Cleary Gottlieb Achieves Excellent Results in Chambers Europe 2012

May 17, 2012

Cleary Gottlieb has once again achieved excellent results in the latest edition of Chambers Europe, released on May 11. Over 45 of the firm’s practices are recognized as market leaders, and more than 65 lawyers across the firm’s offices in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Russia and the UK are recommended.

Feedback from clients and peers is resoundingly positive, with sources remarking “The standard of expertise is exceptionally high” and “A perfect performance: the team is always available and dedicated to getting the deal done.”

The following Cleary Gottlieb practices are recognized for being among the best in Europe based on Chambers and Partners’ interviews with clients and competitors during the course of 2011, with some selected quotes:


Banking and Finance: “This U.S. heavyweight continues to enjoy a solid position in the banking and finance sphere, representing state entities, financial institutions and companies. As the firm is not departmentalized, the group is made up of lawyers with expertise in a range of practice areas.” 

Competition/European Law: “Sources agree that this established firm has a broad, balanced practice. It handles all aspects of competition and European law and is particularly well known for its work on complex multinational mergers. In addition to its international strength, the firm is praised for its significant expertise in domestic competition law. ‘Our go-to firm for competition in Europe. … The standard of expertise is exceptionally high.’” 

Competition/European Law: Domestic

Corporate/M&A: “This three-partner team maintains its dominant market position as it continues to win new mandates from a series of high-profile clients. It is extremely active in international M&A deals in addition to handling a large volume of restructuring work. … The team is also notably active in corporate litigation. ‘The lawyers are very clear and concise in their communications and are perfectly equipped to handle large-scale, complex transactions.’” 

International Trade/WTO: “Sanctions issues constituted a particularly important facet of this team’s workload over the past twelve months, as the EU responded to international political events.” 

Public Law: “This seven-strong team is active in high-end public restructuring projects and also offers expertise in corporate and tax law. The group attracts significant domestic and international clients, who value its strength at both a local and global level. ‘Impressive, precise and concise.’” 

TMT: Information Technology & Telecommunications: “Sources commend this firm as one of the premier names for TMT work in Belgium. Its impressive standing in IT is bolstered by a robust telecoms practice, with the group’s chief focus being competition matters within the TMT sphere.”  


Arbitration (International): “Cleary’s strong international network gives it a notable edge, and its Russian office in particular receives glowing feedback from clients. ‘Cleary is committed and able to go into detail to elaborate on the crucial aspects of a deal.’”

Capital Markets: Debt and Equity: “This U.S. powerhouse has a notable presence in several major European locations and clearly maintains its position as a leading capital markets adviser. The Paris team excels in equity matters and has been active on share sales, rights offerings and IPOs lately. It houses a string of dual-qualified lawyers, which commentators note brings a much-appreciated global overview to cross-border transactions. The German team includes a fiercely strong U.S. capital markets team in Frankfurt … The Russian team has a healthy number of issuers and underwriters in its client portfolio… ‘We initially chose this team because of its solid prowess in bond issues. We continue with it thanks to its knowledgeable, efficient, reactive approach to client work.’” 

Competition/European Law: “Cleary Gottlieb remains one of the most sought-after firms for competition law advice. With 70 antitrust specialists in the Brussels office alone, and highly experienced teams in Italy, Germany and France, it is capable of handling a heavy workload of multi-jurisdictional merger control, antitrust and state aid instructions…The firm has been involved in major cartel investigations of late, including in the pharmaceuticals, LCD panels and polyurethane foam sectors. ‘Our go-to firm for competition matters in Europe.’ ‘Phenomenal for antitrust work.’” 

Corporate/M&A: “This U.S. firm focuses on high-end transactions, working out of offices in key European cities. Its busy Paris and Brussels teams are supported by successful branches in Moscow, London, Milan, Rome, Frankfurt and Cologne. Teams consist of local lawyers and U.S. experts, and often work alongside each other on cross-border deals. The firm has a diverse client portfolio, including sellers, buyers and targets. ‘It stands out in corporate law and on complex transactions.’”

International Trade/WTO: “Sanctions issues constituted a particularly important facet of this team’s workload of late, as the EU responded to international political events… Other standout matters include continued work in trade remedies and customs.” 

Tax: “This U.S. outfit is well versed on international tax aspects of cross-border acquisitions and joint ventures, and runs a highly respected tax planning consultancy for financial services companies as well as other multinationals. With established offices in France, Germany and Italy, the team offers expert advice across the continent, on mainly corporate/M&A and capital markets-related tax matters. It also has experience in the ever-growing field of tax litigation, as European governments and tax authorities seek to ensure maximum tax revenue. ‘It has some really top-notch tax people in continental Europe and the UK.’” 

Technology and Communications: “Technology and telecoms clients continue to benefit from this firm’s strong competition/EU law practice and its ability to handle complex regulatory matters. Belgium and Italy are the group’s strongholds in the European market, and it advises a range of eminent international names.” 


Capital Markets: Derivatives and Debt & Equity: “This team enjoys an excellent reputation for its capital markets work, and is particularly renowned for its expertise in equity and derivatives, although peers note it has an increasing presence in debt matters. It maintains a broad range of expertise and a large market share, assisting both domestic and international clients. ‘A dedicated, knowledgeable and efficient team.’” 

Competition/European Law: “This Paris-based competition practice benefits from the input of associates in Brussels who are also qualified to work in France. It handles most aspects of competition law, including cartel investigations, abuse of dominant position, state aid and multi-jurisdictional merger filings. ‘One of the top competition practices. It is very good at developing relationships with the authorities.’” 

Corporate/M&A: “Admiring feedback from all sides reflects this U.S. firm’s continuing and undisputed membership of the M&A elite. Sources enthuse about this sizeable group’s breadth and depth of practice, and its ability to bring serious gravitas to a case. It focuses on the high end of the market. Its capacity and quality of work are excellent both on the international and on the domestic level. ‘The best U.S. firm on the market for corporate and M&A, offering a great depth of practice.’ ‘Doing an excellent job across the board.’”

Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration: “The large dispute resolution practice at this U.S. firm is perhaps best known for its international arbitration capacity, but is also well regarded in the litigation field. It handles commercial and investment treaty arbitration cases throughout the world, and is particularly active in the oil and gas, aerospace, telecoms and automotive sectors. Clients are full of praise for the high level of expertise and service provided by the group.”

Energy & Natural Resources: “Sources report that this firm has a clear presence in energy and natural resources in Africa, in particular representing governments in mining mandates, and advising on hydroelectricity, oil and gas projects. The team also acts for governments, multinational companies and financial institutions on energy-related deals in the Middle East and Europe. ‘A strong player in the energy market.’” 

Private Equity: High End: “Cleary Gottlieb maintains a strong market presence and has worked on headline transactions for prestigious clients of late… Sources are quick to comment favorably on the team’s capabilities in complex international deals.” 

Projects: International Projects: “This multidisciplinary team maintains its impressive standing in the market. The team often works with other Cleary Gottlieb offices across Europe, particularly the London branch, and earns praise for its seamless co-operation. The group’s workload consists mainly of mining, energy, infrastructure and telecoms projects. It has much experience of the oil and gas sectors, and typically acts for sponsors, governments, development finance institutions, banks and international investors. ‘The level of service was really excellent, with short response times.’” 

Tax: “This team has a broad-ranging practice, handling M&A and capital markets deals as well as standalone work such as employee benefits, financing, litigation, wealth and real estate tax matters. ‘Our go-to team for cross-border tax projects, and we really appreciate the firm’s international network.’” 


Banking & Finance: Acquisition Finance and Syndicated Lending: “This practice is made up of lawyers with various specializations, enabling it to offer an integrated banking service that also covers corporate and capital markets. ‘A very knowledgeable, reliable and approachable team.’” 

Capital Markets: Debt and Equity: “The capital markets division of this world-class firm comes highly recommended for its leading equity capital markets practice, as well as its strength in debt capital markets transactions. The team is noted for its international standing. … ‘The team combines local knowledge with strong overseas expertise, which is a big advantage for international clients.’” 

Competition/European Law: “Sources place this compact Cologne-based competition team at the top of the market for quality, creativity and precision. … The firm handles the full spectrum of competition law, from abuse of dominance to merger control. ‘The team is extremely practical and focuses on the core issues.’” 

Corporate/M&A: “This integrated team covers a wide range of corporate matters, and comes highly recommended for regulatory advice and M&A transactions for financial institutions. As is to be expected, the firm has considerable international expertise and is regularly involved in large cross-border mandates. ‘A perfect performance: the team is always available and dedicated to getting the deal done.’” 

Tax: “This compact tax team offers integrated tax and corporate law advice, with a focus on tax-driven corporate restructuring and the tax optimization of M&A transactions. The team is also known for its work on capital markets transactions.” 

Banking & Finance “This team offers a complete range of services, particularly at an international level thanks to its Italian-, UK- and U.S.-qualified professionals. Recent workload has focused largely on the energy sector. … ‘Highly professional and responsive.’” 

Capital Markets: Equity: “This team maintains its reputation for excellence in capital markets work. It continues to win new high-profile mandates, in addition to serving a number of long-standing clients… The group is heavily involved in equity transactions but is also active on debt and restructuring matters…many of the team’s clients regard this [firm’s] global reach as a major advantage. ‘The service we received from this well-organized firm was impeccable.’” 

Competition/European Law “The feedback received for this team is both abundant and effusive. It attracts an impressive roster of high-profile clients with its strong global network and host of skilled practitioners, active in cartel, abuse of dominance, state aid and private enforcement work. ‘Cleary Gottlieb is simply one of the best law firms for antitrust in Italy.’”

Corporate/M&A: “Combining the qualities of a boutique with the resources of an international firm, Cleary Gottlieb wins praise for its consistently high-quality service. The team is made up of professionals with various specializations, enabling it to provide clients with a personalized and flexible approach. ‘The firm really helped us shape the deal and is very good at coming up with innovative solutions.’”

Dispute Resolution: “The dispute resolution team at this international firm has adapted exceedingly well to serving the Italian market. Sources assert that, whilst the team offers the personal approach of a boutique, it also has the cross-border capabilities of an international firm. This is reflected in the team’s client base, which includes entities based in Latin America and Russia. In addition to its extensive international arbitration work, the team also represents large domestic companies in corporate and contract litigation matters.” 

Private Equity: “This U.S. player stands out for its team of talented individuals and for leading in major deals on both the international and domestic front. The firm has expertise in a variety of sectors, including technology, financial institutions and consumer goods, and it assists private equity clients with investments, tax planning and competition law issues. ‘We turned to Cleary for a difficult job and its team handled it quickly and adeptly.’” 

Restructuring/Insolvency: “This international powerhouse is enjoying increased visibility in the market and has worked on several high-profile mandates… Interviewees are quick to highlight the team’s efficiency, pragmatism and continuous support. ‘The firm is absolutely terrific to work with: extremely responsive and available at all hours of the day.’” 

Tax: “The compact practice at this U.S. firm has a reputation for the strength and quality of its advice. It has considerable expertise in a range of tax issues and excels in advising on the tax aspects of cross-border M&A transactions. ‘The team is calm, meticulous and service-oriented.’” 

TMT: Media and Telecommunications: “This stellar TMT practice is renowned for its excellent telecoms practice…The dynamic team handles a raft of TMT issues including transactional, regulatory, antitrust and contentious work. ‘An all-round talented firm.’” 


Banking & Finance “In addition to the firm’s acknowledged reputation in capital markets, it also enjoys a significant share of the banking and finance sphere. Drawing on the strength of its international network, the team is often to be seen on the most high-profile transactions in the market. ‘Excellent quality lawyers.’”

Capital Markets: “Established in 1991, the Moscow branch of Cleary Gottlieb continues to be amongst the top international firms in the market, and is renowned for its stellar capital markets and M&A capabilities. The team’s long familiarity with Russian business helps it attract mandates from some of the largest domestic organizations, in addition to its impressive roster of foreign clients. Interviewees are particularly impressed by the team’s excellent reputation on the issuer side of transactions, and with the depth of expertise offered by its international network. ‘A classy firm with high-quality individuals.’”

Corporate/M&A: “Since the founding of the Moscow office in 1991, the firm has gone from strength to strength, and retains its founding focus on prominent cross-border transactions. The team draws on the exceptional expertise of its wider network when advising on capital markets, syndicated loans, and M&A matters. The office has proved highly successful, and it is in high demand with major Russian corporations as well as the expected international clients. ‘The corporate group is fabulous.’” 

Private Equity: “Sources note this firm’s ability to understand and identify the commercial objectives behind transactions…Working in close co-operation with its London office, the team has considerable experience advising international and domestic private equity funds on their investments. ‘This firm’s standing is first rate.’” 

Restructuring/Insolvency: “Cleary has long been a powerful force in Russia, and it continues to be involved in some of the most high-profile mandates around. ‘An exceptionally good firm with exceptional people.’” 

TMT: “Drawing on its strengths in corporate and M&A matters, this firm combines the expertise of its high-quality Moscow office with the resources of an internationally renowned law firm. In recent times, the team has done a substantial amount of work for large Russian telecommunications operators, and it remains a popular choice for foreign clients keen to invest in the region.” 

United Kingdom 

Banking & Finance: Sponsors “Clients appreciate the high-caliber banking and finance team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. The partners use their broad experience of various practice areas to offer clients a truly collaborative approach. The firm is best known for its outstanding work with sponsors, and frequently advises on cross-border LBOs, debt buy-backs and exchanges.”

Corporate/M&A: High-end Capability:  “The firm continues to represent public and private corporations, private equity houses and financial institutions engaged in a variety of recommended and hostile deals involving proposed M&A and joint ventures. ‘This firm is synonymous with expertise, knowledge and reliability.’ ‘I was thrilled to work with the firm and am looking forward to working with them again should the opportunity arise.’”