Firm Profile > Clifford Chance > New York , United States
Clifford Chance Offices
31 WEST 52ND STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10019-6131
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Clifford Chance > The Legal 500 Rankings
Financial products Tier 1
Clifford Chance advises on numerous high-value debt programs. It advised Corporate Property Associates 17, a publicly held non-traded REIT, in connection with its merger with W.P. Carey, a commercial-focused net-lease REIT, valued at $6bn. The firm also has a strong CLO and CDO practice, and has advised on $21bn of products for a variety of clients, including Arbor Realty Trust, LoanCore, Money360 and other issuers. New York-based Richard Catalano leads the team, which also includes Philip Wagman, Avrohom Gelber, David Moldenhauer and Michael Seaton. Alan Kravitz left to become counsel at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in February 2018.
Clifford Chance's REIT team in New York brings together a cross-section of lawyers from the real estate, capital markets, M&A, funds, governance, regulatory, finance and tax practices; it has experience in the US and international markets, with notable clients including Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Colony NorthStar, ReNew REIT and Corporate Property Associates 17 - Global. REITs practice leader Jay Bernstein, US tax, pensions and employment practice tax head Richard Catalano, Jason Myers, Larry Medvinsky and Clifford Cone acted for CNL Financial Group, a private investment management firm, in both the formation of an externally managed non-traded company, CNL Strategic Capital (the company), and the company's IPO; and co-head of the US capital markets practice Kathleen Werner and Catalano led advice to Corporate Property Associates 17 – Global, a publicly held non-traded REIT, on its merger with WP Carey, a large, diversified net-lease REIT. Andrew Epstein and Jake Farquharson are also highly rated; Steven Mastrovich, former managing director of three major investment banks, joined as counsel.
Clifford Chance advises a range of investment banks, arrangers, finance and operating lessors, servicers, investors, airlines, export credit agencies and governmental authorities, on aviation finance transactions. Aviation capital markets transactions, including landmark debt and equity offerings and portfolio securitizations and EETC issuances, are a key areas of expertise. Zarrar Sehgal advised Aergo Capital on its second asset-backed securitization deal, METAL 2017-1, which is secured by a portfolio of 26 aircraft; he also advised the lead arranger and lender, Deutsche Bank, on the $579.8m Harbour Aircraft Investments securitization of 30 aircraft. Elsewhere, Emily Wicker, Philip Wagman and Lee Askenzai advised Global Jet Capital, as servicer, and Business Jet Securities 2018-2, as issuer, on the issuance of $674m of secured notes in an asset backed securitization. Patrick O’Reilly was instructed by lessor, AWAS (Ireland), on the sale and leaseback of five Boeing 737-MAX-8 aircraft with GOL Linhas Aéreas, coupled with lessor PDP financing for each aircraft. Also recommended is Madalyn Miller, who was promoted to partner in May 2019. John Howitt and Sehgal jointly lead the US asset finance team. Named lawyers are based in New York.
Fintech Tier 2
Clifford Chance has an active CLO practice, and considerable expertise in mortgage-related ABS, including non-performing and re-performing residential mortgage loans. In the CLO space, a team including Robert Villani advised Credit Suisse Asset Management on a litany of CLO resets and new issues, though the CRE CLO practice took a hit with the departure of Steven Kolyer, who joined Sidley Austin LLP. Key figures in the ABS team include Lee Askenazi, who acts for Bayview Asset Management in its ongoing program of rated securitizations of seasoned and re-performing residential mortgage loans. Chimera Investment Corporation is another major client in the residential mortgage loan space. In addition to mortgage-related ABS, the team advised Global Jet Capital on a series of offerings backed by business aircraft assets. Robert Hagan was promoted to partner, and James Gouwar, who focuses on the tax aspects of structured finance transactions, joined the team from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
Well known in the international capital markets, Clifford Chance’s generous global network generates a steady stream of cross-border deals for both issuers and managers, with notable expertise in the REIT and infrastructure spheres. The New York-based group significantly stepped up its activity in Latin America in 2018, with its recent experience spanning Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil, among other jurisdictions. Recent highlights included Jonathan Zonis, who co-heads the Americas capital markets practice, advising Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank Securities and HSBC Securities (USA) as underwriters on CAF – Development Bank of Latin America’s $1bn notes offering. On the equity front, Jake Farquharson acted alongside the tax department to advise the underwriters on the $890m IPO of CFE Fibra E, a Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust. Hugo Triaca, who recently arrived from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is noted for his ‘deep and broad understanding of the Latin American region’.
Clifford Chance's team (which is 'fantastic to work with') is well placed to handle cross-border matters, drawing on its strong global network. The group is led from Washington DC by David DiBari, and, together with Wendy Wysong, who splits her time between Washington DC and Hong Kong, is representing Chinese telecoms giant ZTE through the settlement of the concurrent DOJ, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and OFAC investigations into unauthorized exports of US-origin equipment to Iran and other embargoed countries; the has significant repercussions for US-China relations. In another highlight, New York's Robert Houck advised Royal Bank of Scotland on numerous class actions and regulatory investigations by the CFTC, DOJ and UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into alleged manipulation of Libor and other benchmarks, and continues to assist the client with the implementation of settlement undertakings. Joshua Berman, who joined the Washington DC office from the US Department of Commerce, is representing Bruce and Nellie Ohr, as independent contractors for Fusion GPS, in congressional and senatorial investigations into President Trump's alleged collusion with the Russian government. Also in New York, Christopher Morvillo is advising Mike Lynch, founder of Autonomy, on DOJ, SEC and SFO investigations into allegations of accounting improprieties. Significant hires to the Washington DC office in 2018 included Glen Donath from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Robert Rice from Ropes & Gray LLP, Celeste Koeleveld from the New York State Department of Financial Services, and Daniel Silver from the Eastern District of New York.
Insurance: non-contentious Tier 3
Clifford Chance's multi-disciplinary insurance team stands of for 'responsiveness', 'thorough subject matter expertise', 'excellent drafting skills' and 'first-rate advice'. The practice has a particular focus on the development of new corporate and transactional structures tailored to the sector, as well as facilitating capital flow and alternative investment strategies for insurers and reinsurers operating in the life and P&C markets. The core areas are complemented by insurance-related employment, real estate and tax advice. Gary Boss, who 'is on top of every issue and ensures high-quality advice by all involved practice areas', and 'thorough' senior associate Analisa Dillingham advised Armour Group Holdings on the $500m sale of ILS Investment Management, while also continuing to act for Slice Insurance Technologies in the structuring of its partnership with XL Catlin on a unique cloud-based cyber insurance solution. 'Helpful and hard-working underwriting attorney' Joseph Cosentino and insurance finance advisor Nicholas Williams are also key partners in New York.
International tax Tier 3
Clifford Chance's team assists on a wide variety of international businesses transactions, including M&A, restructurings, joint ventures, investments and various financing and capital markets deals. In recent highlights, David Moldenhauer advised Development Bank of Japan on its $50m investment into Meridiam's third North American infrastructure-focused fund. Philip Wagman advised Hearst on its acquisition of the magazine and book businesses of health and wellness content company Rodale Inc., which publishes Men's Health, Women's Health, Runner's World and other titles. Richard Catalano was recently appointed head of tax in the Americas region. Avrohom Gelber, another key figure, advised the underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs and Evercore, on the IPO of Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust CFE Fibra E. James Gouwar joined the practice in New York in September 2018 from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
The team at Clifford Chance is well placed to advise clients on US and European capital markets regulation, and has experience in novel derivatives transactions, which have recently included insurance-linked swaps and derivatives linked to various securitization structures. A key figure in the practice group is David Felsenthal, who provides ongoing advice to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on the enforceability of standard form repo and securities lending agreements. Additionally, Felsenthal acts for Deutsche Bank in cross-border contingent forex forward agreements related to M&A, and often advises hedge providers, such as Goldman Sachs, on international project finance transactions. In the insurance space, Gareth Old assisted Premia Reinsurance, Watford Reinsurance and Arca Reinsurance with the creation of trust structures to enable reinsurance trusts to hold and trade derivatives. Also recommended is Lee Askenazi, who specializes in ABS and securitization, and has been involved in significant credit risk transactions. Other key clients include ISDA, Bayview Asset Management, Wells Fargo and Pacific Investment Management Company.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3
Based in New York, Clifford Chance’s five-partner team has expertise across a wide-range of tax areas, including M&A activities, joint ventures and REIT’s, with a particularly strong presence in the capital markets space. Recent highlights include Philip Wagman working alongside the banking and capital markets teams to advise Global Jet Capital on various capital markets issuances, and Richard Catalano advising ReNew REIT on its formation and initial capitalization pursuant to a joint venture with a sovereign wealth fund and real estate investment manager to acquire senior housing healthcare property. Other highlights include acting for Hearst Corporation in the acquisition of Rodale, a health and wellness content company, and 21st Century Media Newspaper. Avrohom Gelber, David Moldenhauer and Mike Seaton are other key lawyers. James Gouwar joined in September 2018 from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, while Alan Kravitz departed to Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and William Cejudo left for Dechert LLP.
Clifford Chance’s New York-based practice, which is weighted towards underwriter-side work, excels in REIT-related offerings in line with its signature strength. The firm’s premier cross-border capability also marks it as ‘a leader in coordinating global offerings’. In a deal that showcases both of its sweet spots, Jason Myers and department co-chair Kathleen Werner advised the underwriters on China-headquartered HNA Tourism Group’s secondary offering of common stock of Park Hotels & Resorts. In another multi-jurisdictional highlight, Jake Farquharson advised the underwriters on the $890m IPO of Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust, CFE Fibra E, which marked the first Fibra E securities to be sold in the US and international capital markets. Jonathan Zonis co-heads a department that also includes the ‘exceptionally strategic’ Hugo Triaca, who recently joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
‘Strategic and solution-focused’, Clifford Chance’s New York-based practice is mainly active for issuers and brings to bear strong expertise in the specialty finance arena. In a recent example of its niche strength, Gary Brooks advised Oxford Finance, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Oxford Finance Co-Issuer II, on a $300m senior unsecured notes offering. The practice group also draws upon its international offices for support on cross-border deals, which recently included Jonathan Zonis acting alongside teams in London and Sao Paulo to advise Multibank on its $300m notes issuance. Hugo Triaca, who recently joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is noted for his ‘strong understanding of the Latin American landscape’.
Clifford Chance has a cross-disciplinary practice which handles privacy and cybersecurity matters in relation to IP, antitrust, corporate transactions and litigation. The practice is headed by Megan Gordon, who is based in Washington DC and specializes in risk management, transactional due diligence, compliance and internal investigations, and the ‘wonderful’ Daniel Silver from the New York office, whose expertise as a litigator includes regulatory enforcement and white-collar criminal defense. Key clients are from the financial, technology, media and telecoms, consumer goods and retail and automotive sectors. Washington DC’s Steven Gatti, who is well versed in regulatory matters across the financial services sector, is another name to note.
Clifford Chance has energy-sector expertise in finance, capital markets, corporate transactions and M&A, with a focus on the Latin American market. Key figures in the team include Washington DC-based Fabricio Longhin, New York-based David Brinton, who leads the Americas corporate practice and Lori Bean, who is instructed by multilateral and development finance institutions in Washington DC. Longhin and the New York-based senior associate Guido Liniado acted for various entities of the Albanesi Group, as borrowers, in the financing of the 133MW Arroyo Seco cogeneration plant and the refinancing of 170MW Timbúes cogeneration plant in Argentina, which involved the execution of a dual-tranche $395m credit agreement. Also in the New York office, Hugo Triaca joined the team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Thais Garcia was promoted to partner.
International arbitration Tier 4
Clifford Chance's commercial arbitration practice has 'rigorous and deep knowledge' of investment disputes, with a key strength in Latin America-facing work. The team recently acted for Galway Gold in a disputes with the Republic of Colombia under ICSID arbitration rules; that matter was led by Washington DC-based Ignacio Suarez Anzorena, who is noted for his 'experienced strategic view'. Also recommended is 'sharp-thinking' José García Cueto in Washington DC. Other key clients include Enel Green Power and Red Eagle Exploration.
International trade Tier 4
Benefiting from a 'unique global coverage', Clifford Chance's Washington DC-based team provides 'reliable and accurate advice' to an impressive roster of banks and international corporates on economic sanctions and export controls compliance and enforcement matters. The 'superb' George Kleinfeld is 'able to draw upon vast experience of dealing with regulators and different client types' and has an 'excellent knowledge across OFAC and DOC regulations and sanctions'. Kleinfeld also handles CFIUS work, including his recent involvement, alongside lawyers from Germany and London, on the clearance necessary for Cinven, on the $2.6bn sale of Germany-based CeramTec to an investor consortium led by BC Partners. Lead US partner for the firm's global risk team, litigator David DiBari and Wendy Wysong, who splits her time between Hong Kong and Washington DC, have been advising Chinese telecoms company ZTE in a US investigation of unauthorized exports of US-origin telecoms equipment to Iran and other embargoed countries. 'Superb' counsel Jacqueline Landells also regularly provides 'able support' to Kleinfeld on OFAC matters, and Joshua Fitzhugh, who was formerly an in-house lawyer at BAE Systems, has an 'excellent understanding of the aerospace industry' and its international trade implications.
Primarily based in New York, Clifford Chance's funds team is well known for handling real estate and debt funds. Roger Singer advised Griffis Residential on forming Griffis Fund IV, its debut multifamily fund, and is currently assisting the client with forming Griffis Fund V. Michael Sabin advised Greystone on the formation and fundraise of its $750m inaugural real estate debt fund, the Greystone Senior Debt Opportunity Fund. Other clients include Exeter Property Group, Capital Dynamics, Colony NorthStar, and Berkshire Group. In 2018 Victor Levy joined from DLA Piper LLP (US).
Real estate Tier 4
Clifford Chance's US real estate practice handles cross-border transactions, acquisitions and dispositions, equity structures, joint ventures, REIT matters, leasing, mortgage loans, credit facilities and mezzanine loans. ‘Commercially minded and solution-driven’ practice chair Ness Cohen recently advised Madison International Realty on its acquisition of Forest City's 51% interest in 14 retail properties in New York City; a portfolio valued at an estimated $1.3bn. Another highlight included representing YES! Communities on the acquisition and financing of 40 manufactured housing communities and refinancing of 20 other properties for approximately $515m. The firm also advised Almanac Realty Investors on its $376m investment in a joint venture with PECO Real Estate Partners for the acquisition, management and development of a portfolio of retail properties nationwide, while Eddie Frastai advised Standard Chartered Bank on a $100m mortgage loan to LG. Other clients include Safra National Bank of New York, Calatrava Grace, Hone Capital, Lakestar Properties and Deutsche Finance Group. Named attorneys are based in New York.
Clifford Chance in New York has 'a strong securities litigation practice and is distinct from other New York firms in that it has a broad international platform; it is a regular player in financial institution securities litigation matters'. Practice head Robert Houck is 'a standout practitioner', according to one client, who describes him as 'thoughtful and creative in his representations, and well regarded by his peers'. The firm has 17 US litigation partners and securities litigation for global financial institutions and US companies is a substantial part of their work. Houck represented ICBC Standard Bank in a class action concerning alleged manipulation of platinum and palladium benchmarks in London. Christopher Morvillo, who handled investigations by UK and US regulators for the founder of Autonomy, is recommended, as are Jeff Butler and rising star senior associate Benjamin Berringer.
Clifford Chance's New York-based team advises corporates and high-profile C-suite individuals on the full range of employee benefits and executive compensation issues arising from transactions. Clients particularly praised ‘the walking encyclopedia of ERISA knowledge’, Paul Koppel, as ‘one of the most well-rounded benefits lawyers in practice’. A standout matter for Koppel involved advising Credit Suisse on a $8.7bn portfolio of CLO issuances in the US and European markets. Practice head Howard Adler is advising the National Titanium Dioxide Company on its $1.6bn subsidiary sale to Tronox. Clients also noted the team's expertise in Title 1 fiduciary issues.
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 6
Clifford Chance continues to make progress in corporate M&A and private equity transactions. It provides 'a one-stop shop for all aspects of a transaction with global coverage', according to one client. It is 'truly at the table as a partner and takes the time to understand and explore the client's perspective and position on issues to help negotiate through those issues rather than merely present the pros and cons of what's on the table'. It advised Mondelēz International in connection with the merger of Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountain; Mondelēz held an approximately 24% stake in Keurig and now holds a stake of some 14% in Keurig Dr Pepper. This is just one of a string of headline deals in the consumer goods and retail sector, where partner Sarah Jones has such a strong standing. In another headline deal, the firm advised Evercore, as the financial adviser to the Scripps Family, in connection with the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive by Discovery Communications. Other clients include Pfizer, Hearst, S&P Global and Philip Morris International. Energy and infrastructure is another area of particular eminence, with leader of the Americas corporate practice David Brinton having an established record in this space. The Americas team is also leveraging the firm's global standing in private equity with Kevin Lehpamer leading the initiative in the US; he is 'overtly calm, well structured and covers all bases'. John Healy provides further public and cross-border M&A expertise, while Benjamin Sibbett is an emerging talent and 'takes the time to listen to the issues of the transaction, helps explore the issues both legally and from the business perspective – given his wealth of experience in transactions – and has a special gift in explaining to the counterparty the complicated legal issues their own counsel often cannot articulate effectively'. Thais Garcia is a fundamental team member for cross-border deals involving Latin America.
Clifford Chance stands out for its expertise in Latin American project finance mandates, acting for both lenders and sponsors. Fabricio Longhin and Gianluca Bacchiocchi, who is based in New York, advised the Government of Argentina on the structuring and documentation of its public-private partnerships program, launched in 2017 through the Undersecretariat of Public-Private Partnerships (UPPP). Bacchiocchi and New York-based Jonathan Zonis also advised Goldman Sachs and a group of Colombian lenders on the $708m multi-source and multi-currency financing for the 491km Ruta al Mar toll road project in Colombia. Elsewhere, senior counsel David Evans and New York-based David Brinton advised KEPCO and COPA in the acquisition of 235MW of solar generating assets in California; Lori Ann Bean is advising OPIC in connection with a $200m loan to be provided to Kipeto Energy to finance the development and construction of a 100MW wind power generation project in Kajiado, Kenya; and Catherine McCarthy, who is experienced in transport sector deals, advised the IDB Group, Proparco and DEG in relation to the financing of the Port of Posorja in Ecuador, sponsored by DP World. Guido Liniado in New York was promoted to partner in 2019, and senior associates Alberto Haito and Jessica Springsteen are also recommended. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
Clifford Chance > Firm Profile
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.
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Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 556 Number of other fee-earners : 3295
OtherOther 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
Diversity and Inclusion
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:
- Nearly 40 percent of our associates and 30 percent of all lawyers are ethnic minorities*, which is more than double the industry average** for US firms our size; and our all-lawyer percentage is 12 points higher than the average for Am Law 200 and NLJ 250 firms in the US;
- Women make up 38 percent of our US lawyers (the average for a US firm our size is 34 percent***); and
- Nearly than half (49 percent) of our US Business Services personnel are ethnic minorities.
* 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)
*** Law360s 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 firms 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 worlds 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. Its 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 its 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:
- Responsible Business Report 2018
- UN Global Compact GRI index
- Gender Statistics
- Ethnicity Statistics
- Clifford Chance Academy statistics
- Pro bono statistics
- Diversity statistics London Office 2018
- Historic reporting
- Clifford Chance Diversity and Inclusion Report
Advice From Women Lawyers
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.
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.
France: Real Estate
Published: November 2019
Authors: Anne-Sophie Plé Karen Bortolotti
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Real Estate laws and regulations that may occur in France.
Germany: Real Estate
Published: November 2019
Authors: Dr. Christian Keilich
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Real Estate laws and regulations that may occur in Germany.
Spain: Real Estate
Published: November 2019
Authors: Maria Pradillo Carme Briera Fernando Escribano Javier Olabarri Alexandra Borrallo
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Real Estate laws and regulations that may occur in Spain.
United Kingdom: Real Estate
Published: November 2019
Authors: Matt Taylor
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Real Estate laws and regulations that may occur in United Kingdom.
United States: Real Estate
Published: November 2019
Authors: Ness Cohen Eddie Frastai
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Real Estate laws and regulations that may occur in United States.
United Kingdom: Insurance & Reinsurance
Published: August 2019
Authors: Hilary Evenett Amera Dooley
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Insurance & Reinsurance laws and regulations that may occur in United Kingdom.
Poland: Insurance & Reinsurance
Published: August 2019
Authors: Marcin Bartnicki Marta Bieniada
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Insurance & Reinsurance laws and regulations that may occur in Poland.
Germany: International Arbitration
Published: December 2019
Authors: Dr. Michael J.R. Kremer Dr. Moritz Keller Tim Schreiber
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to International Arbitration laws and regulations that may occur in Germany.
United Kingdom: Merger Control
Published: December 2019
Authors: Alex Nourry Daniel Harrison
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Merger Control laws and regulations that may occur in United Kingdom.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Financial products
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Transport: aviation and air travel - finance
- Structured finance: securitization
- Capital markets: global offerings
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- Insurance: non-contentious
- International tax
- Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
- US taxes: non-contentious
- Capital markets: equity offerings
- Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Energy: renewable/alternative power
- International arbitration
- International trade
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- Real estate
- Securities litigation - defense
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- Project finance