Cleary Gottlieb Achieves Best-Ever Results in Chambers Global 2008 Rankings: 111 Lawyers and 67 Practices Recognized

December 5, 2007

Cleary Gottlieb garnered precedent-setting results in the soon-to-be released Chambers Global 2008 Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers.  Reflecting the firm’s broad international reach and the strength of its global practice, Chambers distinguished 111 Cleary Gottlieb lawyers working in Africa, Belgium, Brazil, China/Hong Kong, France, Germany, India, Italy, Latin America, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as those doing “global” work.  This is an increase from 87 lawyers recognized last year, with Fabrice Baumgartner Robin Bergen John Brinitzer Nicola Ceraolo Carmen Corrales Andrew Curran Claudio Di Falco, Marco D’Ostuni Ferdinando Emanuele Pietro Fioruzzi Simon Jay Jorge Juantorena Jeff Karpf Laurent Legein, David Lopez Michael McDonald Gabriel MesaJohn Palenberg Raj Panasar Vania Petrella Andrea Podolsky Yaron Reich Cesare Rizza Jürgen Sieger Linda Soldo Hanno Sperlich David Sugerman and Marie-Laurence Tibi cited for the first time. 

Chambers also recognized 67 Cleary Gottlieb practice groups as global leaders, up from 51 last year.  As the publication has evolved, Chambers has redefined its practice area categories and, in many cases, subdivided practices into narrower niches.  Evidencing the firm’s commitment to new markets and its service to clients across an expanding array of practices, Cleary Gottlieb was recognized for the first time in many areas, including:  International Trade/WTO in Belgium Capital Markets: Overseas Experts in Brazil; Overseas Counsel: Corporate & Finance in India; Dispute Resolution, Tax and TMT: Telecommunications in Italy; Banking & Finance in RussiaCompetition/European LawCorporate/M&A: High-end Global Coverage and Private Equity: International Buyouts in the United Kingdom; and Private Equity: Buyouts & Venture Capital Investment and Private Equity: Fund Formation in the United States.

The following Cleary Gottlieb practices are recognized for being among the best in the world, based on Chambers’ interviews of the firm’s clients and competitors:

Belgium

  • Banking & Finance: “Comprising partners who also have an established presence in the corporate market, Cleary’s banking and finance practice is focused on prestigious transactions in areas such as structured finance and debt restructuring … Interviewees laud the quality service provided by the lawyers: ‘If they are involved in a deal you know things will go smoothly.
  • Competition/Antitrust: “Cleary Gottlieb is still seen as the crème de la crème when it comes to competition and antitrust.  Its extensive and varied expertise places the firm at the pinnacle of European competition law and clients identify the lawyers as ‘brilliantly rigorous and extremely professional - they know the bureaucratic machine inside out.’
  • Corporate/M&A: “‘The Rolls-Royce of the legal market’ is a good way of describing this practice, as its reputation is certainly based on quality rather than quantity.  Driven by deals on the top rungs of the corporate law ladder, the market stalwart acts for a host of international and local clients.”
  • International Trade/WTO: “A sophisticated firm with a rich history of international work, Cleary Gottlieb’s Brussels team offers expertise on a range of trade matters.  The firm’s corporate strength provides an ideal platform for proffering carefully tailored regulatory advice.”
  • TMT:  “This top-notch competition-oriented practice services a number of high-profile information and communication technology clients who benefit from the large team’s expertise in competition, regulatory advisory matters and litigation … The international reach of the firm is appreciated by clients, while rivals observe that the lawyers are ‘involved in cutting-edge issues across the board in TMT.’” 

Brazil

  • Capital Markets: Overseas Experts: “This New York powerhouse has built on its excellent reputation in Latin America and led from the front in the wave of Brazilian IPOs … Clients and peers alike are full of praise for the outstanding team and its depth and level of expertise: ‘We can sleep well at night if we know we have Cleary Gottlieb on board.’

China/Hong Kong

  • Capital Markets: International & Hong Kong Law: Equity:“Commended for both its debt and equity work, the capital markets team fields US and UK-qualified lawyers who work across the region, from India and Indonesia to the PRC.   The firm is also well known for its ‘top-class Korea team.’
  • Private Equity: Foreign: “This experienced capital markets and corporate team continues to deal with some of the region’s foremost participants in the private equity market and to develop its strong relationship with TPG Newbridge.  Clients appreciate the firm’s ‘strong international deal advice and ability to work globally across all its offices.’

France

  • Banking & Finance: “Reputed for its corporate expertise, Cleary Gottlieb has a flourishing presence in the banking and finance sector.  Observers are impressed with the ‘well-organised, versatile and extremely responsive” team and its “open, commercial and detail-focused attitude.’
  • Capital Markets: “The Paris office is a jewel in this US outfit’s capital markets crown, and is deeply embedded in the French legal landscape, to the extent that it is ‘virtually a local firm.’  The group has long dominated the equity capital markets arena, where it enjoys fabulous relations with a roster of the biggest French banks and corporations.”
  • Competition/Antitrust: “This office enjoys a first-class reputation, with the prevailing market opinion being that the firm provides a ‘consistent and high level of quality from its hard-working, fast and understanding lawyers.’  Its cross-border focus is a major selling point, while state aid is a traditional strength of the firm.”
  • Corporate/M&A and Corporate/M&A: Private Equity: “This ‘full-service, cutting-edge firm’ offers up-to-date US techniques; it has a wide range of expertise and the ability to give advice at a moment’s notice … Light-hearted reference has been made to Cleary Gottlieb as ‘one of the few French law firms with an office in New York.’
  • Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution: Litigation: “Cleary Gottlieb’s dispute resolution team is very active in both litigation and arbitration.   Particularly well regarded for its M&A and debt restructuring expertise, the team has recently been involved in major arbitration cases in the energy and pharmaceutical sectors.”
  • Projects & Energy:  “Clients ‘heartily appreciate’ Cleary Gottlieb’s ‘commitment, sense of responsibility, quality of work and timeliness.’  With extensive experience on project financings in Africa, the Paris team focuses on the mining, energy, water, infrastructure and telecoms industries and the practice now also covers the Middle East.”
  • Tax: “Cleary Gottlieb wins high praise for its successful integration into the French market. Clients also agree that it is ‘one of the very best in France for tax issues.’  Its tax team is recommended for being ‘extremely knowledgeable, responsive and creative.’

Germany

  • Banking & Finance: “This firm earns praise from clients and peers for its ‘charismatic team and great work atmosphere.’
  • Capital Markets: Debt: “Handling domestic, US and other international issues, the firm’s “exceptional global network” was lauded by clients for facilitating complex cross-border transactions.”
  • Capital Markets: Equity: “This ‘exemplary US firm’ comes top of the list for many issuers and underwriters, who believe that ‘the professional, high-quality service of its superb international network is exceptional.’
  • Competition/Antitrust: “Operating an integrated practice between offices in Cologne and Brussels, this firm is counted among the best both in terms of European and domestic jurisdiction … The team handles anything concerning general competition law, merger control, cartel allegations, public procurement and state aid.”
  • Corporate/M&A: “Cologne has emerged as the centre of the corporate practice. Frankfurt, meanwhile, continues to cater for financial institutions in all kinds of matters, including corporate/M&A advice. While a close integration of the team with the parent US network means that a lot of the work originates elsewhere.”

Global

  • Arbitration (International): “Showing little obvious interest in marketing its name via the conference circuit, Cleary instead prefers to let its work do the talking … those in the inner circles of international arbitration confirm that it certainly occupies a place in the rankings.”
  • Banking & Finance: “This slick US firm has a reputation for being able to handle anything clients throw at it and finance is no exception. Cleary has a highly impressive bank regulatory practice on home turf, where it benefits from the SEC experience of its attorneys (many of the group’s senior partners have previously worked at the US regulator). In tune with market trends, acquisition finance is another key area for the firm.”
  • Capital Markets: Debt; Capital Markets: Equity; and Capital Markets: Structured Finance & Derivatives: “‘Absolutely outstanding and ultra-sophisticated’ is the resounding verdict on this classy Wall Street firm.  It was among the first to offer an unbroken chain of advice across the world’s financial centres and is now regarded as the leading global capital markets practice. In every jurisdiction where it has a presence, the firm has built a critical mass of leading local and US-qualified lawyers ‘who operate in leaner teams, but at a higher intellectual level than their competitors - a perfectly cost-effective business model.’ 
  • Competition/Antitrust: “Cleary has the geographic spread, depth of talent and range of experience to be considered one of the few firms with a truly global competition practice. Not only does it enjoy ‘obvious dominance’ in the key regulatory centres of Brussels and Washington, DC, but it was also quick to recognise the importance of building strong teams in individual jurisdictions across Europe.”
  • Corporate/M&A: “Measured and organic growth abroad has meant the firm has never overextended itself or compromised on its high quality. Genuine strength across a number of jurisdictions is realised by selecting local talent but adhering to standards set stateside, while the deal flow is nicely balanced between public - and private-sphere transactions.”
  • Dispute Resolution: “Cleary has translated its formidable global corporate and financial expertise into a ‘highly credible’ dispute resolution offering, which plays to the strengths of the firm’s global network … Observers highlight the firm’s ‘strength and depth’ in Europe, reserving particular praise for an impressive Paris-based arbitration practice and expertise in EC competition law-related actions.”
  • Investment Funds: Private Equity: Buyouts: “Clients praise Cleary’s ability to ‘draw on its vast international resources whenever we need it to.’   They are also attracted by the firm’s ability to ‘bring the whole package to bear on a private equity transaction; from deal aptitude and corporate and leveraged finance expertise, to tax capability.’
  • Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation: “Commentators remark that this is ‘a truly global law firm with a solid understanding of how to handle large cross-border fund work.’
  • Projects & Energy: Latin America: “Interviewees concurred that Cleary Gottlieb’s star in the projects, energy and natural resources firmament burns bright across Latin America, and pointed to its superb capability in oil and gas, petrochemical, steel, mining and toll road financings. Led from the New York office, the ‘incredibly talented lawyers’ are especially visible in Argentina and Brazil.”
  • Tax: “This team has earned a superb reputation for work on financial products and tax controversy. It builds on a significant powerbase of offices in New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt and other locations around the world.”

India

  • Overseas Counsel: Corporate & Finance: “‘Among the finest international law firms in the world with a first-class approach to problem solving, it is particularly flexible in meeting our requirements and providing helpful solutions,’ enthused happy clients of this successful India practice.”

Italy

  • Banking & Finance: “Cleary deftly combines its banking, capital markets and corporate expertise, acting mainly for the borrower in acquisition financing transactions … Interviewees add that the firm’s multi-jurisdictional capability is another distinct benefit, with Italian, UK and US law all practiced.”
  • Capital Markets: Equity: “Cleary Gottlieb is a ‘very prestigious name’ in the global ECM markets and its Italian operations certainly contribute to this reputation. Sources agree that lawyers in the Milan and Rome offices ‘maintain the highest standards of quality control and can be trusted to deliver under pressure.’
  • Competition/Antitrust: “The competition team at Cleary Gottlieb comes out on top for its ‘copious experience and capacity.’  It dominates the Italian competition/antitrust market, and is lauded for its skills in competition litigation and other proceedings before the ECJ.”
  • Corporate/M&A: “Clients are loyal to the corporate team of ‘excellent professionals’ at Cleary Gottlieb because the lawyers are ‘prompt and effective and build long-standing relationships.’  The firm’s worldwide network is important for the cross-border transactions in which it is often involved.”
  • Dispute Resolution: “This practice has built up an impressive list of clients and now handles a steady stream of high-profile cases. The international nature of Cleary’s disputes team strengthens the practice’s appeal, and the strength of its corporate and competition practices allows for fertile crossover between departments.”
  • Tax: “This three-member team has expertise in capital markets-related tax matters and in advice relating to SIIQ real estate funds, providing ‘good, client-oriented work’ to an international clientele.”
  • TMT: Telecommunications: “This US firm has become a major player in the Italian market, and is particularly ‘strong in antitrust.  The lawyers are experienced in telecoms regulation, litigation, licensing and distribution.”

Latin America

  • Corporate & Finance: “‘Cleary Gottlieb has it all: the broadest reach, the strongest history and the most recognised name,’ was the verdict on the Latin American prowess of this New York powerhouse.”

Russia

  • Banking & Finance: “Commentators see the most complex deals as the team’s particular specialism, in which ‘it offers excellent quality and is a real competitor.’
  • Capital Markets: “This ‘premier capital markets’ practice is endorsed by peers for its ‘clear niche focus and formidable ability.’  Supported from London, the Moscow branch acts for a wide variety of issuers and underwriters from both home and abroad.”
  • Corporate/M&A: “The firm has ‘been able to build on a fantastic reputation in capital markets, which forms a rock-solid foundation for corporate advice in that niche.’

South Korea

  • Overseas Counsel: “Widely renowned for its South Korea practice, the firm has ‘bags of experience of working in the region.’  Armed with 12 Korean-speaking lawyers, the team handles a variety of corporate, M&A and finance work for a range of investment banks and private equity funds. However, its ‘undisputed’ capital markets practice is what makes the firm ‘stand out from the crowd.’

United Kingdom

  • Banking & Finance: General Bank Lending and Banking & Finance: High-end Acquisition Finance: “The firm offers expertise in acquisition finance and general bank lending, where clients highlight that its ‘top-level lawyers are fantastic for finance.’
  • Capital Markets: Debt; Capital Markets: Equity; and Capital Markets: High Yield Products: “‘Cleary Gottlieb is a firm that has strength at every level: the partners are all exceptionally talented, and beneath them are associates who are as strong as partners.’  This was the verdict of one underwriter client, and it sums up the prevailing view among interviewees – the classy US firm is regarded as one of the premier capital markets shops in the City.”
  • Competition/European Law: “The group’s profile has been boosted thanks to its participation in various leading UK and EU mergers, investigations and antitrust disputes.”
  • Corporate/M&A: High-end International Capability: “Having been on the continent for longer than most of its US counterparts, the firm has real strength across the key corporate markets where it services high-profile, mostly financial institution, clients.  Peers attest to this quality outfit’s ‘fantastic integration across its network - it is seamless.
  • Private Equity: International Buyouts: “Clients credit the firm with ‘offering the whole package - corporate finance, leveraged finance and tax, plus the all-important US side.’
  • Tax: “Focused on the tax aspects of corporate and private equity-driven M&A, this firm’s work on large, cross-border deals leaves clients ‘very pleased.’

United States

  • Banking & Finance: Mainly Regulatory: “Cleary provides a variety of ‘top-level lawyers experienced in complex acquisition finance structures. Members of the banking practice, which operates out of the firm’s New York and Washington, DC offices, are experienced in the entire capital structure of acquisition finance, including bank loans, mezzanine tranches and high-yield bond finance issues.”
  • Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: “The firm continues to dominate the capital markets sphere, playing a prominent role in the highest-profile deals at home and abroad for several years. Such deal exposure has spawned a team of lawyers that is ‘wonderfully experienced - they combine decades of securities law experience both as regulatory and transactional practitioners and are rightly considered the leading experts for securities law in the USA.’
  • Capital Markets: Derivatives and Capital Markets: Structured Products: “Cleary Gottlieb sustains its top ranking in both the derivatives and structured finance sides of the market, as research confirms that it stands ‘a cut above other firms in terms of depth of expertise, cross-disciplinary capabilities and institutional recognition.’” 
  • Capital Markets: Securitisation: “Observers confirm that the team delivers an extremely high standard of service and excels in its chosen niche of expertise: complex and high-value transactions in the field of mortgage securitisation.”
  • Competition/Antitrust: “Market consensus puts the success of this firm’s practice largely down to its ‘top-notch and just excellent’ lawyers. Clients relish an approach that ‘avoids over-lawyering’ and prioritises the supply of ‘pragmatic legal advice that is always consistent with our business culture and point of view.’
  • Corporate/M&A: “A ‘powerful presence’ in the M&A landscape, this excellent firm provides a ‘uniformly high-quality’ service to clients throughout the USA and beyond. Boasting an international profile that ‘has always been excellent,’ the corporate team (whose members possess ‘great business judgement’) has been involved in some of the largest cross-border transactions to date.”
  • Private Equity: Buyouts and Venture Capital Investment: “A newcomer to the Chambers Global private equity rankings, this firm is known for ‘turning over a high volume of deals’ in the buyout arena … The firm is a prominent performer in both domestic and cross-border matters, particularly LBO transactions.”
  • Private Equity: Fund Formation: “Clients rate the ‘quality work’ produced by this firm’s fund formation team and its invaluable integration with the buyouts group … Market sources stress that the firm has built on [its TPG] relationship to expand its client base, now acting for a range of limited partners and hedge funds.”
  • Tax: Corporate: “This highly regarded firm stands out thanks to its impressive ‘business acumen and ability to think outside the box.  Winning broad respect for the calibre of its lawyers – from partners to associates – the tax team attracts work that is the envy of peers, particularly in financial products.”

The Cleary Gottlieb lawyers distinguished by Chambers Global as leading lawyers in the world are:

Africa

Belgium

Brazil

China/Hong Kong

France

Germany

Global

India

Italy

Latin America

Philippines

Russia

South Korea

United Kingdom

United States

For the full text of these rankings, please visit the Chambers’ website at  http://www.chambersandpartners.com.