Firm Profile > Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton > New York , United States
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Offices
ONE LIBERTY PLAZA
NEW YORK, NY 10006
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton > The Legal 500 Rankings
Capital markets: debt Tier 1
Well known for company and underwriter-side deals, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is a popular choice for first-time issuers through to veteran bulge bracket banks. The practice is recognized for its strength in cross-border work, including sovereign bond transactions, but its broad sector focus and deep regulatory experience secures it headline mandates across a wide range of industry segments. On the issuer side, Craig Brod recently advised Honeywell on a $1.2bn notes offering as part of its debt refinancing. Sung Kang, who has an impressive record in cross-border transactions, advised General Mills on several offerings to support its $8bn acquisition of Blue Buffalo, including debt offerings worth $6.5bn. Among its bank-side mandates, Jeffrey Karpf acted for a syndicate of underwriters, led by Citigroup Global Markets, on a series of notes offerings for Citi totaling $17bn. Elsewhere, David Lopez and Pamela Marcogliese advised the underwriters, led by Citigroup, on Allison Transmission’s $400m offering of senior notes. Other key contacts in the New York-based team include group co-lead Adam Fleisher and Nicolas Grabar, who brings to bear strong experience in Latin America-facing matters.
‘Among the leading firms worldwide for capital markets’, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is commended for its ‘comfort with regulatory issues and anticipation of problems, which brings tremendous efficiency to complicated deals’. The New York-based team, which ‘goes above and beyond expectations to drive process and execute according to plan’, brings to bear strong expertise in private equity-related transactions and complex cross-border matters. Among the names to note, Jeffrey Karpf is ‘very strong in the equity space’; he advised Cushman & Wakefield (and its principal shareholders TPG, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board) on its $831m IPO. In another issuer-side highlight, Adam Fleisher (noted for his ‘unrivalled client service attitude and commercial practicality’) and Sandra Flow advised GrafTech International, and its majority stockholder, on its $525m IPO and its subsequent $460m secondary follow-on offering. On the manager front, Karpf paired up with Michael Dayan to act as product counsel to the underwriters on a $852m stock offering by Alexandria Real Estate Equities; the team also advised the forward purchasers on the transaction. Other key contacts include David Lopez and Sung Kang. Seasoned specialists Alan Beller and Leslie Silverman recently took senior counsel roles.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, widely admired as ‘an elite firm globally for capital markets’, scores highly for its ‘extremely well-rounded practice’, which demonstrates ‘great experience in advising both issuers and managers’. The team shows equal dexterity in its ability to handle both debt and equity work and it routinely advises on the full scope of offerings, from corporate IPOs through to sovereign bond issuances. Other key attributes, as outlined by sources, include the group’s ‘peerless Latin America capital markets practice’ as well as its ‘strong presence in Europe and Asia’. Among the names to note, ‘very strong’ Jeffrey Karpf advised Cushman & Wakefield and its principal shareholders on its $831m IPO. David Lopez is also highly regarded for global offerings and advised the initial purchasers on $4.5bn worth of concurrent high-yield notes offerings, which included two euro-denominated offerings worth €1.6bn, by finance subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Cross-border specialist Jorge Juantorena, who brings to bear an enviable record in Latin American deals, advised the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation, and its subsidiaries Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico and Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico, on a $1.5bn offering of trust certificates. The New York-based team also includes Adam Fleisher, Nicolas Grabar and Pamela Marcogliese.
Cartel Tier 1
The antitrust lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton 'are very focused, have strong connections with the regulators, and give practical and valuable advice'. The team is valued by clients for its 'immediate, efficient and precise fact-finding abilities'. Brian Byrne and Mark Nelson are part of a team counseling a number of major financial institutions on global investigations regarding the alleged manipulation of several foreign exchange benchmark rates. In other highlights, senior counsel Mark Leddy, Jeremy Calsyn, Kenneth Reinker and Elaine Ewing continue to act for a number of auto parts manufacturers in the landmark global investigation into alleged industry-wide price-fixing violations. Cunzhen Huang was recently promoted to counsel and Alexis Collins to partner in the Washington DC office, where all named attorneys are based.
The Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton team 'not only provides great legal judgment but also advises in a timely manner'. One client describes Brian Byrne as 'virtually a step above any other lawyer' they have worked with; he is part of the cross-office team advising a group of financial institutions on multi-jurisdictional investigations by global regulators into foreign exchange trading, as well as the associated civil litigation cases. George Cary and Kenneth Reinker are currently acting for Sabre in a consumer class action alleging collusion between global distribution networks, and Leah Brannon continues to defend Keurig in an ongoing monopolization claim brought by two individual competitors and two purported classes of purchasers. Mark Nelson and Dave Gelfand are also key senior names to note. Mark Leddy was recently promoted to global co-head of the antitrust practice and Alexis Collins was made partner. Kathleen Bradish joined the group as counsel from the DOJ, and Cunzhen Huang and Larry Malm were promoted to counsel. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.
Corporate governance Tier 1
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has expertise in a range of work across the governance space, including complex transnational matters and management changes. Arthur Kohn, who has experience acting for partnership businesses in management elections, advised CLS Group on replacing its CEO. Further, Ethan Klingsberg and Pamela Marcogliese advised Dun & Bradstreet on a leadership transition. In other highlights, a large team advised National Amusements on a multi-faceted dispute regarding its ownership of CBS, with issues of a proposed stock dividend to dilute its holding; the team managed a total replacement of the board. Also recommended is Sandra Flow, who acts as governance counsel to Stanley Black & Decker, and also advises GrafTech on its securities law matters. Joon Kim returned to the firm from the position of acting US attorney for the southern district of New York.
'Industrious' and 'great to work with', Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is noted for its representation of global financial institutions and multinational corporations in a range of criminal and regulatory matters. Led by Lev Dassin and David Brodsky in New York, it draws on a presence in the world's major financial centers to provide a strong service across borders. The group continues to represent Robert Bosch, as the supplier of auto parts to Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Fiat Chrysler, in connection with DOJ and state attorneys general investigations and civil litigation in the US; and separately in an internal investigation and self-remediation efforts. It also represented Goldman Sachs in investigations instigated by regulators, including the DOJ and Federal Reserve Board of New York, relating to forex trading and sales practices, successfully negotiating a resolution with a substantially reduced settlement. The team has an able Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practice, and significant experience representing corporations and individuals in government and internal investigations as well as conducting risk assessments and due diligence on clients' operations. Other key practitioners in New York include 'tough' Abena Mainoo, Victor Hou, Jonathan Kolodner, Jennifer Kennedy Park, Breon Peace, 'rising superstar' Joon Kim (who re-joined the firm in February 2018 after serving as the acting US attorney general for the Southern District of New York) and Latin America expert Lisa Vicens. Washington DC's Robin Bergen and Giovanni Prezioso are also recommended.
E-discovery Tier 1
According to one client, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's 'greatest strength is its cross-border discovery and data privacy practice', while its 'understanding of how EU data protection and employment law impacts on US discovery is unparalleled'. The group is jointly led by Washington DC's Christian Mahoney and Brussels-based 'thought-leader' Natascha Gerlach, who is noted for her 'deep understanding of the law and how to solve real-world problems in a practical way'. Mahoney and Gerlach advised Dow Chemical on the e-discovery aspects of merger clearance proceedings in more than 20 jurisdictions, including the US, EU, China and Brazil, following its $130bn merger with DuPont. New York-based Michael Bohner was made managing discovery attorney in 2019; he focuses on artificial intelligence and data analytics matters. Drawing on in-house IT capabilities, the team is able to customize existing predictive application programming interfaces (APIs) in order to tailor discovery and document review methodologies. In a recent highlight, the group served as lead counsel to National Amusements Inc. in its litigation against CBS Corporation, successfully preventing the implementation of a non-defensible AI-driven predictive workflow that would have resulted in an incomplete production of documents, contributing to a satisfactory settlement agreement. Splitting his time between Washington DC and Hong Kong, Nowell Bamberger is a key name for e-discovery litigation.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is instructed by Fortune 500 and private corporations such as Versace, Google, Abbott Laboratories, Western Digital and American Express. In one of many significant ongoing transactions, Arthur Kohn and counsel Kathleen Emberger are advising Honeywell on its $4.5bn spin-off of its Homes and ADI Global Distribution subsidiaries into a new publicly listed entity. Bob Raymond acts for private fund clients including TPG, KKR and Blackstone, and recently advised Hillhouse Capital on ERISA matters connected to a $10.6bn fund formation. Michael Albano and counsels Mary Alcock and Laura Bagarella assisted Google with numerous matters including the $1.1bn employee cooperation agreement with HTC and a string of other acquisitions. Also recommended is counsel Caroline Hayday, who handled a number of benefits and executive compensation matters throughout 2018, including Cushman & Wakefield's $831m IPO on the NYSE, and Versace’s $2.1bn sale to Michael Kors Holdings. The firm also provided ERISA Title 1 advice to financial institutions such as Citibank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and ING. Names attorneys are based in New York.
Next Generation Partners
Financial products Tier 1
The New York-based team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is strong in sovereign debt offerings and has recently worked on high-value issuances for Argentina, Chile, Indonesia and Senegal; Erika Nijenhuis leads this work. Alongside Corey Goodman and Doug Borisky, Nijenhuis also advised various underwriters, initial purchasers and placement agents, including Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, on hundreds of real estate mortgage investment conduit transactions and numerous CLO transactions. William McRae is another name to note, as are team leaders Diana Wollman and Jason Factor.
Able to call upon the expertise of numerous former high-ranking government officials, as well as of lawyers located in key financial centers throughout the firm's international network of offices, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton excels in providing integrated agency enforcement/investigation and private litigation guidance on high-profile domestic and multi-jurisdictional matters. The firm has been particularly active representing banks accused of benchmark manipulation; New York-based Lev Dassin and Jonathan Kolodner have been central to the firm's defense of Citigroup in global Libor and foreign exchange (forex) investigations. The firm has also guided Goldman Sachs through a number of regulatory inquiries relating to its alleged role in benchmark manipulation and recently negotiated the resolution of forex investigations by the Federal Reserve and the New York Department of Financial Services. Formerly general counsel at the SEC, Giovanni Prezioso is highly knowledgeable on complex trading matters and excels at broker-dealer regulatory enforcement/investigations, including as it relates to algorithmic trading. Alumnus at the US Attorney's Office, New York-based David Brodsky has vast credibility before the regulatory agencies and brings this to bear on behalf of financial services entities subject to securities enforcement actions and white-collar matters, including as they relate to anti-money laundering (AML) and market manipulation. Other recommended practitioners include Robin Bergen, for regulatory inquiries relating to structured finance products; Nowell Bamberger, for cross-border matters often with an Asian nexus; Matthew Solomon, who has significant gravitas garnered not only through private practice but also through his time at the SEC and DOJ; and New York-based Joon Kim, who re-joined the firm in February 2018 following his most recent stint as the acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC, unless otherwise indicated.
Steeped in 'real word experience', Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton excels in providing strategic, high-level counsel to systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs). Utilizing the expertise of lawyers across numerous international offices, a key part of the firm's success in the area is its ability to provide coordinated advice that is mindful of regulatory concerns not just from a US perspective but from a global one. Leveraging expertise gleaned from his time at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Michael Krimminger spearheads the firm's market-leading resolution planning work for domestic and international financial institutions, including Capital One and Credit Suisse - work which includes the development of global strategies for resolution as well as advice on optimal debt and equity strategies in response to changing US and global requirements. Krimminger has also been a pivotal presence on many of the firm's fintech-related mandates, including helping Paxos Trust Company become the first US-chartered and regulated virtual currency exchange. The 'excellent' Derek Bush continues to represent domestic and foreign banks on Volcker Rule matters, including providing advice on permissible activity under the rule, as well as on the restructuring and spinning out of trading and fund operations to minimize its impact. In addition to her banking M&A and anti-money laundering (AML) expertise, Katherine Mooney Carroll is also well regarded in the market for her Volcker Rule knowledge. 'Very experienced' senior counsel Jack Murphy is noted for his bank regulatory expertise, while on the trading front, New York-based Edward Rosen and Colin Lloyd continue to advise many large US banks on how to restructure their swap-dealer businesses to comply with Dodd-Frank and also regularly act for Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on derivatives matters. Attorneys are based in Washington DC, unless otherwise indicated.
International litigation Tier 1
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's reputable practice group claims the world’s leading corporations, financial institution, sovereigns, and senior executives as its clients. Carmine Boccuzzi and John Blackman are defending a consortium of banks, which include the National Westminster Bank, Credit Lyonnais, Commerzbank and BNP Paribas in several different lawsuits under the US Anti-Terrorism Act, spanning three different US district courts. Elsewhere in the banking space, Lawrence Friedman was part of a team that advised global banks such as HSBC on the defense of matters arising from the Bernie Madoff scandal. Other key contacts in New York include Jeffrey Rosenthal and Howard Zelbo, while Washington DC-based contacts include securities litigator Jared Gerber, and Matthew Slater, who regularly acts for foreign governments. Nowell Bamberger in Washington DC was made partner, as was Rahul Mukhi, who is recommended for his expertise in cyber security.
International tax Tier 1
At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, the team continues to advise on multibillion-dollar cross-border deals. Partners Yaron Reich and Corey Goodman are representing packaging company Bemis in relation to its $6.8bn all-stock combination with Amcor. Goodman continues to represent Alphabet/Google in connection with its $1.1bn business cooperation agreement with HTC Corporation and its acquisition of Socratic Inc, a company that specializes in e-learning. Jason Factor represented International Flavors & Fragrances, a major producer of scent, taste and nutrition, in its $7.1bn acquisition of Frutarom Industries, a flavors, savory solutions and natural ingredients company. Meyer Fedida works with numerous private equity firms and recently advised The Carlyle Group on its acquisition of an approximately 31% stake in The TCW Group. The deal spanned the US, Japan and Grenada. All named lawyers practice out of the New York office.
M&A litigation: defense Tier 1
'In all areas of litigation defense, they are extremely Intelligent, knowledgeable, thoughtful, strategic, reasonable and prepared, and deliver what I think is the best outcome', says a client of the team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, which climbs the ranking this year. Clients also note that the core team of Meredith Kotler, Roger Cooper and up-and-coming partner Jared Gerber in New York is 'consistently excellent'. The firm is widely seen as having cornered the market for defending aiding-and-abetting claims and Kotler acted in such a case for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which served as financial adviser to Avista Corporation in its acquisition of HydroOne Limited, which is pending in Washington Superior Court. Cooper represented Syntura in actions arising from the take-private of the company, which were dismissed with prejudice by the judge in Delaware. He also defended Kindred Healthcare in shareholder derivative litigation brought in state court in Kentucky connected to its acquisition of RehabCare.
Merger control Tier 1
The antitrust attorneys at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are 'consistently excellent business and legal advisers; they provide practical guidance in an easy-to-understand format' and are described by one client as 'the best in the world overall'. Mark Nelson, Daniel Culley, George Cary, Mark Leddy and Jeremy Calsyn are currently advising T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom on T-Mobile's merger with Sprint. Cary and Kenneth Reinker also represented 21st Century Fox in the $71.3bn acquisition by Walt Disney of some of its assets; newly promoted counsel Cunzhen Huang worked with the firm's Brussels team to advise Disney on the same deal. Also notable are Elaine Ewing - who represented Dow in its blockbuster $130bn merger with DuPont - and Dave Gelfand, who advised Essilor on its merger with Luxottica. Brian Byrne 'truly understands clients' businesses, industries and market dynamics in a way that allows him to provide better counsel' and is also a key contact alongside Leah Brannon. Above-named attorneys are based in Washington DC, while Culley splits his time between Washington DC and Brussels.
Shareholder activism Tier 1
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton handles a range of work for well-known corporates against leading activist managers. Ethan Klingsberg and Pamela Marcogliese advised Lowe's on its defense of an activism campaign by DE Shaw and Pershing Square Capital Management; counsel Elizabeth Bieber was also involved in this mandate. Klingsberg, Marcogliese and Paul Tiger also advised Tiffany & Co on a settlement with JANA Partners. Additionally, Klingsberg and James Langston advised Akamai technologies on negotiations with Elliott Management. Joon Kim (who rejoined the firm from a position as US attorney for the southern district of New York) worked with Klingsberg and Langston for Hyundai Motor Corporation in its defense of an activist campaign brought by Elliott Management. Turning to work for candidates, Klingsberg, Tiger and Giovanni Prezioso acted for Broadcom's nominees in its proxy contest as part of its $123.1bn hostile offer for Qualcomm.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advises a number of industry associations on cleared derivative regulations, and has 'unparalleled expertise in agency transactions', where it has been especially active in equity deals such as forward hedging and accelerated share repurchase transactions. In one standout matter, Michael Dayan acted for Advance/Newhouse Partnership as counterparty to a collar plus revolving loan transaction, which was secured by six million exchangeable partnership units in Charter Communications Holding. Additionally, Dayan and David Lopez advised Credit Suisse International (CSI) on a variable forward transaction with De Agostini, and advised Credit Suisse Securities, as underwriter, on a related equity offering to establish CSI's hedge position in relation to the forward transaction. Another key figure is Colin Lloyd, who has expertise in crypto trading, and recently assisted Paxos Trust Company with the development of a blockchain trading platform for the settlement of gold bullion trading through the London OTC market. In the regulatory space, Lloyd and senior counsel Edward Rosen are advising SIFMA and Institute of International Bankers on issues arising from the harmonization of SEC and CFTC rules with respect to security-based swaps. Seth Grosshandler moved into a senior counsel role in 2018.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 1
According to one client, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton possesses ‘one of the most distinguished tax practices in the US’ and leverages its ‘strong’ corporate team in transactional M&A work, in addition to maintaining a strong track-record in capital markets transactions and real estate matters. In a display of its skills in private equity and investment funds, Jason Factor and Corey Goodman are continuing to act for long-term client Warburg Pincus and its portfolio companies in various transactions, such as Allied Universal's recently closed $1bn acquisition of US Security Associates from Goldman Sachs. Factor and Meyer Fedida also worked on the formation of various private equity funds and transactions on behalf of TPG, including TPG Asia VII, the seventh fund in the TPG Asia and its investments in Uber Technologies. Other highlights include assisting Honeywell on the tax-free spin-off of its Homes and ADI Global Distribution business, and structuring the $1.1bn business cooperation agreement between its client, Alphabet, and HTC Corporation. William McRae is the ‘go-to’ figure for structuring in-bound investments, private equity and REITs. James Duncan, Erika Nijenhuis, Yaron Reich and senior counsel James Peaslee are also of note. All lawyers are based in New York.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s New York-based practice is characterized by its ‘great commercial sense’, ‘strong negotiation skills’ and ‘solution-oriented service’. The group, which is a popular choice for both issuers and managers, is also widely recognized for its expertise in global, particularly Latin America-related, deals. Among its recent issuer representations, Sung Kang advised Western Digital on its $2.3bn senior notes offering. Kang also paired up with Craig Brod to advise Alcoa on a $500m notes offering. On the manager side, David Lopez advised the initial purchasers on concurrent high-yield notes offerings by finance subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, worth $1.2bn and €700m, respectively, and listed on the Global Exchange Market of the Irish Stock Exchange. In another notable cross-border deal, Duane McLaughlin advised the initial purchasers on a €650m high-yield global debt offering by Mexico cement giant CEMEX. Other recommended names include Jeffrey Karpf, who advised the underwriters on JELD-WEN’s $800m high-yield dual tranche notes offering; Latin America specialist Jorge Juantorena; and experienced counsel David Webb.
General commercial disputes Tier 2
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is a preeminent firm for financial services litigation and also maintains a broad and busy commercial litigation practice, representing domestic and multinational corporations and financial institutions. Carmine Boccuzzi, Lawrence Friedman and Jonathan Blackman secured a victory for BNP Paribas at the DC Circuit when it affirmed the district court's dismissal of a complaint against the company brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act. In recent developments, Joon Kim returned to the firm after serving as Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Abena Mainoo, Rahul Mukhi and Washington DC-based Alexis Collins were promoted to partner. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in New York, where Thomas Moloney, Meredith Kotler and Rishi Zutshi are also located.
International arbitration Tier 2
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is 'an outstanding group', comprising 'passionate lawyers with practical experience' in the arbitration space. The team acted for the Russian Federation on several successful matters, which included the annulment of arbitral awards totaling up to $50bn. Other highlights included representing Telecom Italia in a $15bn ICC arbitration, which was led by 'absolute leader' John Blackman, who divides time between the New York and London offices. In particular, Blackman is noted for his 'second to none approach in delivering the right message to the bench'. Washington DC-based Matthew Slater and Carmine Boccuzzi represented the Republic of Argentina in an ICSID arbitration brought under the Argentina-Italy bilateral investment treaty. Also recommended are Lawrence Friedman, David G. Sabel (who splits his time between New York and London) and Ari MacKinnon, who is noted for Latin American-facing mandates. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 2
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is consistently in the frame for bet-the-company M&A engagements. It is praised for its 'skill and sophistication', with one client highlighting its 'management of a very complex transaction with great expertise'. The firm has earned further recognition for its roles in global consolidation transactions and in representing corporate targets in high-value leveraged buyouts. It continues to set the benchmark in big-ticket tech transactions; the team advised Alphabet/Google on its internal spin-offs of Loon and Wing Aviation, on its $1.1bn business cooperation agreement with HTC and on its acquisition of Socratic, the e-learning company. In the global consolidation space, it advised GiVi Holding Donatella Versace, and Versace’s CEO Jonathan Akeroyd on the $2.13bn sale of Versace to Michael Kors Holdings and advised Flavors & Fragrances on its $7.1bn acquisition of Israel-based Frutarom Industries. Moreover, it advised Kindred Healthcare on its $4.1bn acquisition by a consortium of TPG Capital, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Humana; the deal then involved the home health, hospice and community care businesses being separated into a standalone company owned by Humana, TPG and Welsh Carson, while the LTAC hospitals, IRFs and contract rehabilitation services businesses were split into a specialty hospital company owned by TPG and Welsh Carson. The firm's leading antitrust expertise is a crucial factor in the standing of the M&A department. Key partners include Ethan Klingsberg, Christopher Austin, Glenn McGrory and Paul Shim. Benet O’Reilly is 'always available and gives solid, practical advice when novel issues present'. Though less involved in transactions these days, Victor Lewkow deserves credit for the firm's increased prominence in M&A over recent years and he remains a source of expertise and knowledge for colleagues to lean on. James Langston and Paul Tiger are emerging names in strategic M&A and private equity buyouts. Kimberly Spoerri is praised for her relatively recent successful transition from associate to partner.
The 'pragmatic' team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has been kept busy handling multibillion-dollar fund formation work, particularly Asia-facing funds. Elizabeth Lenas and Michael Gerstenzang continue to advise prominent managers such as TPG, TSSP and KKR with a range of fund formation matters. Lenas also advised an Asia-based manager on forming a $10.6bn fund. Gerstenzang and Adrian Leipsic assist Blackstone with a range of fund-related matters, and Robert Raymond, who advises Angelo, Gordon & Co, is another key name. The team is based in New York.
Real estate Tier 2
The ‘very responsive and organized’ Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advises lenders, borrowers and issuers on wide range of matters including multi-state mortgage and mezzanine loan transactions, intercreditor agreements, asset-based warehouse lending, credit tenant lease financing, acquisitions and dispositions and joint ventures. Typical developments the firm advises on include office and industrial buildings, hotels, shopping centers, multifamily residences and casinos. Steven Wilner and Kimberly Brown Blacklow advised a syndicate of banks, comprising Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BMO Capital Markets, Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank, RBC Capital Markets and The Toronto-Dominion Bank as arrangers for Brookfield Asset Management’s $11.4bn acquisition of Forest City Realty Trust. Newly promoted partner Joseph Lanzkron recently advised ESL Investments, the hedge fund of Sears CEO Edward Lampert, on the sale of $1.5bn of Sears real estate. Steven Horowitz acted for Kindred Healthcare on its $4.1bn acquisition by TPG Capital, Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe and Humana. Daniel Reynolds acted for Mapletree Investments on its acquisition of a $2.4bn portfolio of 164 US industrial assets from Exeter Property Group. In another recent highlight, the firm advised AllianceBernstein on a $40.8m mortgage loan to an affiliate of AJ Capital Partners for the purchase of the Annapolis Loews Hotel. All named attorneys are based in New York.
The ‘deeply knowledgeable’ Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has ‘a hands-on and practical approach to restructuring matters’. The practice is ‘particularly strong in cross-border cases’, with a deep understanding of ‘the legal nuances of each jurisdiction’ and is recommended as ‘the premiere law firm on Latin America restructurings’. The firm is acting as counsel to an ad hoc group of over 70 bondholder institutions in relation to the landmark restructuring of Brazilian telecoms provider Oi, which involves over $20bn in debt issued or guaranteed by the company. In a domestic matter, the department is representing ESL Investments and its affiliates as the largest creditor and equity holder in Sears Holdings Corporation’s ongoing Chapter 11 proceedings. The firm’s involvement includes advice relating to ESL’s pre-petition financings, a potential debtor-in-possession loan and acquisitions via court-approved sale. From New York, the ‘technically gifted and pragmatic’ Lisa Schweitzer leads the practice with ‘standout practitioner’ Richard Cooper. Also notable in the team is the ‘practical, cordial and even-handed’ Sean O’Neal; and the ‘extremely responsive’ Luke Barefoot, who is ‘sharp in his legal analysis and sets the right tone in communication’.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton had a prominent role in some of the most high-profile matters in the market last year, which included its representation of Petrobras in the largest securities litigation ever brought against a non-US company. Roger Cooper, who is co-head of the practice with Meredith Kotler, and a team that included up-and-coming partner Jared Gerber acted for the company in matters that, at one point, included a class action and more than 35 separate individual opt-out actions brought by more than 400 investors in Petrobras American depositary shares and bonds; a favorable settlement in the class action was affirmed last year, while other matters are at the appeal stage. Cooper and Gerber also acted for Sky Solar Holdings in a class action in New York alleging that the company made misstatements and omissions concerning its internal controls, the experience and qualifications of its former CEO, and its business prospects. Lewis Liman, who was involved in the Petrobras case, is also recommended.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's Washington DC-based team is recognized for its 'sharp attention to detail' and its 'quick turnaround', which have contributed to it winning 'an extensive pipeline of transactions that give it exposure to the most up-to-date market standards and practices'. The team is well known for advising its extensive bank-side client base on a range of ABS and MBS, and has been among the most active arranger's counsels in the CLO market. In a standout highlight, highly recommended department head Michael Mazzuchi advised Bank of America on the creation of an asset-based lending platform to offer leveraged credit to hedge funds and other loan investors. Another key figure is Mitchell Dupler, who acted for underwriters such as Amherst Pierpoint, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley in approximately $65bn of agency mortgage-backed securities offerings in the first six months of 2018. Recently promoted counsel Macey Levington assisted arrangers, including Citigroup Global Markets, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Nomura with a litany of CLO deals in 2018, though the CLO practice took a hit with the retirement of Joyce McCarty, and the departure of Paul St Lawrence, who joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in early 2019.
Patents: licensing Tier 3
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton shoulders an impressive corporate licensing caseload, often acting for high-profile clients in strategic transactions. Recent examples include advising Google on the patent licensing aspects of its $1.1bn cooperation agreement with HTC and assisting Honeywell on the licensing components of its homes and ADI Global Distribution spin-off, which involved a complex patent cross-licensing agreement. A consumer product sector highlight was the representation of 3M on the licenses affecting its $2bn acquisition of Scott Safety from Johnson Control. Practice heads Daniel Ilan, Leonard Jacoby and David Herrington are based in New York. Other clients include American Express, Lavazza and Henkel.
Private equity buyouts Tier 3
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has a less strictly-defined private equity practice compared to its natural competitors, with its key partners operating across the corporate transactional spectrum. This approach has not diminished its capability of attracting big-name private clients, which include the likes of TPG, Warburg Pincus, Carlyle and The Raine Group. Moreover, it has succeeded in winning work from non-traditional sponsors such as sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family offices; these include Temasek and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The team advised Kindred Healthcare on its $4.1bn acquisition by a consortium of TPG Capital, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Humana; the company was then divided in two, with TPG and Welsh Carson taking exclusive ownership of some specialist assets including long-term acute care hospitals. In another headline deal, it advised Warburg Pincus and Allied Universal (a portfolio company of Wendel) on its $1bn acquisition of US Security Associates from Goldman Sachs. Paul Shim and David Leinwand are the senior figures in the team with both having a long track record of advising TPG and Warburg Pincus respectively. James Langston and Paul Tiger are increasingly prominent members of the private equity community.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton assists clients with data protection regulation compliance in multiple jurisdictions, incident notification and response, privacy and cybersecurity provisions in vendor contracts, data usage and litigation. Litigator Jonathan Kolodner and IP transaction expert Daniel Ilan jointly head the practice. Highlights included advising Canada-based software company OpenText on data breaches, cybersecurity and privacy related to M&A and SEC disclosures, and assisting multinational conglomerate Honeywell with data transfer issues and global compliance with privacy and data protection laws. Washington DC-based Katherine Mooney Carroll specializes in advice to financial institutions. Rahul Mukhi and Washington DC’s Alexis Collins were made partners in January 2019. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise specified.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advises investors, developers and sponsors, production facilities and utilities companies on exploration and production activities, refining and marketing activities, and the development and commercial operation of pipelines, liquefied natural gas facilities and gas to liquids projects. Based in New York, the practice is headed by Richard Cooper, who focuses on domestic and international restructurings, and Jeffrey Lewis, who has expertise in emerging market transactions. Also in the New York office, Nicolas Grabar, Francesca Odell and David Lopez acted for Petróleo Brasileiro in several transactions, including an abbreviated five-day exchange offer and related tender offer, with offerings totaling $8.5bn; a $2bn SEC-registered debt offering; and several multibillion-dollar debt purchase transactions.
Technology transactions Tier 4
The New York-based team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is especially active in the healthcare, IT, banking and consumer products sectors, where it advises on technology licensing, IP agreements and large R&D projects. Joint practice heads Daniel Ilan and Leonard C. Jacoby advised Henkel on a $485m IP matter in connection with its acquisition of the hair professional business Zotos International. In addition, the team assisted American Express with the back-end and front-end technology aspects of its co-brand credit card partnership with Amazon. Other recent highlights included advising Google on a $1.1bn business corporation agreement with HTC, which included the acquisition of a license for HTC’s intellectual property; and assisting FIFA with the evaluation of the United States’ bid to host the 2026 Soccer World Cup, which involved various merchandizing, brand and copyright considerations.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has particular expertise in transactions in the electricity sector, including power generation, distribution and transmission agreements. The team is based in New York and is jointly headed by Richard Cooper, who focuses on domestic and international restructurings, and Jeffrey Lewis, who specializes in financing transactions. Acting alongside colleagues in South America, Lewis acted for Enel in connection with its $1.5bn acquisition of a 73% stake in Eletropaulo by way of a highly disputed public tender.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has a strong, multi-disciplinary borrower-side team with 'technical skills that are second to none'. Praised for its 'availability and responsiveness', the practice group was involved in several major global acquisition financings in 2018. In one example, the team advised Brazilian pulp and paper company Suzano Papel e Celulose on the $9.2bn financing linked to its merger with domestic rival Fibria Celulose. The team also advised Honeywell International on the $3.7bn financing for the spin-off of its transportation systems business, Garrett Motion, and the spin-off of its homes and ADI global distribution business, Resideo Technologies. Based in the firm's New York office, the practice group is jointly led by Meme Peponis ('unflappable and always working to find a creative solution'), Duane McLaughlin, and Amy Shapiro.
With experience in the infrastructure and energy sectors and a strong Latin America practice, the team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is primarily known for its sponsor-side expertise. In an example of the team’s Latin American prowess, Jorge Juantorena advised the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation and Aeropuertos Auxiliares on the $11.8bn multi-stage financing for the construction and development of the Mexico City international airport. Further, Chantal Kordula advised Jinko Solar, and the project SPV Cordillera Solar I, on the financing of a 80MW solar farm in San Juan, Argentina. Also of note, department head Richard Lincer, who is a 'true expert in every way', advised Port Newark Container Terminal on the $274m offering by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority of special facility revenue and refunding bonds. Lincer also advised DP World on its acquisition of Cosmos Agencia Maritima (CAM) from Andino. Jeffrey Lewis, the 'very diligent' Adam Brenneman, Richard Cooper and Nicolas Grabar are also key figures. Named individuals are based in New York.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton > Firm Profile
The firm : Cleary Gottlieb is a pioneer in globalizing the legal profession. Since 1946, the firm’s lawyers and staff have worked across practices, industries, jurisdictions and continents to provide clients with simple, actionable approaches to their most complex legal and business challenges.
The firm has 16 offices in major financial centers around the world. However, Cleary operates as a single, integrated global partnership, not a US firm with a network of overseas locations. The firm is fluent in the many languages of local and global business, and Cleary’s consistent success in multiple jurisdictions earned Cleary an International Law Firm of the Year award.
The firm employs approximately 1,300 lawyers from more than 50 countries and diverse backgrounds who are admitted to practice in numerous jurisdictions. Cleary was among the first international law firms to hire and promote non-US lawyers as equal partners around the world.
Areas of practice: With approximately 700 lawyers combined in the firm’s New York and Washington, DC offices, Cleary offers clients robust experience in more than 60 practice areas. All of Cleary’s clients enjoy access to the full resources of its offices and lawyers worldwide, and many of the firm’s US-based attorneys have served in one or more of its international locations.
Cleary’s practices are organized in the following areas:
Corporate: Cleary advises clients on a host of transactional matters that protect and advance their strategic goals. Its lawyers have crafted solutions resulting in a number of first-of-their kind deals, as well as some of the largest, most complex transactions involving cross-border issues. Among other transactional areas, Cleary provides experience in:
- Capital markets
- Corporate restructurings
- Derivatives and structured finance
- Leveraged and acquisition finance
- Mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures
- Private equity transactions
- Private fund formation
- Project finance
- The myriad corporate governance, intellectual property, executive compensation, tax, and related issues that companies and their boards face
Dispute Resolution: With the increasingly global nature of disputes, Cleary is well-positioned to help clients navigate their most challenging adversarial issues. Firm engagements frequently involve complex legal issues that require novel solutions and cross-border coordination of the firm’s varied resources, allowing Cleary to pair its renowned corporate, regulatory, and financial experience with its litigation prowess. Cleary’s US practice includes 11 former federal prosecutors and several former senior government officials, including the most recent Chief Litigation Counsel for the SEC’s Enforcement Division. Cleary handles litigation and arbitration involving a wide variety of issues, such as:
- Derivatives litigation
- Employment law
- Executive compensation investment treaties
- General commercial disputes
- Intellectual property
- Sovereign debt
- White-collar crime
Regulatory: The US and global regulatory landscape is ever-changing, and Cleary lawyers continue to draw upon a breadth of experience to proactively advise clients on emerging issues, as well as respond to increasing regulatory scrutiny related to transactions or in connection with potential risks that can lead to litigation or enforcement action. The firm has significant experience in areas such as:
- Cybersecurity and privacy
- Environmental law
- Executive compensation and ERISA
- Financial institutions
- International trade
The team includes former senior officials of the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as two former General Counsel of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and two former General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Industries & Regions: Cleary applies its capabilities in these areas to provide advice and integrated services to governments and clients in a range of industries, including:
- Banking and financial institutions
- Financial technology
- Healthcare, Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals
- Private equity
- Real estate
- Technology, Media and Telecommunications
With its rich history as a preeminent international law firm, Cleary’s US-based lawyers also advise companies based in or doing business in different jurisdictions worldwide. Notably, the firm’s Latin America practice was founded over 55 years ago and today features more than 100 lawyers firm-wide, principally in its New York, Washington, Buenos Aires and São Paulo offices.
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Staff FiguresNumber of partners : 190 Number of other fee-earners : Approximately 1,300 :
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Capital markets: debt
- Capital markets: equity offerings
- Capital markets: global offerings
- Civil litigation/class actions: defense
- Corporate governance
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- Financial products
- Financial services litigation
- Financial services regulation
- International litigation
- International tax
- M&A litigation: defense
- Merger control
- Shareholder activism
- Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
- US taxes: non-contentious
- Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- General commercial disputes
- International arbitration
- M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- Real estate
- Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
- Securities litigation - defense
- Structured finance: securitization
- Patents: licensing
- Private equity buyouts
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Energy: transactions: oil and gas
- Technology transactions
- Energy: transactions: conventional power
- Commercial lending
- Project finance