Firm Profile > Clifford Chance > Washington DC, United States

Clifford Chance
2001 K STREET NW
WASHINGTON DC 20006-1001
United States

Industry focus > Transport: aviation and air travel - finance Tier 1

Rated for its deep experience both in the aviation industry and in the financial services industry, Clifford Chance is routinely involved in the most significant aircraft and aviation transactions in the market. Jointly headed by John Howitt and Zarrar Sehgal, the team is perhaps best known for its operating lessor work, though it has a strong track record for advising clients across the spectrum of the market, including lending and arranging banks, investors, and export credit agencies. Howitt stands out for his experience of structured lease transactions and aircraft sale and purchase transactions, and Sehgal is recognized as a market leader for large public financing transactions and portfolio securitization and EETC transactions. Also recommended is Emily Wicker, who acted for Global Jet Capital, as servicer, and Business Jet Securities, as issuer, in a $674m ABS issuance. Other key figures include next generation partners Patrick O’Reilly and Madalyn Miller, who worked alongside Sehgal on two high-value ABS deals for client BBAM Aircraft management; and of counsel Fiona Henderson, a rising star in the team. All named individuals are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

John Howitt; Zarrar Sehgal

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘We find the entire team from Clifford Chance NY is very diligent and hardworking. They are so easy to work with. They produced the best quality work in their area.’

‘Excellent team, great commercially focussed advice and they have a lot of relevant market practice information as a result of the strength of their practice.’

Key clients

AerCap/ILFC

Avolon

AWAS

BBAM

Deutsche Bank

DVB Bank

GECAS

Global Jet Capital

Real estate > Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 1

Clifford Chanceconsistently stands out for the professionalism and profound knowledge of its members’. The team is active across the full range of REIT-related matters including debt and equity offerings and IPOs, roll-up transactions, joint ventures and financings. Non-US, cryptocurrency and other innovative REITs are also notable strengths of the department, which recently acted for CPA 17, a publicly held non-traded REIT, in relation to its merger with the commercial-focused net-lease REIT, W.P Carey. The transaction renders the combined REIT with a market capitalization in excess of $14bn. The department is headed by Jay Bernstein, an expert in capital raising and M&A activities. Based alongside them in New York is Jake Farquharson, praised as a ‘very experienced professional in REITs and capital markets’.

Practice head(s):

Jay Bernstein

Other key lawyers:

Kathleen Werner; Jake Farquharson; Andrew Epstein; Jason Myers

Testimonials

‘The team has always been close the REIT, understanding our needs, the situation in the market (Mexico, Hotels) and have always guided the company towards a good outcome. On top of finance and real estate advice, we have also used the firm to assist in items such as tax, regulation, among others.’

‘Jake Farquharson has always been smart, hardworking and customer focused. He has always understood our needs, aligned with the company’s way of working and been goal oriented to achieve good execution.’

‘The firm has consistently stood out for the professionalism and profound knowledge of its members. In the transactions I have worked with Clifford Chance (Jake Farquharson), the firm has played a very important role as a business partner, adding value not only on the strictly legal dimension, but also sharing its strong business judgement based on the experienced gained over years and years of practice.’

‘My comments will be primarily about Jake Farquharson. He is a very experienced professional in REITs and capital markets. He always has an example and/or experience to draw from prior deals. Furthermore, he has outstanding communication skills, is very good at creating rapport and trust from clients, and has an outstanding business judgment (well beyond the strictly legal dimension of the deals) all of which position him as a very valuable business partner in a given transaction.’

Key clients

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Aspen REIT

Cantor Fitzgerald

China Life Frontier Private Investment Fund

Colony Capital

Corporate Property Associates 17 – Global

Industrial Property Trust

iStar

Ready Capital Corporation

ReNew REIT

Tax > Financial products Tier 1

Clifford Chance's 'one-stop shop' tax practice acts for a number of banks and elite asset managers covering real estate and debt, and routinely handles cross-border mandates in conjunction with its London office. Names to note include David Moldenhauer, rated for his 'excellent knowledge' of CLO taxation; James Gouwar, who has particular expertise in the tax aspects of securitizations; and Michael Seaton, who is noted for his experience of tax matters in the areas of insurance, real estate and private equity.

Testimonials

‘One stop shop managing all aspects.’

‘David Moldenhauer has excellent knowledge.’

Key clients

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Berkshire Group

Colony Capital

Oak Street Real Estate Capital

Global Jet Capital

PIMCO

Bayview Asset Management

Goldman Sachs

ReNew REIT

Finance > Project finance

Clifford Chance has a multi-faceted team that comes highly recommended for major international projects. The firm's impressive network of offices, including those in Europe and Latin America, help make it a leading force in major Latin American infrastructure and energy projects. Much of that work is led by the US team, which is headed out of Washington DC by the highly rated Lori Ann Bean. The practice is especially strong on the lender side, but is also growing on the sponsor front, and has in the past year represented several clients on US development projects in the petrochemicals and manufacturing space. Other key individuals working in the capital include Fabricio Longhin  and Catherine McCarthy , who are well known for their Latin America expertise, as are Gianluca Bacchiocchi, Hugo Triaca, Chris Willott, and Guido Liniado in New York.

Practice head(s):

Lori Ann Bean

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Clifford Chance is an excellent law firm, characterized for their solvent and creative legal solutions, their availability, and their right attitude to attend the transactions’

‘The quality and efficiency of Catherine McCarthy and Alberto Haito’s work is exceptional’

‘The team has significant project finance expertise and LatAm market knowledge’

Key clients

IDB Invest

Goldman Sachs

Citibank

SMBC

JP Morgan

UBS

Santander

OPIC

Mizuho

Credit Suisse

IFC

Finance > Structured finance: securitization Tier 2

Clifford Chance handles a range of work, with a core focus on real estate-backed CLOs, RMBS/CMBS, as well as other debt assets. Washington DC's Robert Hagan is active in issuer-side mortgage deals, while Robert Villani's practice includes work for ultimate end-users. In particular, Villani and Lee Askenazi have handled a number of mandates for PIMCO. A key contact in the CLO space is Gareth Old, who acts primarily for CLO managers. Aside from Hagan, all named lawyers are based in the New York City office.

Practice head(s):

Robert Villani; Lee Askenazi

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Robert Villani and his CDO/securitization team are excellent.’

‘Business-like, knowledgeable, practical, good market color, sophisticated, user-friendly, good service orientation, nice people to deal with.’

Key clients

Bayview Asset Management

Benefit Street Partners (Providence Equity Partners)

Chimera Investment Corporation

Credit Suisse Asset Management

RREEF America

Waterfall Asset Management/ReadyCap Commercial

New York Life Investors

York CLO Managed Holdings

Apollo Global Management

PIMCO

Industry focus > Insurance: non-contentious Tier 2

Core strengths at Clifford Chance include advising start-up reinsurance companies, investment structuring, M&A bolt-on acquisitions, investment management arrangements, and new company formation. In this area, practice co-head Gary Boss advised Apollo Global Management on the formation of a Bermudan reinsurance vehicle to enter into collateralized reinsurance transactions. Other key offerings include advice on innovative investment strategies which combine lines of reinsurance risk with alternate investment strategies. Joint practice head Nick Williams has extensive experience in insurance regulatory and compliance work, and provided guidance to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on best practices for its insurance program in the US. Alternative capital and collateral management expert Analisa Dillingham is recommended for her ‘knowledge and practical sense’. Senior associates Dean Agnos and Kirsten Gaeta are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Gary Boss; Nick Williams

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Analisa Dillingham’s knowledge and practical sense are valuable to us’

‘The Clifford Chance team is tireless in providing exceptional client service and a high-quality work product’

‘They have deep industry and regulatory knowledge and very practical experience in transactional, tax, and regulatory matters for insurance and reinsurance’

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

Legal & General / William Penn

Chubb

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

AIG

Slice Labs

Mastercard

Watford

TIAA

Enstar

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Clifford Chance is well-situated to handle multi-jurisdictional investigations involving multiple regulatory authorities and government agencies, leveraging offices in London, Hong Kong and multiple EU jurisdictions. The group, which is instructed by an impressive list of financial institutions, has notable expertise in FCPA cases, as well as securities regulatory matters, and cases arising out of the cryptocurrency arena. Washington DC's David DiBari heads the team, and in addition to financial criminal representations, has a developing practice in economic sanctions and export control cases, and matters arising out of the US Patriot Act. Also in Washington DC, Joshua Berman is an anti-corruption expert. In New York, Celeste Koeleveld has significant experience dealing with regulatory agencies, while Christopher Morvillo is noted for cross-border investigations involving allegations of fraud.

Practice head(s):

David DiBari

Testimonials

Christopher Morvillo is very client focused, highly motivated to deliver exceptional results and a great strategist.’

The lawyers are able to genuinely leverage the firm’s global network, particularly in Asia, and deliver seamless support combined with expertise on engaging with US regulators.’

The team consists of very knowledgeable partners and associates who have industry experience and have a practical and effective approach to dispute resolution and advice.’

Unparalleled reputation – its key strengths are its rapport with prosecutors and the strength in depth of its team on both sides of the Atlantic

Key clients

Lawrence Hoskins, a former Alstom executive

Mike Lynch, founder of Autonomy

Mr. Bruce Ohr and Ms. Nellie Ohr

Swedbank

The Royal Bank of Scotland

UniCredit

Jeffrey Webb

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 3

Clifford Chance in New York climbs the ranking this year. It has a team of lawyers who have become 'serious players in the US as well as international arena for securities litigation defense', according to one client. The firm's US litigation practice is seamlessly integrated with its global team, which frequently represents large global financial institutions and companies in US securities litigation. Its sweet spot is acting for foreign clients in US litigation, which recently included cases relating to the alleged manipulation of Libor. 'If there's a cross-border complex case, you often see Clifford Chance in the mix', remarks one source. Practice head Robert Houck leads a 17-partner group that includes seven former federal prosecutors, as well as former senior regulators and prosecutors from other regulatory agencies including the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Key partners Jeff Butler and Anthony Candido and associate Benjamin Berringer are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Robert Houck

Testimonials

Clifford Chance, and in particular, Rob Houck, their NY litigation and investigations lead, are serious players in the US as well as international arena for securities litigation defense. They have been very busy in the last year, and I believe Rob and his team have recently resolved major class action litigations. They’re also involved in the ongoing global resolution of the LIBOR and other benchmark investigations and litigation around the world.

Clifford Chance represents clients facing multi-jurisdictional issues, with significant presence in the area of US jurisdiction over non-US entities. Rob has been building the US bench over the last few years – it’s an impressive team. The practice is international  and if there’s a cross-border complex case, you often see Clifford Chance in the mix.

Key clients

Bank of Montreal

Capital Dynamics

ICBC Standard Bank Plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Mike Lynch, founder of Autonomy

Santander Bank

Finance > Capital markets: global offerings

Creative, practical and efficient’, the US arm of global powerhouse Clifford Chance ‘reacts to clients’ needs with efficiency’, according to sources. Equally adept at issuer and underwriter-side work, the group leverages its extensive global network to advise a wide range of US and non-US corporates and investment banks on high-profile issuances. A strong performer in Latin America-related offerings, the New York-based team is active across the region, with recent strong showings in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador, among other countries. Significantly, debt transactions remain the mainstay of the practice and it handles a broad mix of corporate and sovereign bond offerings. Other notable sweet spots include REIT and infrastructure-related matters. Key contact Jonathan Zonis co-heads the Americas capital markets practice and has an emphasis on representing issuers and underwriters in cross-border equity and debt offerings. Hugo Triaca ‘exceeds expectations’ and is also noted for his strong focus on Latin American offerings — he is dual-qualified in the US and Colombia. Jake Farquharson is recommended for his experience in real estate-related global offerings, including REITs and Mexican FIBRAs.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Zonis

Other key lawyers:

Per Chilstrom; Jake Farquharson; Hugo Triaca

Testimonials

The team is widely respected.

A creative, thoughtful, practical and efficient group.’

The team provides prompt analysis and reacts to clients’ needs with efficiency.

Hugo Triaca is highly regarded for global offerings and exceeds expectations.’

Key clients

Banco do Brasil Securities LLC

BNDES

Government of Costa Rica

Credit Suisse

Empresas Públicas de Medellín E.S.P.

Goldman Sachs International

HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.

Klabin Finance S.A.

Watford Holdings Ltd.

Citigroup

Finance > Structured finance: derivatives and structured products Tier 3

Clifford Chance is particularly well placed to advise on structured issuances and derivatives matters involving elements of US and EU regulation. Key figures in the US team include Gareth Old, a dual US- and UK-qualified partner with experience acting for banks and financial investors; and David Felsenthal, who advises on a range of transactional and regulatory issues, and is also a member of the firm's fintech practice. Another name to note is Lee Askenazi, whose practice focuses on ABS and structured products. Matthew Lyons and James Cotins joined in June 2019 from Alston & Bird LLP.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Old; David Felsenthal

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical ability and very proactive in getting deals done (both in terms of anticipating and addressing issues, and also putting the hours in to turn docs on tight timelines). Their commercial approach to issues is always appreciated, and this is backed up by their exceptional market knowledge.’

‘Gareth Old has a breadth of knowledge and technical ability – he provides solutions.’

‘Greg Kahn is a stand-out drafter of complex commercial points – he takes a practical and well thought through approach to addressing issues.’

‘Strong understanding of deal-contingent hedging supported by great breadth of specialist advisers on regulatory and commercial matters globally. Great ability to coordinate advice across teams and jurisdictions.’

‘Greg Kahn is my first call on deal contingent hedging, he’s very knowledgeable, commercial and responsive.’

Key clients

Waterfall Asset Management

Ready Capital Corporation

Wells Fargo

Bayview Asset Management

Lakeview

Oceanview Reinsurance

Structured Finance Association

Goldman Sachs

AIG

Pacific Investment Management Company

M&G Investment

SIFM

ISDA

Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech Tier 3

Clifford Chance handles a range of transactional and regulatory work in the financial services sector, and in the area of fintech, the firm has shown experience of blockchain and smart contracts, insurtech, and a variety of other matters. Megan Gordon in Washington DC is a name to note for regulatory work, while David Felsenthal in New York is a contact for fintech transactions.

Tax > International tax Tier 3

Clifford Chance's tax team has a particularly strong reputation for REIT structuring and investment deals, and the taxation of structured financial products, including CLOs. The team is also well-placed to advise European multinationals on US-facing M&A. Philip Wagman led recent high-value M&A for Symrise (Germany) and Euromoney Institutional Investor (UK), and David Moldenhauer handled a strategic US acquisition for Europcar (France). Avrohom Gelber is a name to note for international securities transactions and CLO taxation. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Key clients

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Berkshire Group

Colony Capital

Oak Street Real Estate Capital

Global Jet Capital

Symrise

Euromoney Institutional Investor

AIG

National Storage Affiliates Trust

Volkswagen Group

Tax > US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3

Clifford Chance is rated for its 'very technical, strategic and responsive' tax team, with specialist expertise in the taxation of financial products, investment funds and REITs, and securitizations and structured finance deals. A key figure in the team is Avrohom Gelber, who specializes in the taxation of cross-border financing and investment deals, and also advises on the tax aspects of fund formation, corporate transactions, and complex financial products. Also recommended are David Moldenhauer, Philip Wagman and Michael Seaton. All named attorneys are based in the firm's New York office.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Firm is very technical, strategic and responsive. They are focused on finding a solution and are way more than just researching.’

‘Philip Wagman, our lead Tax Partner is extremely bright, strategic and regularly comes up with ideas to achieve our objectives; very broad tax technical knowledge base.’

Key clients

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Berkshire Group

Colony Capital

Oak Street Real Estate Capital

Global Jet Capital

Greystone & Co.

Hearst Corporation

Madison International Realty

National Storage Affiliates Trust

ReNew REIT

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 4

Clifford Chance operates seamlessly as one global group handling both commercial and investment treaty arbitration, on an ad hoc basis and also pursuant to the rules of all notable arbitral institutions. Splitting time between New York and Washington DC, Ignacio Suárez Anzorena has a wealth of experience in arbitration administered under the rules of the ICSID.

Other key lawyers:

Dispute resolution > International trade Tier 4

Clifford Chance’s trade practice is noted for its prominence in the area of international sanctions, where it acts for a varied client roster including industrial and tech enterprises, leading financial institutions, trading companies and global investors. In particular, multiple work highlights showcased the team's engagement with the US Office of Foreign Assets Control on sanctions-related issues, an area where department head George Kleinfeld is the key contact. The group includes several former government officials, prosecutors and senior practitioners, with managing partner David DiBari, Joshua Berman and Glen Donath all deserving of particular mention.

Practice head(s):

George Kleinfeld

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The firm’s trade compliance practice forms part of the integrated global group.  Very knowledgeable partners with a good mix of backgrounds.

Key clients

The London Metal Exchange

UniCredit

ZTE Corp.

Finance > Capital markets: equity offerings

Clifford Chance’s New York-based team is distinguished by its ability to link up with its premier US REITs practice to specialize in advising on REIT-related equity offerings, with a strong record in innovative deal structuring. Among its other key attributes, the firm’s ability to draw on its comprehensive global network also positions it as a key contender for cross-border transactions. Kathleen Werner co-heads the group and focuses on advising listed and non-listed REITs and underwriters on public and private securities offerings. Group co-lead, Jonathan Zonis, is noted for his strong record in Latin America-related offerings, especially deals involving Brazilian issuers. Jay Bernstein leads the REITs practice and is recognized for his experience in representing REITs and specialty finance companies on equity transactions. Andrew Epstein is also recommended for his specialist REIT expertise.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Zonis; Kathleen Werner

Other key lawyers:

Jay Bernstein; Per Chilstrom; Andrew Epstein; Larry Medvinsky; Jason Myers

Testimonials

Very creative, efficient and practical.

The team knows the market well, particularly Jay Bernstein and Andrew Epstein.

Key clients

Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Ready Capital Corporation

Empresas Públicas de Medellín E.S.P.

Corporación Andina de Fomento

Goldman Sachs International

iStar, Inc.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

Klabin Finance S.A.

Wells Fargo Securities

Finance > Capital markets: high-yield

A significant player in cross-border deals, Clifford Chance leverages its generous global network to consistently advise international issuers and banks in multi-jurisdictional offerings, with a focus on Latin America. The New York-based team is also recognized for its expertise in the specialty finance arena and it frequently advises alternative lenders, business development companies and private equity funds on high-yield debt transactions. Additionally, its ability to draw on strong skill sets in structured finance and project finance, both in the US and beyond, is also a significant differentiator. Key contact Gary Brooks has a broad finance practice and acts on a significant volume of high-yield debt matters, primarily on the bank side. Hugo Triaca is noted for his strong presence in Latin America-related deals, with his recent experience spanning Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Jonathan Zonis co-heads the Americas capital markets practice and is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Gary Brooks; Jonathan Zonis

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

British Airways

JP Morgan

Klabin Finance S.A.

Jefferies LLC

Oxford Finance LLC

Provident Funding Associates, L.P.

Sutherland Asset Management Corporation

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc.

iStar Financial

Industry focus > Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 4

Led from Washington DC by Fabricio Longhin and also including lawyers based out of New York, Clifford Chance's nine-partner projects team handles a range of bank and capital markets-related finance and refinancing work for sponsors, investors and lenders, both from a domestic and international perspective. Working alongside practitioners from across the firm's broad international network, should the need arise, the team has a particular sweet-spot advising the lenders (including export credit agencies) in relation to development bank and multilateral financings of Latin American projects. Catherine McCarthy  excels in such deals and recently advised the multilateral and development finance institutions (including IDB Invest) on the $108m project financing for the Bicentenario 125,2 MW renewable wind energy power plant located in the Province of Santa Cruz, Argentina. Another area of strength is the team's work for US-based financial investors and institutions in the financing or refinancing of projects via private placements.

Practice head(s):

Fabricio Longhin

Other key lawyers:

Lori Ann Bean; Catherine McCarthy; Chris Willott; Hugo Triaca; Alberto Haito; Jessica Springsteen

Key clients

IDB Invest

Goldman Sachs

Citibank

SMBC

JPMorgan

UBS

Santander

OPIC

Mizuho

Credit Suisse

IFC

Investment funds > Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 4

Clifford Chance provides comprehensive service to private equity sponsors and investors, advising on fund formation and management, and corporate, regulatory, and tax matters, often working in conjunction with offices throughout the firm's global network. Among the team's key clients are DWS, Credit Suisse, and Ares Management, reflecting its strength in acting both for financial institutions and funds. The practice is led by Roger Singer, who has extensive cross-border experience representing investors and sponsors, ranging from first-time funds to established institutions. Also recommended are Michael Sabin, who has experience working with buyout, real estate, infrastructure, and credit funds; and Victor Levy, a name to note for alternative investment strategies. All lawyers are in New York.

Practice head(s):

Roger Singer

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Berkshire Group

Capital Dynamics

C-III Capital Partners

Exeter Property Group

Madison International

H/2 Capital Partners

Colony Capital

Greystone

GSO Capital Partners

Basis Investment Group

Mercer Investment Management

AIG

AXA Investment Managers

Ares Management (through their Ivy Hill Asset Management affiliate)

Credit Suisse Asset Management

Melodeon Capital

Alignment Credit

TCW Asset Management

Oxford Finance

Real estate > Real estate Tier 4

Clifford Chance’s real estate department is geared towards cross-border transactions and the representation of foreign entities in their US real estate investments, both directly and via joint ventures. The finance team has expertise in mortgage and mezzanine loans, as well as in development, leasing, sales and acquisitions. The practice group is headed by Ness Cohen in New York, an expert in the formation of real estate funds and fund investments. Investment banks, real estate funds, and other finance institutions make up the bulk of the core client base.

Practice head(s):

Ness Cohen

Other key lawyers:

Eddie Frastai; Jeanne Roig-Irwin

Testimonials

‘Very high quality team up and down – literally from the partners to the associates and on to the paralegals. Highly dedicated and client-focused. Business minded and solution driven. Focused on the task at hand yet strategic and not myopic. Wide ranging experience with the ability to call upon additional resource or expertise as needed. Responsive, diligent and thorough. Proactive and not reactive.’

‘Ness Cohen is my main contact. He very commercial and business oriented. He understands how we succeed and what our goals are and works as an extension of our business. He anticipates well such that we do not feel like we are on the back foot and reacting. He is high quality, engaged and very responsive.’

‘Jeanne Roig-Irwin is an associate that works with Ness who is bright, diligent and a star.’

Key clients

Acme Equities

Alliven Group

Almanac Realty Investors

Amherst Residential

Deutsche Finance Group

J. Safra Real Estate (JSRE Acquisitions)

Hone Capital (f/k/a CSC Group International Corp)

KKR

Madison International Realty

MEAG Munich Ergo Asset Management

National Storage Affiliates Trust

ReNew REIT

Stockbridge Capital Partners

Safra National Bank of New York

YES! Communities

Antitrust > Merger control Tier 5

The antitrust department at Clifford Chance has strengthened its bench in Washington DC significantly over the course of 2019. Most importantly, Sharis Pozen joined the department from a senior in-house post at General Electric in May 2019 to assume the position as global antitrust co-head. Together with US antitrust practice head Timothy Cornell in Washington DC, she is developing a team equipped specifically to assist clients with cutting-edge topics such as standard setting, big data, biosimilars and platform investigations. The firm advises clients from industrials, telecoms and technology sectors on a wide range of merger control matters including the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. In March 2020, the practice received an additional boost with the arrival of Peter Mucchetti from the DOJ, where he served as Chief of the Antitrust Division's Healthcare and Consumer Products Section.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Cornell; Sharis Pozen

Other key lawyers:

Michael Van Arsdall

Testimonials

‘Experienced team with a global perspective.’

Key clients

S&P Global

CVC Capital Partners

Henkel

Partners Group AG

Mitsubishi

L’Oréal

The Carlyle Group

General Electric

Symrise AG

JP Morgan

Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 5

Clifford Chance’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice is headed by New York-based Howard Adler, who advises on equity compensation and pension plan terminations in the context of M&A transactions. Given the global reach of the firm, clients are often premier multinational names in private equity and financial services. A solid ERISA fiduciary practice is provided to asset managers, with recent matter highlights involving third-party mortgage securitization programs and the establishment of cross-border REIT platforms.

Practice head(s):

Howard Adler

Key clients

Actis LLP

Benefit Street Partners

Credit Suisse Asset Management, LLC

Deutsche Alternative Asset Management (Global)

Hearst

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

National Titanium Dioxide Company (Cristal)

OpCapita

Euromoney

Europcar

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 6

David Brinton heads up the M&A practice at Clifford Chance, which is active in a range of industries, particularly real estate, pharmaceuticals, and industrials, with notable clients including Pfizer, Hearst and Cristal. The firm's international reach allows it to work on complex cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions, a recent example of which is the acquisition of Aircastle by a consortium of Japanese companies; the firm acted for the Japanese acquirers in this deal. Key names in the practice include Benjamin Sibbett, who is very active in international deals in several key industries, and Sarah Jones, who works closely with the team's multinational clients, and took a leading role in deals on behalf of Pfizer and Cristal. All partners named are in New York.

Practice head(s):

David Brinton

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

We were delighted with the team at Clifford Chance. John Healy was masterful and very helpful in guiding us through the sale of our business. In addition to helping us through complicated and drawn-out negotiations with our ultimate buyer, he also helped manage our internal constituencies well. We were also impressed with Philip Wagman in tax. We have a decades long relationship with Roger Singer, who is tremendous. In addition, Christine Kim is a strong associate on their team.

Key clients

Hearst

S&P Global

Pfizer

Mondelēz International

The National Titanium Dioxide Company Limited (Cristal)

Europcar

Opcapita

Textron

Informa

Symrise

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)

Seward & Kissel LLP has considerable expertise in M&A in the investment management and shipping industries, though the firm's strengths also extend to the media, real estate and business services sectors. The team regularly acts for private equity firms, international businesses and financial services companies in a huge variety of domestic and cross-border corporate and financing transactions. James Abbott co-heads the ‘incredibly strong team’, and has vast experience in international sell-side M&A, private equity deals and joint venture transactions. Joint practice head Craig Sklar is a name to note for venture capital transactions, and Nick Katsanos has niche experience of corporate matters in the veterinary sector. Senior associate Danielle Lemberg is also recommended. All named attorneys are in New York.

Practice head(s):

James Abbott; Craig Sklar

Other key lawyers:

Nick Katsanos; Gerhard Anderson; Meir Grossman; Danielle Lemberg

Testimonials

‘Incredibly strong team’

‘Thorough knowledge of investment management industry’.

‘Excellent understanding of deal dynamics and ability to propose adapted solutions’.

 ‘Unique capabilities for a mid-size law firm that is second to none’. 

‘They were able to provide not only legal support but sound business advice with a focus on what was important and what was not’. 

‘A class act at a reasonable price point’.               

 ‘Strategic thinking on how to manage the process and the various parties involved in the transaction’.

‘James (Jim) Abbott was the senior statesman on our deal and offered strategic guidance on key terms and issues, as well as encyclopedic knowledge of industry norms and standards’.

‘Nick Katsanos was a true workhorse who solved complex problems, was proactive in managing the process to completion, and became a confidant to our CEO on key issues’.

‘Craig Sklar and Gerhard Anderson are hands on, practical attorneys who provide clients with different alternatives and methodologies that bring all parties to where they want to be with respect to a merger or acquisition’.

Key clients

iM Global Partner

Sandler O’Neill + Partners

Ocean Rig UDW Inc.

Agrifos Partners

Marex Spectron

First Long Island Investors

TIG Advisors

DryShips Inc.

Kudu Investment Management

Pet Emergency & Specialty Care of Marin

TOPO Research LLC

Projects and energy > Projects and energy

Clifford Chance is unsurpassed in terms of its breadth of expertise and geographic coverage. It routinely captures market share in hot markets and is rarely left behind by competitors. Clients range from commercial banks and investment banks, to development finance institutions (DFIs), multilateral agencies (MLAs), institutional investors and sponsors and developers. It has also impressed by leveraging its extensive network, from Sao Paulo to New York, Washington DC, Madrid and beyond. Despite Argentina's recent economic woes, the firm continued to advise on a significant number of projects linked to the country's public-private partnerships (PPP) programme, especially on the lender side. Colombia, Peru and Paraguay have also been important markets, while Brazil is beginning to show promise for the team. The firm has continued to demonstrate leadership in private placement financings, notably those linked to wind farms in Peru. It continues to be at the forefront of project bonds in the region and has also further developed its standing in hybrid financing structures. Gianluca Bacchiocchi is 'the go to guy for many of the banks' on project bonds, and has impressed further in hybrid financings and PPPs in Argentina. Washington DC partner Fabricio Longhin continues to earn multiple accolades, derived in part from his leadership in Argentina and Colombia infrastructure projects, including road PPPs in the former, along with multi-source financings in Paraguay. Washington DC's Lori Ann Bean and Catherine McCarthy continue to be at the forefront of MLA and DFI financings in Latin America, while Madrid partner José Guardo is an increasingly prominent figure in Spanish-driven financings. New York's Guido Liniado  has been elevated to partner, while Washington DC's Alberto Haito and Jessica Springsteen are key names at associate level.

International arbitration > International arbitration

Clifford Chance fields a team of 'amazing legal experts' who are able to 'quickly put down strategies for the short and long term' and have 'a high understanding of business technical issues'. Ignacio Suárez Anzorena  is' just the guy you want in your corner' - he is 'full of energy' and gives 'high-level advice for every situation' -, and José García Cueto is 'deeply familiar with all the complex aspects revolving the world of arbitration'; both are particularly recommended for construction-related arbitration in the energy, infrastructure, and oil and gas sectors. The firm is advising an investor in an ICSID investment treaty dispute against the Republic of Panama, and is representing Galway Gold in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Colombia concerning certain concession rights which have been affected by environmental measures adopted by Colombia. Janet Whittaker is also recommended.

Banking and finance > Banking and finance

Clifford Chance has seen a further uptick in bulge-bracket financings across Latin America. With a growth in large-cap deals in Brazil, this has further favoured a firm that has an especially strong record in Latin America's largest economy. This should not detract from its experience elsewhere, as the firm 'does a very good job of covering the territory and has a strong fleet of Spanish speakers'. Syndicated loans and trade and commodities finance have been a particular feature of its Brazil work, while project finance is flourishing right across the region. The firm has built a particularly formidable position in Colombia and Argentina project financings and is recognised for its experience in restructurings in Brazil and Mexico, including in the offshore oil-and-gas sectors. From a historical reliance on multilateral agency (MLA) and development finance institution (DFI) clients, the firm has successfully diversified its client base to also include a range of key commercial banks, alternative lenders and corporate borrowers. Clients now include Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, CVC Capital Partners, Franklin Square Asset Management, Rialto Capital, Sealed Air and Siemens. It advised BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, Mizuho and Rabobank on the $9.2bn acquisition financing of Suzano Papel e Celulose's $11bn acquisition of Fibria; the financing involved a bridge loan facility and an export prepayment facility. The firm also advised Supercanal, the Argentine cable, television and internet provider, on its $400m restructuring involving Chapter 15 proceedings and a tender offer for its $300m New York law-governed notes. The team 'always meets its commitments and takes initiative more than any other firm to anticipate issues and provide solutions', according to one client.  Chris Willott is a giant of the Brazil financing market, while Jennifer Demarco has a prolific record in Latin American restructurings. In the latter segment, Washington DC's Fabricio Longhin has made a significant impression on the market in recent years and is 'a very experienced practitioner across a range of products', 'maintains an outwardly cool demeanour, seems unflappable and is smart and reasonable'; he is one of a number of Argentine natives in the team that have helped the firm gain an especially strong position in financings linked to Argentina's recent RenovAr programme. Catherine McCarthy and Lori Bean are key members of the Washington DC team that continues to work closely with MLAs and DFIs on Latin America financings. Guido Liniado was elected to the partnership in May 2019 and senior associate Andrew Young is another up-and-coming name. Madrid partner José Guardo is commended for 'effectively negotiating with sponsors', 'professionalism throughout difficult negotiations' and is 'critical in keeping the deal moving'.

Clifford Chance is one of the world’s pre-eminent law firms, with significant depth and range of resources across five continents. As a single, fully integrated, global partnership, it prides itself on its approachable, collegial and team-based way of working. The firm always strives to exceed the expectations of its clients, which include corporates from all the commercial and industrial sectors, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not-for-profit organizations. It provides them with the highest quality advice and legal insight, which combines the firm’s global standards with in-depth local expertise.

Main areas of practice
Capital markets: the capital markets practice concentrates on securities transactions and other products sold into the capital markets. The practice is founded on a full-service US and UK securities law capability, complemented by local securities law expertise in each of the key financial centers. It provides practical, integrated legal advice covering the full spectrum of global capital raising activities including public and private domestic and international offerings of traditional debt and equity securities as well as convertible and other derivative and structured securities.

Corporate: the corporate practice handles some of the world’s largest and most complex M&A transactions. It combines global transaction capability with a full service of US, English and civil law expertise in the key financial centers across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. In addition to mainstream M&A, the firm also encompasses leading specialist practices in: commercial contracts, competition and antitrust, communications, energy, healthcare, financial institutions, funds, investment banking, insurance, media and technology, and private equity.

Finance: Clifford Chance’s finance practice is the leading international finance practice of any law firm. The practice provides highly commercial and practical advice across the full spectrum of financial products including syndicated lending and leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, derivative products, project finance, financial regulatory, insolvency, restructuring and structured finance.

Litigation, dispute resolution and risk management: the firm has experience in virtually all segments of the business and financial markets across multiple jurisdictions. The lawyers work with clients to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively – whether through arbitration, litigation or other techniques.

Real estate: Clifford Chance’s leading real estate practice offers US, UK, European and Asian real estate capability. The practice advises the real estate industry’s leading players on the entire property ‘life-cycle’ from the initial acquisition, development, leasing, joint venturing and financing through to the final exit, as well as tax structuring, PFI/PPP, corporate outsourcing, planning, environment and litigation.

Tax, pensions, employment and incentives: Clifford Chance has one of the world’s largest international tax groups within a single law firm. The firm is uniquely placed to provide leading edge advice to clients, and the practice is structured on an integrated global basis. Local tax groups within the practice work closely with areas such as securitization, securities, M&A, corporate restructuring, private equity, real estate and funds.

The pan-European VAT group advises on all areas of VAT and has particular strength advising on novel and complex issues in the structured finance, financial services, corporate finance and real estate sectors.

The team of experienced employment, employee benefits, ERISA, immigration and pensions specialists work with clients from a wide range of sectors to address local and cross-border issues.

Photo Name Position Profile
 Ignacio Suarez Anzorena  photo Ignacio Suarez Anzorena Ignacio Suarez Anzorena’s practice focuses on international commercial arbitration and investor-state disputes…
 Lori Ann Bean  photo Lori Ann Bean Lori Ann Bean specialises in the development and financing of infrastructure and…
Mr Joshua Berman  photo Mr Joshua Berman Joshua Berman, a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer, has over twenty years…
Mr David DiBari  photo Mr David DiBari David D. DiBari is the practice area leader for US Litigation &…
Mr Glen Donath  photo Mr Glen Donath Glen Donath is in the firm’s White Collar and Regulatory practice. His…
 David Evans  photo David Evans David Evans has been involved in energy and finance matters his entire…
Mr José García Cueto  photo Mr José García Cueto José García Cueto focuses his practice on commercial and investor-State international arbitration matters.…
Mr Steven Gatti  photo Mr Steven Gatti Steven Gatti specializes in regulatory enforcement proceedings before the U.S. Securities and…
Ms Megan Gordon  photo Ms Megan Gordon Megan Gordon’s work encompasses a broad range of regulatory matters arising under…
Mr Robert Hagan  photo Mr Robert Hagan Rob Hagan has extensive experience in structured capital markets, focusing primarily on…
Mr Alberto Haito  photo Mr Alberto Haito Alberto Haito has extensive experience in financial markets and project financing and…
Mr George Kleinfeld  photo Mr George Kleinfeld George Kleinfeld advises leading financial institutions, industrial enterprises, trading companies and global…
Ms Jacqueline Landells  photo Ms Jacqueline Landells Jacqueline Landells’ advisory practice is focused on international economic regulation and foreign…
 Fabricio Longhin  photo Fabricio Longhin Fabricio Longhin advises developers, commercial banks, multilateral organizations, export credit agencies, infrastructure…
Ms Catherine McCarthy  photo Ms Catherine McCarthy Catherine McCarthy is a partner in the Americas Energy & Infrastructure Group. …
 Christopher McIsaac  photo Christopher McIsaac Christopher McIsaac is joint head of the Americas Energy and Projects Group,…
 Jessica Springsteen  photo Jessica Springsteen Jessica A. Springsteen is a member of the Americas Energy & Projects…
Number of Partners : 556
Number of other fee-earners : 3295
Other Offices : Abu Dhabi
Other Offices : Amsterdam
Other Offices : Bangkok
Other Offices : Barcelona
Other Offices : Beijing
Other Offices : Brussels
Other Offices : Bucharest
Other Offices : Casablanca
Other Offices : Dubai
Other Offices : Düsseldorf
Other Offices : Frankfurt
Other Offices : Hong Kong
Other Offices : Istanbul
Other Offices : Jakarta*
Other Offices : London
Other Offices : Luxembourg
Other Offices : Madrid
Other Offices : Milan
Other Offices : Moscow
Other Offices : Munich
Other Offices : New York
Other Offices : Paris
Other Offices : Perth
Other Offices : Prague
Other Offices : Rome
Other Offices : São Paulo
Other Offices : Seoul
Other Offices : Shanghai
Other Offices : Singapore
Other Offices : Sydney
Other Offices : Tokyo
Other Offices : Warsaw
Other Offices : Washington, D.C.
Other Offices : Riyadh**
Other Offices : Newcastle

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers

Women lawyers open up about their careers and defining choices

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers is published by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Now in its second release, the book is a practical resource for anyone interested in charting a successful career path at a law firm or by moving in-house. It features interviews with 20 women partners, alumnae and in-house counsel, with additional contributions from members of Clifford Chance’s senior management and US-based recruiting team. Visit our website to learn more about practical tips for building your career.

http://www.legal500.com/clifford-chance/advice-to-my-younger-self


RISING LAWYERS open up about their priorities and strategies for success

Their Voices: Insights from Today’s Rising Lawyers by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Geared primarily for students and junior lawyers, the book is a practical resource for those considering law school or just beginning a legal career. Twenty junior lawyers offer diverse perspectives on what inspires them about the law, and the strategies that are helping them stay in touch with their priorities and define the future of their careers. Their Voices also provides insights for senior lawyers as they mentor the next generation of leaders.

http://www.legal500.com/clifford-chance/their-voices


Clifford Chance Diversity Statement

Clifford Chance is one of the most diverse law firms in the world, with 36 offices in 23 countries spread across six continents. We are proud that our global workforce reflects a broad range of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship status, pregnancy, disability, veteran status, genetic predisposition or other protected status.

In the United States, Clifford Chance has long demonstrated a strong commitment to building a diverse team to serve clients, as well as our local communities.

In May 2020, The American Lawyer published a report on ethnic diversity among the largest 200 law firms in the United States.  Based on the methodology used for Am Law 200 firm inclusion (majority of lawyers must be based in the US), Clifford Chance was ineligible.  However, if we had been included we would have ranked No. 2 in the US for the percentage of Hispanic lawyers (17.2%), No. 3 for the percentage of Asian-American lawyers (20.3%), No. 6 overall for ethnically diverse lawyers among large firms, and No. 14 overall among the largest 200 firms in the US.

According to the American Bar Association’s 2019 Report, only 5% of all US lawyers identify as African-American. For almost 85% of the Am Law 200, fewer than 5% of their lawyers are African-American, and only 2.4% of our lawyers identify as African-American; our ambition is to improve in this area each and every year.

  • Nearly 40% of our associates and 30% of all lawyers are ethnic minorities*, which is more than double the industry average** for US firms our size
  • Women make up 42% of our US lawyers (the average for a US firm our size is 34%***), 60% of our Department heads and 66% of our Business Professionals; and
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of our US Business Professionals are ethnic minorities, with 20% identifying as Black and 12% as Latino.

* Ethnic minority means: American Indian/Native Alaskan, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, people from two or more races, or from other jurisdictions influenced by US-specific legislative diversity definitions. These statistics are based on self-identification by the individuals.

** Law360’s The Best Firms For Minority Attorneys (2018)

*** Law360’ss 2018 Glass Ceiling Report

Our global diversity policy sets out our firm-wide approach to Diversity and Inclusion. To read the policy, please visit our policies page.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion

Image

We have a very active Diversity Committee in the US comprised of partners, associates and Business Services colleagues who work collaboratively through five subcommittees – Arcus (LGBT+), Asian and Pacific Islander, Black and Latino, Veterans, and Women – to help us celebrate our diversity while promoting greater understanding and inclusiveness. Case in point: the art curator who serves our New York office works with our subcommittees on special exhibits that support diverse artists and show our appreciation for diversity during different times of the year, for example, Black History Month.

In 2019, Clifford Chance hired one of the world’s best known and most successful campaigners, Tiernan Brady, to be the Firm’s Global Director of Inclusion. Prior to assuming that role, he led winning campaigns for marriage equality in Ireland and Australia; they remain the only two countries in the world to enact marriage equality by a public vote. Today Tiernan devotes his time to developing our Firm’s global inclusion policies and leading their implementation within our Firm, with clients and in wider society.

Tiernan was featured in the cover story of the “September-October 2019 edition of Corporate Counsel Business Journal,” where he provided a broad overview of his experience and how he is applying it to accelerate progress around diversity and inclusion. You can access the full interview “here.”

As a firm, we are committed to increasing our ethnic diversity, which we believe helps us bring a better-informed outlook when advising global clients. Our London office, for example, has forged a long-term partnership with diversity recruitment group Rare, which was founded in 2005 to support minority candidates in securing graduate positions in top firms and to help companies recruit diverse talent. Since 2011, we have made 169 training contract offers through Rare and were the first firm to adopt Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System (CRS), identifying standout candidates by not only looking at grades, but determining how those grades compare to a candidate’s schooling and background. Since adopting the CRS, the firm now employs more candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds, and in recent years, our trainee intake of black and minority ethnic candidates has averaged more than 40 percent.

We are focused on building deeper, broader roots in the many communities in which we operate. This enables us to gain a better understanding of the local market, deepen relationships with clients and help set the agenda for key issues. A good example of this can be seen in our Singapore office, where we have worked hard to integrate into the local community, almost doubling the number of locally qualified lawyers over the past several years. We run an active internship program for Singaporean students, and together with our Formal Law Alliance partner, Cavanagh Law LLP, we are now able to offer a two-year training program for Singaporean graduates.

Gender

Image

Advice To My Younger Self

In 2017, Clifford Chance in the US spearheaded (in partnership with The Legal 500) the development of a book featuring women lawyers from across our firm providing “Advice To My Younger Self.” The book delivers helpful insights for career advancement and personal growth from successful women lawyers and senior leaders who are alumnae of the firm. This bespoke work has been viewed online and in print by more than 25,000 people across over the world, ranging from in-house counsel to law school students to our firm’s own associates. The full book is available to read or download here.

In 2019, Clifford Chance achieved Mansfield re-certification, two years after agreeing to be a pioneering US firm for the Mansfield Rule. To be Mansfield certified, a law firm must, among other things, consider a minimum of 30 percent women, LGBT+ and minority lawyers for significant leadership roles.

“We are proud to have met the criteria for certification under the Mansfield Rule,” said Evan Cohen, managing partner for Clifford Chance’s Americas region. “One-third of our US practice areas are led by a minority or woman partner, and our pipeline of diverse future leaders is robust. Additionally, 60 percent of our US Business Services departments are led by women. We are clearly on the right track, but we also know there is more we must accomplish in the years ahead and are committed to doing so.”

In 2009, we became one of the first international law firms to establish a target to improve the gender balance of its partnership. Our target is at least 30 percent. While significant improvements have been made (for example, 29 percent of our partners in Asia Pacific and 24 percent of our partners in London are women), we are not yet where we want to be overall. In the US, growing our ranks of women and diverse partners has been prioritized, with our percentage of women partners now at 18 percent — a figure that, although still not good enough, has doubled in the past six years. We are making progress towards our goal by focusing on seven key themes: policy, transparency, objectivity, education, mentoring, networking and role models.

Our commitment and effort to help women lawyers advance their careers continues to expand. In 2019 we became the sponsor of the Women’s Group for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in New York City. We hosted a special event for ACC members featuring Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Morning Joe and best-selling author of “Know Your Value — Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth.” We will again have a prominent role at The American Lawyer’s Women, Influence, Power & Law (WIPL) conference. After serving as lead sponsor and keynoting the 2018 WIPL Executive Leadership Forum, we were a lead sponsor of the 2019 WIPL main conference attended by approximately 600 women lawyers, moderating two panels on data privacy/cybersecurity and cross-border M&A transactions. In 2019, we also became a lead sponsor of Corporate Counsel Business Journal’s inaugural Women in Business and Law Summit. And once again, we will sponsor the Women’s Luncheon at the SIFMA C&L Annual Seminar in November 2019, featuring a one-on-one conversation with former US Deputy Attorney General, Sally Yates.

Improving the gender balance of our leadership is a global effort. We run firm-wide training on gender diversity issues, including courses on unconscious bias. We have women’s networks called “Accelerate” not only in the US, but in Asia, Amsterdam, France, Italy and London, and many of our other offices are actively involved in gender networking initiatives, including client events.

In 2016, we signed a formal statement of support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, an initiative created by UN Women in collaboration with the UK Global Compact. The seven principles promote and guide corporate action in pursuit of gender equality and encourage high-level corporate leadership on gender issues and transparent reporting on progress.

For more information about our commitment to improve gender diversity, please read our Responsible Business Reports, which can be downloaded on our reporting page.

LGBT+

In 2019, Clifford Chance hired Tiernan Brady as its first Global Director of Inclusion. Before taking up his broad diversity and inclusion role at Clifford Chance, he led the winning campaigns for marriage equality in Ireland and Australia. Brady now devotes his time to developing and implementing Clifford Chance’s global inclusion policies and leading new campaigns within our Firm, alongside clients and in wider society.

In June 2019, Clifford Chance’s US offices celebrated Gay Pride Month for a 12th consecutive year by showcasing the work of top LGBT+ artists on its office walls as well as at a client event at NASDAQ attended by more than 300 people. The artists also participate in receptions that help launch the exhibits, which are open to a broad spectrum of clients, colleagues, students, allies and friends. Similar exhibits were held in a dozen Clifford Chance offices across the world.

Through its Arcus Allies program, the Firm supports and fosters an inclusive environment for LGBT+ colleagues. Allies advocate for equal rights and fair treatment of LGBT+ individuals, and take action to challenge prejudice against the LGBT+ community. Clifford Chance also works on a pro bono basis to help further the cause of equality globally. In 2019, the Firm won a legal victory in Poland on behalf of LGBT group, bringing a motion to a Polish court which ordered the conservative newspaper Gazeta Polska to halt the distribution of “LGBT-free zone” stickers. Advocat Michal Wawrykiewicz also worked on this matter.

In 2018, Clifford Chance became a signatory of the UN’s new Standards of Conduct for Business for Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Intersex people. Also, Clifford Chance was one of just four law firms in the US to sign the initial Business Statement for Transgender Equality on November 1, 2018 following a report that the Trump administration was considering limiting the definition of gender to birth anatomy. (We were joined by law firms Hogan Lovells, Ropes & Gray and Sheppard Mullin, as well many of our clients and other large companies who stood up strongly for Transgender equality. “This isn’t just a question of ethics, it is about our ongoing commitment to be a responsible and responsive business,” said Clifford Chance’s global managing partner, Matthew Layton. “Excluding anyone from any group holds everyone back, and every moment that someone spends worrying about what their colleagues or clients might think of who they are is a moment wasted.”

The work we have been doing at a global level was also recognized when we were ranked among the Top 5 “UK Best Employers” for LGBT+ colleagues in the 2017 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Additionally, Matthew Layton was featured on the 2016 OUTstanding Leading Ally Executives List, presented by the Financial Times. The list recognizes leading individuals in business who have made a significant contribution to LGBT+ inclusion.

 

Veterans

The recruitment and career development of veterans is a priority for our Firm in the US. Our affinity group, “CliffVets,” focuses on veteran hiring (both at the Firm and mentoring veteran law students on the legal market generally), retention and community issues. CliffVets members also routinely mentor student-veterans on their transition into becoming practicing lawyers.

We were the sole named sponsor of the Georgetown University Law Center’s Military Law Society Symposium, which included a panel presentation and networking reception with attorneys from our New York and Washington, DC offices. We actively support and participate in career panel discussions at many of our target law schools to provide guidance to veterans as they navigate law school and the law firm job market. CliffVets also provides pro bono support to Veterans working with the non-profit organization Services for the Underserved.

Culture

Image

We believe that building a supportive, safe and empowering culture is critical to our success. We also believe that happy employees provide better service to clients.
As a law firm, we offer legal services, but we never forget that our product is people. We understand that both lawyers and the professionals that support them — much like our clients — have a choice in where they go. Increasingly, culture is a deciding factor when making employment choices. We are proud of the culture we have built and how our people feel about working at Clifford Chance. To wit:
In independent surveys of associates at more than 100 of the largest law firms in the United States, Clifford Chance either led or was ranked near the top of multiple categories in the US legal industry.

  • No. 1: Diversity, Chambers US Associate Survey (2019)
  • No. 1: Associate Satisfaction, Chambers US Associate Survey (2019)
  • No. 1: Summer Associate Program, Chambers US Survey (2019)
  • No. 2: Lifestyle and Benefits, Chambers US Associate Survey (2019)
  • No. 3: Career Opportunities, Chambers US Associate Survey (2019)
  • No. 3: Top 10 Law Firms to Work For, Vault US Survey (2019)

To highlight how much we value our associates, we published (once again in partnership with The Legal 500) a second bespoke book in April 2019. Titled, Their Voices: Insights From Today’s Rising Lawyers,.

Inclusion and Social Mobility at Clifford Chance

We believe the best teams are diverse and inclusive, and that people flourish in an environment where they are supported in their professional and personal development. Although we have more work to do, we are pleased with the progress we’ve made to date in building just such an environment.

As one of the world’s leading law firms, we recruit the best talent from everywhere, including those local markets where we have offices: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States. Our view is that you cannot be a successful international firm without fully embracing and supporting diversity.

We also believe it is essential to our commercial strategy that we foster an inclusive culture. Our clients are made up of a diverse range of businesses with diverse workforces, and they expect no less from their law firms. We get that.

Transparency is a core value at Clifford Chance. As proof points, we report annually on the inclusion and diversity commitments we have made, including both our progress in improving the gender balance of our partnership (so we hit the 30 percent mentioned above) and our undertaking to improve ethnic diversity.

We promote social mobility through initiatives that aim to attract and support employees from less-advantaged backgrounds. In the US, for example, Clifford Chance was the first law firm to name a scholar within the groundbreaking An-Bryce Scholarship Program, which helps NYU Law School make an elite legal education available to outstanding J.D. students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The Program provides full-tuition scholarships plus programming and mentoring aimed at assuring that the scholars will feel at home at the highest levels of the legal profession. Clifford Chance provides a full-tuition scholarship annually.

When law school students from all backgrounds join us for summer jobs, each one has the opportunity to experience the joys of diversity firsthand by working for several weeks at one of more than 30 Clifford Chance offices around the world.

To find out more about our progress on inclusion and diversity, please visit our reporting page.

 

Diversity Committee: Zarrar Sehgal, Diversity Committee Leader

Image

Zarrar Sehgal, Clifford Chance US
Diversity Committee Leader, New York

Mr. Sehgal, a partner of Clifford Chance, leads the Firm’s Diversity Committee in the US. He also heads up Clifford Chance’s Americas Banking & Finance practice and global Transport and Logistics sector.

Highly active in community work, Mr. Sehgal is President of The Citizens Foundation-USA (TCF-USA), a US-based non-profit that supports the education of underprivileged children. It has an active network of more than 30 chapters in cities across the United States.

TCF-USA supports the programs of The Citizens Foundation (TCF) in Pakistan, one of the leading organizations in the field of education. TCF was started in 1995 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to bring about social change through education. In 22 years, it has built and operates 1,441 purpose-built schools providing quality education to 204,000 children with an all-female faculty of 12,000 teachers.

TCF-USA donors have built and support over 200 of these elementary & secondary schools with an enrollment of 65,000+ boys and girls.

In 2009, Mr. Sehgal was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, which meets annually in Davos, Switzerland.

 

Q&A: with Zarrar Sehgal, Diversity Committee Leader

What is the ethos behind the firm’s approach to diversity?

Clifford Chance commits to the highest standards of what we call “Responsible Business”, and we are privileged to drive positive social change from a position of industry leadership across the globe. From the way we hire and develop people to the work we do and the partners we work with these standards are embedded within our culture of teamwork and putting clients first. We are very proud of the fact that Clifford Chance is one of the most diverse firms in the world.

This isn’t just a question of ethics and culture; diversity is also a business imperative. We act for the world’s leading businesses on their most important and challenging matters, which tend to be complex, multifaceted and, very often, international. Delivering the best legal and business solutions relies on our ability to assemble dynamic and cohesive teams on the basis of identifying the best person for each role.

What has a more diverse and inclusive workplace brought to your firm, and also to your clients?

For one thing, it creates a positive and measurable alignment with our clients. They have made it clear that they want diverse firms and teams, and they are “walking the walk” in their own internal staffing. With each significant industry initiative, such as the American Bar Association’s Resolution 113, the terms of engagement on diversity are driving accountability. We applaud that.

The fact that we are a global firm serving a multinational client base speaks for itself in terms of the need for diversity, but we also benefit, as a practical matter, within our firm. We know that the best teams thrive on innovation, the interplay of different perspectives and a richness of views from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures.

More broadly, we are seeking to build a workplace that recognizes talent and accomplishment. When we create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable and confident, we can develop our people to their fullest potential and thrive as a more client-focused business.

How do you encourage a more diverse and inclusive workplace?

The real impetus behind our people strategy is the fact that our colleagues are highly engaged and committed to doing our best work. We believe that people excel when they are supported in expanding their skills and experience as well as in developing their resilience, and that same impulse is constantly driving us to innovate.

Role models and mentors are essential, and a diversity of role models and mentors is even better. The benefits are clear: By broadening our talent pool, people can more clearly envision themselves succeeding and developing, especially when they can see different people taking different paths.

Clifford Chance recently collaborated with The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in publishing a book entitled Advice to My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers. It features stories from our women lawyers and alumnae and explores the process of defining and achieving professional success on your own terms. The primary messages apply to anyone embarking on a challenging career, be courageous, push boundaries, be true to yourself, seek mentors, focus on the business of your practice and, of course, do the work. It’s compelling to see those themes weaving themselves naturally through the course of 20 separate interviews.

What is needed to help bring more diverse candidates into the legal profession?

More diverse candidates. I think all firms would like to have a larger pool to draw from. But commitment and action are also needed. The former requires buy-in and constant nurturing from the top down. Diversity must be a core value and permeate all aspects of a firm’s culture.

Concrete action is essential. Among our more recent initiatives, Clifford Chance is proud to be an early adopter of the United Nations’ (UN) Standards of Conduct for Business to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people in the workplace and beyond. In the United States, we have also signed on to be a pilot firm in a new US legal industry initiative called the Mansfield Rule, which sets percentage-based goals to ensure that diverse candidates are considered for promotions, senior level hiring and significant leadership roles in the firm.

What are your policies for recruitment, and what are the major challenges?

As a leading law firm, we recruit the best talent from around the world. It bears repeating that diversity is as essential to our commercial strategy as it is to the culture of our firm.

Taking a look at some challenges, given the structure and legacy composition of law firms’ particularly of large partnerships’ it’s a long-haul proposition to equalize the diversity balance. Mathematically, there are a limited number of partners we can make up annually against an existing pool of legacy candidates. We have more than 550 partners globally.

We also have attrition issues, for instance when we lose people partway through the pipeline, usually as mid-level associates, because they either seek other roles or (more often) accept an offer from one of our client organizations. We also look at unconscious bias, such as in connection with assigning challenging work so people can stretch and develop the skills needed to become a partner.

Retention of diverse staff is a critical issue , what are the programs your firm has in place that you feel will help retain your staff?

The best thing a firm can do to retain good people is to provide an interesting, challenging, supportive and happy work environment. In this context, I refer to diversity as an important component of our broader culture, which is a calling card for Clifford Chance and plays a big role in helping us attract and retain talent across the board.

Specific to diversity, we run numerous programs and initiatives aimed at promoting inclusion and diversity and wellbeing at the firm, and have several growing diversity networks. To ensure that all of our people have opportunities for development, we established the Clifford Chance Academy, which provides about 1,500 courses to our lawyers and business services professionals.

As just a few examples, in September 2015, the firm launched our global Arcus Allies program for employees who do not necessarily identify as LGBT++ but who wish to act as advocates for equal rights and fair treatment of LGBT++ colleagues. Arcus runs many events throughout the year, including a series of Pride art exhibitions, which showcase LGBT++ and supporter artists. This year the events will be held in 11 offices, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Perth, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, DC.

We have Women’s networks in the Americas, Asia, Amsterdam, France, Italy and London. In the US, our Black and Latino Subcommittee and Asian and Pacific Islanders Subcommittee have been well established for more than a decade, and we’ve recently created our Veterans group. In London, our London Women’s Network — which focused on 1) ensuring all colleagues have equal opportunities to succeed and 20 achieving gender parity — took bold action to accelerate the pace of change. Recognizing the need to be more inclusive and to encourage participation by everyone in pursuit of their goals, they devised a new strategy and launched a new group with a dynamic and non-gender specific name: Accelerate>>>. This group replaced the London Women’s Network in late 2018 with the goal of furthering the excellent work done by that group. There are five pillars in Accelerate>>>: institutional change, knowledge, connections, visibility and action by all.

Reporting and Transparency

Clifford Chance submits a “Communication on Progress” report to the UN Global Compact on a yearly basis.

In 2009, we signed the United Nations Global Compact as a further demonstration of our commitment to help advance sustainable business models and markets with a view to creating a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. We actively support the UN Global Compact’s 10 principles focusing on the core areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.

Our reporting is supported by an index of Global Reporting Initiative indicators, which we compile based on the principle of materiality. We also report on key diversity, employee development and community statistics.

We are proud to be one of the most transparent law firms in the world. To access any of our reports in PDF formats, please click on the following links: