the immediate concern but also look to ensure the path of their advice will withstand time and variation’. Frequently working with the firm’s global network of offices, the team is ‘particularly strong on the regulation of foreign banking organizations’ and is able to provide cohesive strategic advice to global entities which is mindful of EU regulations as well as the extra-territorial effect of Dodd-Frank. Alongside Michael Krimminger and the ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’ Derek Bush, Tortoriello has been advising domestic and foreign financial institutions, including Natixis and Barclays, on the implications of the Federal Reserve Board’s enhanced prudential standards and the implementation of enhanced Basel capital requirements. Formerly of the FDIC, Krimminger ‘knows what the regulator is looking for and can translate this into practical advice’. As part of his broad expertise, which also includes acting for numerous domestic and international banks on resolution planning issues, Krimminger has been at the forefront of the firm’s work for itBit Trust Company enabling it to become the first US-chartered and regulated virtual currency exchange. The team has also been involved in strategic resolution planning issues and has had a key role for two ad-hoc groups of the largest US banks in developing a set of interpretive positions representing industry consensus on Volcker rule issues impacting securitizations and other structured finance vehicles. The firm is also highly regarded for advising on regulations impacting the broker-dealer space, where Giovanni Prezioso, Robert Cook and David Aman are the key contacts. In April 2016, Katherine Mooney Carroll left private practice and began a role as counselor to US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

Leading lawyers

Robert Cook - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Robert Tortoriello - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 4

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Adam Brenneman, Chantal Kordula, Jeffrey Lewis and Richard Lincer are the key project finance partners at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. All are based in the New York office and are notably strong in oil and gas and transportation projects. Kordula advised Mexico Power and Gas Ventures, TAG Pipelines, and PMI Holdings as joint sponsors on securing a loan worth over $1bn for the construction and operation of the Mexico-based Ramones II Sur pipeline, which will span 180 miles when completed; Kordula also acted for TAG Pipelines Sur on the borrower side of this deal. The Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation is another prominent client, and Kordula advised it on the $1bn financing of the first stage of the construction and development of the new international airport in Mexico City, which is expected to become the largest airport in Latin America. Also active in the power and oil and gas spaces, the team advised the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority - the US’ largest municipal utility - on the financing and development of a $500m offshore gas port project, and acted for Pluspetrol in the multibillion-dollar development and commercialization of the Carnisea gas fields. Other clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BHP Billiton and Aerostar Airport Holdings. The department is praised for its ‘outstanding service’ and Lewis and Kordula are singled out for their ‘very good understanding and experience of projects in South America’.

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘restructuring partners are top notch, supported by well-trained, responsive associates’. Its status as premier adviser to foreign governments in sovereign debt matters is highlighted by clients, who single out its cross-border prowess in Latin America deals, for which it has ‘by far the deepest and best bench’ - Richard Cooper in particular is singled out for his experience in the region. Illustrative of this pedigree, Cooper is part of a team advising a group of ad hoc bondholders of Brazilian oil and gas company OGX (subsequent to its high-profile $5.1bn bankruptcy in 2013). The firm continues to play a leading role in matters related to the Chapter 11 of client Nortel Networks, acting as US counsel in disputes concerning the allocation of sale proceeds and claims by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Other key figures in the eight-partner, New York-based group include Seth Grosshandler, Lindsee Granfield and James Bromley.

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Structured finance
Structured finance - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘excellent business acumen and expertise in the industry’ and an ‘excellent reputation’ for a wide range of finance and securitization matters, including CLO transactions, agency mortgage securitizations, esoteric securitizations and asset-based lending operations, and fixed-income derivatives. The US structured finance, securitization and derivatives team, based in New York and Washington DC, provides the ‘collective wisdom, strength and integrated advice’ to clients that include issuers, underwriters, asset managers, industry associations and other market players. Last year saw the practice working on some of the most notable CLO and mortgage-backed securities transactions in the US. Mitchell Dupler, who focuses on corporate and financial matters in Washington, represented a group of underwriters, including Barclays and Citigroup, in Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed transactions worth $231bn. ‘Expert in derivatives’ Seth Grosshandler and the ‘excellent and very much sought after’ Edward Rosen, both in New York, have recently been advising individual financial institutions and trade associations on regulatory legislation. Michael Dayan is considered an ‘authority in equity derivatives and equity transactions’; Michael Mazzuchi is a specialist in corporate and security matters, with a particular emphasis on domestic and international structured finance. Based in Washington, Joyce McCarty and Paul St Lawrence continued their work in relation to CLOs, which encompasses transactional and regulatory matters. Also active in the CLO space is Robin Bergen, who advised on 52 transactions valued at more than $27bn. Clients include Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Verizon.

Leading lawyers

Edward Rosen - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Michael Dayan - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Michael Mazzuchi - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 5

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s team is notably strong on Latin America-based matters; Richard Cooper, Adam Brenneman and Sean O’Neal acted for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority on negotiating several potential independent power projects. In another highlight, the team recently advised BHP Billiton on the creation of South32, a new global metals and mining company with an initial market capitalization of $9.1bn.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 5

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Key oil and gas figures at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP include Jeffrey Lewis, Richard Cooper, Chantal Kordula and Richard Lincer. In an illustration of its strength in energy transactions, the practice advised Petróleos Mexicanos on the establishment of a $1.5bn export financing program with the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

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United States: Intellectual property

Patents: portfolio management and licensing
Patents: portfolio management and licensing - ranked: tier 3

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s patent team leverages the firm’s corporate and commercial expertise in handling complex, cross-border transactions involving the acquisition and monetization of IP assets. It has particular experience acting for technology companies and private equity firms in their acquisitions of, and investments in, start-ups. Recent work includes acting for Viking Global Investors in its investment in Adaptive Biotechnologies, and assisting América Móvil with its investment in Mobli. Google is another key client and, in 2015, lawyers from the New York office teamed up with colleagues in Brussels, Hong Kong, London and Washington DC to assist the client with its high-profile $1bn investment in SpaceX. The core IP transactional practice is based in New York, where Leonard Jacoby and Daniel Ilan are the key contacts. Lenovo Group, Medtronic and Allergan are also notable clients.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

In addition to its strong US presence, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s practice leverages the firm’s wider global footprint to extend its coverage across Europe, Asia and Latin America. The group acts for some of the largest and most active global investment managers in the private equity space, including Blackstone, KKR, Silver Point Capital and Carlyle Group. Its diverse practice not only covers the structuring and formation of complex and bespoke funds, but also their follow-on investments, exits, regulatory issues, and fund manager M&A. The firm also advises on other matters relevant to private equity funds and their managers, such as tax and real estate, and also acts for a number of limited partner clients. Elizabeth Lenas is leading the team’s advice to TPG on the formation of its seventh flagship buyout fund, TPG Partners VII, and on fundraising for TPG Growth III. Other key figures include Robert Raymond, whose fund formation expertise real estate and buyout funds, and real estate practitioner Michael Gerstenzang, who has a notable track record acting for funds and sponsors. Adrian Leipsic was promoted to partner in 2015, while Joshua Frankel was elected as senior attorney.

Leading lawyers

Michael Gerstenzang - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York-based team advises on employee benefits and executive compensation issues in large M&A deals, as well as ERISA regulatory and fiduciary matters. Michael Albano’s recent highlights include advising Actavis on its $70.5bn purchase of Allergan, acting for The Home Depot in its acquisition of Interline Brands, and assisting Google with the executive compensation challenges of its reorganization into a new holding company named Alphabet. Arthur Kohn advises McDonald’s on executive compensation, while Robert Raymond advises TPG and its portfolio companies on the application of ERISA to its investment funds. Counsel Mary Alcock is ‘excellent for ERISA work’, and advised Family Dollar on its purchase by Dollar Tree following interference by activist investors. Other clients include Medtronic and American Express.

Leading lawyers

Arthur Kohn - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Michael Albano - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York corporate governance lawyers provide expertise in cybersecurity as well as compliance with SEC and stock exchange regulations and the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank acts. Ethan Klingsberg, Pamela Marcogliese and Glenn McGrory were among those that advised Google on its corporate reorganization into a conglomerate structure, which involved a merger requiring corporate governance advice. Klingsberg acted for Family Dollar in negotiations between the board of the corporation and a group of shareholder activists. Craig Brod assisted Canadian company Atlantic Power with instances of shareholder activism, and advised the client on board appointments and succession issues. Other clients include Verizon, which Jeffrey Karpf and Arthur Kohn assist with disclosure issues and shareholder proposals, and Verisign, which Marcogliese advises on disclosure issues and compliance with stock exchange requirements.

Leading lawyers

Pamela Marcogliese - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has an outstanding reputation for cross-border deals, particularly those involving Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and over recent years it has continued to increase its prominence in domestic deals. It is widely acknowledged as a global leader in antitrust and this expertise was put to use in its role as counsel to Family Dollar in its $9.3bn sale to Dollar Tree, which included the successful defense of a hostile bid by Dollar General Corp based on antitrust grounds. Transactional IP is another area of strength, and the firm advised several West Coast technology clients on deals involving the sale of IP assets. It also represented Actavis in its $70.5bn acquisition of Allergan, in which Actavis appeared as a white knight following a repelled hostile bid by Valeant and Pershing Square. It also advised Medtronic on the completion of its $49.9bn acquisition of Ireland-based healthcare company Covidien. This was one of a series of inversion deals completed by large US corporates in 2015 and further illustrates the firm’s standing in this area. In another headline cross-border deal, the firm advised OCI on the $8bn sale of its North American, European and global distribution business to CF Industries. In the technology sector - an area of strength for the practice - it advised Western Digital on its $19bn acquisition of SanDisk. New York partner Victor Lewkow is a ‘great M&A attorney’. Christopher Austin has a strong reputation among corporates, financial institutions and asset managers, as does Paul Shim, who is a ‘fantastic M&A and private equity lawyer’ and works closely with TPG. Ethan Klingsberg is another key name and has worked on a range of recent deals, most notably on behalf of West Coast technology companies; Benet O’Reilly is widely acclaimed for healthcare deals. Glenn McGrory is also noted for technology deals and cross-border transactions involving European corporates. Other clients include American Express, Coca-Cola, Google, Home Depot, Medtronic and Western Digital.

Leading lawyers

Victor Lewkow - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 3

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP typically handles transactions at the top end of the market, which owes thanks, not least, to its ties with cornerstone private equity clients Warburg Pincus and TPG Capital. The firm has a particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional deals and in recent years has made a name for itself in the technology sector. For example, Paul Shim advised Temasek Holdings on the definitive agreement under which computer technology company Dell, together with MSD Partners and Silver Lake, will acquire EMC Corporation, while maintaining VMware as a publicly traded company. In another highlight, David Leinwand and Matthew Salerno helped Endurance International Group, a Warburg Picus portfolio company, with its $1.1bn acquisition of Constant Contact. The team also includes Paul Tiger, Christopher Austin, Robert Davis and newly promoted partner James Langston. The attorneys are all based in the New York office.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Best known for its work in the debt finance space, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York-based practice also handles a mix of development and corporate transactional work. Recent examples include acting for Empire Resorts and Kien Huat Realty in connection with the development of Montreign Resort and Casino, and advising Brookfield on a $2.5bn REIT acquisition. Debt finance remains at the heart of the practice, with Michael Weinberger (‘one of the top US debt lawyers’), Kimberly Brown Blacklow and John Harrison continuing to handle loan origination transactions totaling more than $8bn for key client Goldman Sachs. Blacklow was also active on behalf of H/2 Capital Partners and JPMorgan, advising on $1.3bn of mortgage and mezzanine financing related to the transfer of 200 Sears stores to a REIT. Other key players in the team are Steven Wilner and associate Daniel Reynolds, who acted for a number of the firm’s sovereign wealth fund clients on real estate acquisitions and related financings.

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United States: Tax

Financial products
Financial products - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

A market leader in financial products without a doubt’, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provides ‘excellent service and high-standard advice’. The practice is very active advising investment banks, financial bodies, private equity firms and others on debt and equity transactions, convertible bonds and other hybrid securities, derivatives, and credit default swaps. ‘Notable practitioner’ Erika Nijenhuis focuses on US income tax - particularly in relation to financial products and international tax planning - and advises major investment banks such as Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan. Work highlights included William McRae and Diana Wollman advising Family Dollar on its $9.3bn cash and stock purchase by Dollar Tree. The team also acted for Google in the organization of its new holding company Alphabet, and in its sale of the Motorola Mobility mobile devices business to Lenovo. James Peaslee has advised Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae on mortgage-backed securities. James Duncan (‘one of the best tax lawyers’) advised SABMiller in connection with its proposed acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Leading lawyers

Erika Nijenhuis - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

James Peaslee - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

The New York-based team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘strong expertise’ and provides an ‘excellent service’. It has ‘outstanding cross-border capabilities’ and is praised for its ‘innovative approach’. Yaron Reich (‘outstanding’) and Jason Factor advised Medtronic on its $50bn acquisition of Covidien to form one of the world’s largest medical technology and services companies, under an Irish plc. Factor also advised Actavis on its high-profile $70.5bn acquisition of Allergan. Meyer Fedida, who was promoted to partner in 2015, led a consortium of TPG, PAG Asia Capital and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on a series of high-profile acquisitions, including the $1.2bn acquisition of the DTZ businesses from UGL and the $2bn acquisition of Cushman & Wakefield. Elsewhere, a team led by Erika Nijenhuis advised Credit Suisse on a bail-in, debt offering by Credit Suisse Group Funding (Guernsey), and a team led by James Duncan (‘first-rate technical knowledge allied to strong commercial acumen’) assisted SABMiller with its $105.5bn acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev. William McRae is also a name to note. The ‘exceptional’ Diana Wollman, formerly director of international strategy for the IRS’s large business and international division, joined the team in February 2015.

Leading lawyers

Leslie Samuels - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Yaron Reich - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s tax team advised on blockbuster deals in the technology and life sciences sectors in 2015. Yaron Reich advised Google on its reorganization under new holding company Alphabet. Jason Factor was lead tax counsel to Actavis in its ‘white knight’ acquisition of Allergan, thwarting the attempted takeover by Pershing Square Capital Management and Valeant Pharmaceuticals; this acquisition was one of the largest healthcare deals ever. And Reich and Factor combined to advise medical and health services provider Medtronic on its $50bn acquisition of Covidien. Another notable transaction for the team, led by William McRae and Diane Wollman, was representing Family Dollar Stores in its sale to Dollar Tree for cash and stock in a $9.3bn deal. Erika Nijenhuis led the tax advice as the firm acted as counsel to itBit Trust Company in its proposal to become the first chartered and regulated virtual currency exchange. Other longstanding clients include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and SABMiller.

Leading lawyers

Erika Nijenhuis - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP does an ‘amazing job in Mexico’ and has ‘phenomenal relationships’ especially on the borrower-side. It is a dominant global force in restructuring and this expertise was in full evidence in Latin America during 2015. Much of the firm’s restructuring work has centred on the commodities and natural resources sector, including the offshore-drilling segment and project finance structures. It has been especially active in Brazil, where it has advised on almost every recent major US dollar-denominated restructuring. Among numerous significant mandates, it represented the ad hoc group of OGX bondholders in connection with the restructuring of OGX’s approximately $5.8bn of debt. OGX’s bankruptcy proceedings involved a complex set of regulatory, financial and legal challenges, and the firm created a series of debtor in possession (DIP) financings and a reorganisation plan that is thought to have provided template for future debt-to-equity conversions and DIP fundings in Brazil and the rest of Latin America. Major restructurings beyond Brazil have also been plentiful. The firm has a mighty reputation in Mexico, especially, where it was counsel to Corporación GEO in the restructuring of approximately $4.5bn of its bank and bond debt. This was the first restructuring to be filed in Mexico through a pre-packaged bankruptcy proceeding since the amendment to the Ley de Concursos Mercantiles in January 2014. In addition, the firm advised Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) on its potential restructuring of over $9.5bn of debt. Furthermore, the firm also represented the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico in connection with the drafting and enactment of the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act. Although restructurings may have been the dominant theme for the practice in Latin America, the team also has extensive experience in a range of bank finance products, including mainstream corporate loans, real estate finance and traditional acquisition and leveraged finance. In this regard, its experience and knowledge of other key markets such as Chile and Argentina (it is uniquely positioned in Argentina with an office in Buenos Aires) makes it a popular counsel for major Latin American financings. Traditionally a borrower oriented firm, it has steadily built its standing among major lenders such as Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. New York partner Richard Cooper is the most senior member of the group and a market leader in Latin America-related restructuring work, covering much of the region. São Paulo-based Francisco Cestero has also proved to be a key figure on the many recent Brazil-based restructurings, though he is also active in other jurisdictions such as Argentina and Mexico. New York’s Adam Brenneman is known for his financing record in Chile, Peru and the other Andean nations. Fellow New York partner Chantal Kordula is another pivotal member of the team, especially in Mexico, and acquisition and leveraged-finance specialist Amy Shapiro is also active in Latin America. Buenos Aires-based Andrés de la Cruz is a pivotal figure for Argentine work and other southern cone countries.

Leading lawyers

Richard Cooper - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘outstanding’ and has the ‘strongest Latin America practice amongst the main international New York firms’ according to one client. It has ‘very strong partners’ that are supported by a ‘solid bench’. Although 2015 was far from a banner year for capital markets transactions, the firm remained active through a number of liability management and investment grade deals. The firm’s longstanding connections to sovereigns and quasi-sovereigns have delivered a steady flow of instructions in a relatively quiet market. Its liability management expertise in the US and worldwide has led it to work on a series of ground breaking liability management deals in Latin America, and the team benefits from the presence of liability management specialist David Lopez in New York. Mexico and Brazil are the principal jurisdictions for the firm, though it is active throughout Latin America and is especially well positioned for Argentina’s reintegration into the global economy; it has a unique office in Buenos Aires, led by the immensely respected Andrés de la Cruz. In addition, the firm stands out thanks to the size of the Latin America team and the number of partners that have a principal focus on capital markets transactions in the region. The breadth of its product offering also puts it in a rarefied position, with its coverage of IPOs, high yield debt, sovereign and quasi-sovereign issuances, liability management and a range of other transaction types. The strength of its blue-chip client base also illustrates the status of the firm. In 2015, the firm represented longstanding client Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in a series of debt capital markets transactions, including its Rule 144A/Reg. S debt offering of CHF600m under its medium-term note (MTN) programme and its €2.25bn Rule 144A/Reg. S debt offering, which was its largest ever euro-denominated debt offering. In addition, the firm advised Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) on its SEC-registered $2.5bn bond offering. In the sovereign space, it represented Mexico in a number of securities offerings under its $110bn global MTN programme, including a €1.5bn bond issuance, its first ever euro-bond offering. New York-based Nicolas Grabar ‘is one of the most intelligent lawyers’, ‘extremely sharp and well prepared’, and a prolific adviser on Mexico and Brazil deals; he ‘knows his stuff’, is ‘constructive and pragmatic’, always ‘wants to get the deal done’ and is ‘very involved in his matters’. New York’s Jorge Juantorena ‘is one of the best lawyers in the region’, ‘is incredibly responsive and helpful’, ‘balances advice for his client with a sound commercial sense’, and is ‘creative in his thinking and able to work to find solutions in novel situations’. Andrés de la Cruz is a key figure in Argentina and is noted for his ‘extensive experience’ in sovereign deals for the Republic of Uruguay and other Latin American sovereigns. Juan Giráldez and Francisco Cestero are ‘doing a terrific job in running the Sao Paulo office’, and Giráldez is recognised for deals throughout the region. New York partner Francesca Odell is another outstanding capital markets practitioner with an especially strong record in Brazil. Duane McLaughlin is noted for financing and capital markets transactions in Mexico. Former counsel David Flechner has joined Allen & Overy LLP as a partner.

Leading lawyers

Francesca Odell - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Jorge Juantorena - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Nicolas Grabar - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP sets the benchmark in Latin America, through its history in, and knowledge of, the region. Indeed, with offices in Buenos Aires and São Paulo, the region is especially important to the global firm, and the Latin America practice accounts for a significant proportion of the New York office’s revenues. Clients speak of a ‘top-tier corporate law firm’ where the ‘level of service’ is ‘consistently excellent’ thanks to ‘close involvement from partners’ and the ‘flexibility’ of the ‘strong’ team. The practice, which has a virtually unrivalled knowledge of the regulatory and legal regimes across the region, has maintained its strong position in key jurisdictions such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, and both Colombia and Peru are growth markets for the firm. It has also been notably active in the consumer goods sector, both in relation to inbound and outbound transactions. In Brazil the firm has experienced a considerable upswing in distressed and quasi-distressed transactions, advising both buyers and sellers. As the only international law firm to have an office in Buenos Aires, it is well positioned for the expected upturn in Argentina-related transactional activity, including for foreign investors seeing the jurisdiction as an attractive place for investment. At a regional level, the practice represents an illustrious client list of national champions, multi-latinas, family-owned groups, and foreign multinationals and private equity houses. In 2015, the firm advised First Reserve on its partnership with Mexico Power Group to build the 130MW La Bufa wind farm in Zacatecas, Mexico; the power generated will be sold under a contracted offtake agreement to Volkswagen de México for the operation of its vehicle plant in Puebla, currently the largest auto factory in Mexico and one of VW’s largest global production facilities. In another major deal, the firm advised leading Mexican glass manufacturer Vitro on its $2.15bn agreement to sell its food and beverage glass containers business to Owens-Illinois. Illustrating the firm’s burgeoning transactional practice in Argentina, in early 2016 the team represented Grupo Clarín, Argentina’s largest media group, on its acquisition of a 51% interest in Nextel Communications Argentina from NII Holdings; the firm had previously advised the media group on its acquisition of a 49% interest in Nextel Argentina back in September 2015. In Buenos Aires, Andrés de la Cruz is leading the firm’s efforts to further develop its Argentine M&A practice; he is also noted for his work in other southern cone states including Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Other pivotal figures include New York’s Jeffrey Lewis, a much heralded Latin America specialist with an exceptional record in M&A; Chantal Kordula, a key name for Mexico transactions, especially in the energy sector; and São Paulo’s Juan Giráldez and Francisco Cestero, who are the “go-to” figures for Brazil deals. Giráldez is noted as an ‘experienced’, ‘trusted advisor’ who ‘looks for creative and constructive ways to bring deals to completion’, and who ‘influences with solid thought-out arguments’. New York’s Francesca Odell also has an impressive record in Latin America M&A and capital markets deals, especially in Brazil.

Leading lawyers

Chantal Kordula - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Francesca Odell - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Jeffrey Lewis - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Drawing on its impressive global network, proven ability to successfully handle complex disputes and strong track record in Latin America, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s sizeable practice is regularly instructed in the region’s highest-profile disputes, acting for multinationals (as investors in treaty disputes as well as private parties in commercial arbitration) and sovereigns alike. Preceding the change in government, the Republic of Argentina was a key client; a cross-office team, which included Jonathan Blackman, Carmine Boccuzzi, Matthew Slater (based in Washington DC), Claudia Annacker (based in Paris) and attorneys in the firm’s Italian offices, represented it in a mass claim by thousands of holders of interests in multiple Argentine bonds brought at ICSID under the Argentina-Italy BIT alleging expropriation and seeking billions of dollars in damages. Howard Zelbo, who was also involved in defending Argentina in the above matter, is another name to note; he is currently acting in Peru-related commercial arbitration proceedings concerning gas sales agreements. DP World and Telecom Italia are also recent clients. Ari Mackinnon made partner in 2015. All lawyers mentioned are located in New York unless stated otherwise.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 2

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a heavy focus on energy matters in Latin America, with big name clients including state-owned energy companies such as Pemex and Petrobras. Other names on its illustrious client list include BHP Billiton, Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation, Pluspetrol and Vale. The firm handles a wide variety of matters in the energy sector, including M&A, project finance, restructurings and dispute resolution. Infrastructure is another key part of the Latin America practice. The firm advised the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation and Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, on the $3bn financing for the development and construction of the new Mexico City international airport. It was reported as the largest syndicated revolving bank facility in the history of Latin America and was the second stage of the airport’s financing, the firm having advised on the initial $1bn financing back in 2014. In another notable Mexico deal, the firm advised First Reserve on its partnership with Mexico Power Group to build the 130MW La Bufa wind farm in Zacatecas, Mexico. The firm also represented Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) in the negotiation of potential independent power projects (including renewable energy projects) and the financing and development of an offshore gas port that will serve as the dock for a floating, LNG storage and regasification unit to fuel the Aguirre Power Complex located on the south side of the island. The firm tends to represent sponsors and borrowers, albeit with some exceptions such as its role as counsel to Brazil’s development bank, BNDES, on a number of financing, project financing and capital markets transactions. New York partner Chantal Kordula has played an anchor role in developing the firm’s project finance standing in Latin America, especially in Mexico. Richard Cooper works extensively in the energy sector, especially in company and project restructuring engagements, and Jeffrey Lewis, also a key member of the Latin America team, is active across a range of projects sectors.

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