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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

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Paul Shim

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton


Paul J. Shim is a partner based in the New York office. Mr. Shim's practice focuses on public and private merger and acquisition transactions for corporate, private equity, sovereign wealth fund and principal investor clients. He also provides advice regarding governance matters and the fiduciary duties of officers and directors to corporations and their boards, including advice related to shareholder activism preparation and response. Paul has been recognized multiple times as a “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer, and is ranked among leading M&A lawyers in all major directories.


Mr. Shim joined the firm in 1987 and became a partner in 1996.


Mr. Shim is a member of the Bars in New York and New Jersey and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as the District of New Jersey.


In 1987, Mr. Shim received a J.D. degree, cum laude, from New York University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Within: M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

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.

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Private equity buyouts

Within: Leading lawyers

Paul Shim - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Within: Private equity buyouts

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.

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