Our People, Our Work
Robin M. Bergen
After everyone got some sleep, I sent a thank you note that in so many words summed up my feelings: isn't this exactly the kind of effort that makes Cleary Gottlieb great?
Law firms tout collaboration and collegiality so frequently they might sound a bit shopworn. Until you listen to Robin Bergen talk about a recent case that suggests quite the opposite.View Profile
A client called with an urgent request: produce disclosure summaries for some 50 transactions in time for their board meeting. Which, as it happened, was in two days. Faced with a virtually impossible deadline, Robin sent an e-mail requesting help to her colleagues in Washington and New York.
The result? On an hour's notice, some 40 lawyers volunteered, many working well past midnight. Which pleased her client on a couple of counts: not a summary missed the mark, and Cleary Gottlieb delivered a small miracle right on time.
Derek M. Bush
Lawyers from every part of the firm joined in conference calls trying to figure out how to get our client through the woods. We pulled it off – but I can't begin to imagine handling that kind of matter without Cleary Gottlieb's teamwork. It was remarkable.
Asked to describe his most interesting cases, Derek Bush makes an interesting point in return: at Cleary Gottlieb, run of the mill matters are few and far between. He points to the privatization of a Korean bank that Cleary Gottlieb led – a case as memorable to him for the political and culture considerations as the legal ones.View Profile
Derek also worked on the team that pulled a Puerto Rican bank away from the threshold of bankruptcy and back to business. It was a case so threaded with issues – regulatory matters, corporate governance, capital market disclosure, civil litigation, bankruptcy, M&A, private equity – that it might serve as a working definition of a multi-disciplinary matter.
Jeremy J. Calsyn
When I was a new associate, I struck up a conversation in the hallway with some lawyers who were doing antitrust work. I asked them to keep me in mind for their next project, which they did. Although I hadn't considered becoming an antitrust lawyer, I found the work exciting, challenging, and wide-ranging – soon, I was taking on as much antitrust work as I could handle.
Jeremy Calsyn recalls arriving at Cleary Gottlieb with the notion of being a mergers and acquisitions lawyer. Yet, he is now one of our leading antitrust lawyers. This year, for example, Jeremy led the global antitrust clearance effort that helped Western Digital complete its approximately $17 billion acquisition of SanDisk without conditions.View Profile
Our lockstep culture creates a mentality that we’re all on the same team here. At this office, across offices and across practice groups, we help each other out. It’s an expectation of each Cleary lawyer, and it's also a benefit that each lawyer realizes from his or her colleagues.
Because our firm maintains a lockstep compensation structure, cooperation and collegiality are fundamental parts of the workplace. Elaine Ewing says that Cleary has been “a great place to work from Day One, and my appreciation of our culture has only grown during my time at the firm.”
The environment is less hierarchal than many of our peer firms, so there are opportunities for associates to pursue different practice areas and take on responsibility early. “You can come up with your own path, and along the way you'll have incredibly supportive mentors at every level,” says Elaine. And, consistent with our culture, each lawyer is expected to pass along the experience they gain, becoming mentors to the next generation.View Profile
David I. Gelfand
We all have in us the drive to help clients get things done. At Cleary, you get to see your advice being used by clients at the highest level.
Lawyers come to Cleary because they want to work with important clients on important matters. “I've been able to work with clients who are just world-changers in terms of what they’ve done in their lines of business,” says Dave, and he sees how the firm offers lawyers opportunities to work on prominent matters at the beginning of their careers. “You realize important people are relying on you for good advice, and you can help them accomplish something big.”
Dave has been with the firm since 1991, but he spent three years working for the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division as its Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Litigation. “When I decided I wanted to return to private practice after working in government, I considered no firm other than Cleary,” he says, pointing to the quality of the practice and the focus on collegiality. “It was a no-brainer for me. It's the place I love. It's home.”View Profile
Michael H. Krimminger
It’s a great group of people to work with, you're doing fascinating, cutting-edge work, and you're doing it at the center of politics and policy.
Working in our Washington, D.C., office means working at the center of national and international policy on behalf of clients from around the world. Michael Krimminger, a former general counsel for the FDIC, particularly appreciates the advantages of working at the seat of policy while being near the rapid changes in New York’s financial marketplace. He also likes how his U.S. regulatory experience often connects him with colleagues around the world. “I really enjoy the international aspect of the firm,” he says. “I find it fascinating to get questions from lawyers in Abu Dhabi or Hong Kong, and being part of a team from across the globe that helps clients address the challenges of our integrated world.”
But Cleary’s Washington office also maintains its own local flavor, and Michael loves being based in what he says is a “vibrant, young and fun city.”