Who We Are

Cleary Gottlieb is a pioneer in globalizing the legal profession.

Since 1946 our lawyers and staff have worked across practices, industries, jurisdictions and continents to provide clients with simple, actionable approaches to their most complex legal and business challenges, whether domestic or international. We support every client relationship with intellectual agility, commercial acumen and a human touch.

We have a proven track record for serving with innovation. We are fluent in the many languages of local and global business. And we have achieved consistent success in multiple jurisdictions.

Clients know Cleary for our signature approach to serving their needs:

  • Skilled resolution of high-profile, complex legal and business challenges
  • A sharp focus on the issues that matter most
  • A commitment to addressing our clients’ immediate needs and advancing their longer-term strategic goals

One World, One Firm

We have 16 offices in major financial centers around the world, but we operate as a single, integrated global partnership and not a U.S. firm with a network of overseas locations.

  • All Cleary clients enjoy access to the full resources provided by our offices and lawyers worldwide.
  • The firm employs approximately 1,200 lawyers from more than 50 countries.
  • Cleary received Chambers and Partners’ inaugural International Law Firm of the Year award, recognizing our global practice and our pioneering tradition of developing homegrown talent in the different countries where we operate.

Clients

We serve:

  • International and national business organizations
  • Financial institutions
  • Sovereign governments and their agencies
  • Nonprofits and community organizations
  • Civil rights and human rights groups

Partnership and Firm Culture

Our firm’s organization and governance emphasize democratic and participatory ideals. To promote the full application of Cleary’s resources in the best service of our clients’ needs, we operate on a seniority-based compensation system for all of our lawyers and we expect each partner to contribute equally to the firm’s success.

We strive to admit to our partnership lawyers with demonstrated qualities of character, leadership and intelligence, who have the proven legal skills that will enable them to contribute significantly to our practice over the long term.

  • Over 40 percent of our partners are based outside of the United States.
  • More than one-third of our partners have served in two or more Cleary offices.
  • Approximately 90 percent of our current partners joined the firm as associates.
  • Our partnership as a whole decides all important firm matters, including considering candidates for partnership, while committees of partners and counsel under the guidance of the managing partner conduct the day-to-day management of the firm.

Our associates also actively participate in a number of important committees in various offices on a range of issues, including diversity, professional development and recruiting.

Consistent with the vision of our founders, Cleary remains committed to building a community focused on openness, diversity, individuality and collegiality. Learn more about our firm’s diversity initiatives here.

The essence of the firm’s culture is represented by our lawyers: talented and intellectually accomplished people of all nationalities, races and interests, who believe that the practice of law is a privilege that carries responsibility. Together we apply our legal knowledge for the benefit of those in need, dedicating a substantial amount of time and resources to pro bono legal work and other community activities. Learn more about Cleary’s pro bono program here.

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