The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Work +1 212 225 2000
Fax +1 212 225 3999
Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cologne, Frankfurt and 10 more

Matthew Slater

Work 1 202 974 1930
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton


Matthew D. Slater is a partner based in the Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Slater’s practice focuses on international investment-treaty and commercial arbitration. He also regularly represents clients in related international litigation and in a diverse range of matters in U.S. courts, including government regulatory and enforcement actions; constitutional law; commercial and securities law; and product liability litigation. Mr. Slater is also active in the firm’s pro bono practice, including pending litigation on behalf of a class of homeless people who have been denied the minimum wage for their work for evictions companies. In his international arbitration and litigation practice, Mr. Slater often represents foreign sovereign governments. Mr. Slater frequently writes and speaks on international litigation and arbitration issues. Recent publications include regular articles for The International Lawyer's annual year in review issue and authoring a chapter on the Energy Charter Treaty in Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Energy Sector, published by the Association for International Arbitration. In addition, Mr. Slater has addressed topics involving arbitration of complex energy disputes, enforcement of international arbitral awards, the Energy Charter Treaty, and investment treaty arbitration.


Mr. Slater joined the firm in 1985 and became a partner in 1992. In 1995, Mr. Slater was appointed Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Air Force, where he worked in government service until then rejoining the firm in 1999. Mr. Slater served as the Air Force’s dispute resolution specialist with responsibility for the department’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, overseeing major litigation concerning national security information and the military and state secrets privilege, tort claims, environmental claims, major bid protests before the General Accounting Office and in the federal courts, major contract claims, and base closures. He also was responsible for a range of matters including acquisitions, civilian and military personnel law, international agreements, intelligence and law enforcement oversight, military justice, investigations, fiscal and administrative law, information and privacy law, congressional and media relations, and contractor suspension and debarment. Mr. Slater was awarded the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.


  • Member, Members Consultative Group, Restatement Third, Project on The U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration, American Law Institute
  • Former Member, ICC Task Force on Arbitration Involving States or State Entities
  • Director, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  • Trustee, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law


Mr. Slater received a J.D. degree, cum laude, in 1983 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The University of Chicago Law Review. He received an undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1979. Mr. Slater served as law clerk to the late Judge Carl McGowan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and also practiced with a plaintiffs litigation firm in Charleston, West Virginia.

United States: Dispute resolution

International arbitration

Within: International arbitration

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.

[back to top]

International litigation

Within: International litigation

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.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to