Cleary Gottlieb Achieves Excellent Results in Chambers Europe 2013

April 26, 2013

Cleary Gottlieb has once again achieved excellent results in the latest edition of Chambers Europe, released on April 26. 50 of the firm’s practices are recognized as market leaders, and more than 70 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 difference between Cleary and other firms is that the quality of the people is consistent. In spite of position or experience, all the lawyers work at an extremely high level. You can see they are the best and brightest people.” “An excellent firm: the lawyers are very insightful, commercially minded and focused on the matters before them.”

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 2012, with some selected quotes:


Banking & Finance: “This exceptionally strong corporate team assists its clients with the most complicated questions of finance law. Sources say: ‘Approachable, responsive and polished without being arrogant - unlike other US firms which can be the other way round.’ ‘More than just a law firm, it gets strategically involved and dedicates an entire team to the project and knows you as a client inside out.’”

Competition/European Law: “Universally regarded as one of the best competition teams in the country, this firm has a role in almost all the top cases at EU level. Complex multinational mergers continue to be a particular strength of the group … Sources say: ‘The team combines state-of-the-art expertise with a client-oriented service.’ ‘The best firm I’ve ever seen in talent development and leadership – incredible strength globally and the lawyers work incredibly well as a team.’”

Competition: Domestic

Corporate/M&A: “This premium team remains a top choice for the largest and most complicated transactions, particularly privatisations and nationalisations. Its recent history has been dominated by financial crisis work … Sources say: ‘An extremely good service. The Rolls-Royce for large transactions.’”

International Trade/WTO: “This firm is valued by multinational clients for its in-depth knowledge of EU regulation. Its trade remedies activity includes representing respondents and complainants in EU investigations, and defending clients in proceedings abroad …The firm also advises a variety of household names on trade sanctions and export control issues.”

Public Law: “This international firm has a respected public law team in Belgium which is especially recognised for its state aid expertise. The team also advises public and private bodies on the structuring and organisation of PPP projects under both Belgian and EU law. Sources say: ‘Outstanding quality, technical and legal skills, and a perfect knowledge of both national and international regulations.’”

TMT: Information Technology & Telecommunications: “This TMT practice primarily handles competition and M&A work for an impressive list of IT and telecoms clients.”


Arbitration (International): “This high-quality US firm remains a solid fixture in the European international arbitration market, with a prestigious arbitration team operating mainly out of the Paris office. It is well known for its prowess in investment treaty arbitrations.”

Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: “This highly respected firm has an outstanding equity capital markets practice, and also provides solid advice on debt-related mandates. London is at the centre of the firm’s European network, with further strong teams in Russia, Germany, France and Italy. Sources say: ‘The firm is very clear in terms of what issues are important and what aren’t.’”

Competition/European Law: “One of the best competition practices in Brussels, this firm also has top teams in Germany, Italy and France, and recently sent Maurits Dolmans to build a practice group in London. It has advised on a slew of big mergers in Brussels … Sources say: ‘What strikes me most is the quality of the firm throughout, whether it’s France, Belgium or Germany. It’s polished without being arrogant, unlike other firms which are often the other way around.’”

Corporate/M&A: “This formidable US firm has prominent offices in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and Belgium, and is widely respected for its capability in heavyweight deals. The team acts across a range of sectors but attracts particular plaudits for its expertise in the energy sector. Sources say: ‘I like the quality of work and the firm’s global reach.’” 

International Trade/WTO

Tax: “This firm moves up the rankings this year in recognition of its work on several complex multi-jurisdictional mandates. It is extremely strong in France, and also fields notable teams in Germany, the UK, Italy and Belgium. The group is best known for advising on tax issues relating to M&A transactions and capital markets, and also handles a steady stream of tax litigation work. Sources say: ‘One of the strongest American firms in Europe: it’s not the largest but it’s really smart and does a really good job every time.’ ‘Its European practice has a strong historical reputation, particularly in Paris.’”

Technology & Communications: “This firm receives particularly high praise for its ability to advise major clients on pan-European transactions and sector-specific issues. It is especially strong in Brussels and brings considerable competition and regulatory expertise to large-scale cross-border deals. Clients include banks, private equity houses and well-known IT and telecoms players.”


Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: “Cleary Gottlieb’s nine-partner team gains excellent feedback for the quality of its work. Although it is best known for focusing on equity capital markets, it is also active in other areas including debt, liability management and financial restructurings. Sources say: ‘Both the senior and junior lawyers I work with do a great job. The whole team is available and the service is timely.’”

Competition/European Law: “This rapidly expanding team works closely with its other practices and benefits from a strong international network which extends to Brussels and the USA. The firm advises several large clients … and its caseload covers state aid, merger control, cartel, abuse of dominance and litigation proceedings. Sources say: ‘A very good firm with high-quality clients.’”

Corporate/M&A: “Versatility is one of the keys to the success of this first-rate team. All its lawyers work in associated practices such as capital markets, financing and restructuring, incorporating their expertise in these areas in their corporate work. The group focuses on public and private transactions between French companies. Sources say: ‘Excellent, a really top-level firm. The quality is consistent across the board.’”

Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration & Litigation: “The French outpost of this top US firm frequently represents banking, pharmaceutical and oil and gas clients in complex litigation and arbitrations. It also regularly advises governments around the world.”

Energy & Natural Resources: “Market observers compliment the energy practice of this international firm for its work in mining in Africa. It also has expertise in oil and gas, biofuels and electricity. The firm helps clients set up commercial operations, negotiate joint ventures and acquisitions. In addition it has extensive experience of IPOs and antitrust, tax and financing matters. Sources say: ‘The lawyers are well-recognised experts for energy and mining in West Africa. They have the ability to get deals done and understand the jurisdictions very well, both legally and culturally.’”

Private Equity: High End: “This international firm is widely recognised for its high-end private equity practice and expertise in leveraged transactions. Sources say: ‘The advice is always of the highest quality.’”

Projects: International Projects: “The Paris outpost of this global firm handles an impressive caseload of PPP, PFI, mining and infrastructure projects. The firm is also well reputed for its work in the energy and natural resources sectors … Sources say: ‘An excellent firm: the lawyers are very insightful, commercially minded and focused on the matters before them. They are efficient, turn around documentation quickly, and they don’t give up. The support staff are also absolutely amazing – we spent many hours there and they were of a tremendous quality.’” 

Tax: “This compact team continues to impress market observers by pulling in a variety of high-profile mandates. The team also represents corporates and individuals in a number of tax litigation files. Sources say: ‘An efficient and proactive team, it’s really on the ball.’”


Banking & Finance: Acquisition Finance & Syndicated Lending: “This firm offers a highly integrated team of lawyers with various specialisations, which allows it to handle a wide range of transactions within the financial markets sector. Sources say: ‘We appreciate the team’s clear and prompt response, as well as its ability to collaborate with colleagues in other jurisdictions.’”

Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: “Universally acknowledged as a leader in equity work, the capitals markets practice at this firm is often involved in some of the market’s largest transactions. It enjoys an impressive client portfolio … Clients and peers recognise and appreciate the international capabilities of the firm. Sources say: ‘The firm is one of the longer-standing ones in Germany with little fluctuation in terms of personnel. I think it is well established - if you’re talking about big deals you’d put the team on your sheet.’”

Competition/European Law: “This competition and antitrust practice cements its top-tier position after another successful year. The firm displays notable strength in competition issues such as abuse of dominance and merger control proceedings. Sources say: ‘Absolutely top-notch - one of the German heavyweights.’ ‘A renowned firm in this legal field with brilliant lawyers.’”

Corporate/M&A: “Cleary Gottlieb’s German practice is a regular presence on large-cap, cross-border M&A transactions … Although the team is mandated by a range of prominent companies within Germany and from around the world, it is particularly popular with French and US clients. Sources say: ‘Solid and diligent, high responsiveness and lots of partner involvement.’”

Tax: “The Cleary tax practice provides support on complex cross-border M&A, capital markets and restructuring transactions.”


Banking & Finance: “This firm offers a highly integrated banking and finance practice, bringing together a team of lawyers with various specialisations. Recent mandates have centred on acquisition finance, leveraged finance and restructurings. Much of the team’s work has an international flavour, and it attracts prominent multinational clients … Sources say: ‘The lawyers are always available when we need them and are extremely technically prepared. They pay close attention to keeping the client happy.’”

Capital Markets: “This established team is well known for its equity capital markets capabilities in Italy, and is also increasingly visible on international bond-related transactions. Litigation related to capital markets is an additional strength of the group. Sources say: ‘The beauty of the firm is that the senior partners are really on the ball, and don’t disappear once things get going.’ ‘Loyalty, capability and commitment – they are all excellent lawyers.’”

Competition/European Law: “Sources unanimously place this impressive team at the top of the market for quality, proactivity, speed and timeliness. It handles European and national competition issues, acting on litigation concerning cartels, abuse of dominance and merger control. The group also assists clients with state aid matters and regulatory procedures in the telecoms and energy sectors. Sources say: ‘The team is outstanding – the lawyers are committed and creative, and explore all possibilities to find interesting solutions.’ ‘The firm delivers the highest quality in a very short time.’”

Corporate M&A: “The five-partner corporate/M&A group at this international firm enjoys an enviable market reputation, representing major domestic and multinational clients in high-end cross-border deals. It handles an array of M&A, including negotiated and hostile transactions, joint ventures, reorganisations, LBOs and auctions. Sources say: ‘Its strengths include strong theoretical knowledge and the fact that the partners really understand business considerations.’”

Dispute Resolution: “This US powerhouse remains a go-to firm for complex international contentious issues, and is particularly noted for its strength in international arbitration. Recent highlights include advising on two of the first class actions in Italy following the adoption of a new class action law.”

Private Equity: “This US giant specialises in advising private equity clients on tax-planning and competition law matters. It enjoys a strong presence in the domestic market as well as considerable international strength, and is active across a wealth of industry sectors including technology, financial institutions and consumer goods. It counts some leading private equity firms amongst its steady clients … Sources say: ‘An excellent firm, and the lawyers were fantastic.’”

Restructuring/Insolvency: “This team maintains a high market profile, especially in international restructuring deals, in which it capitalises on the firm’s vast global network. The group has particular expertise in corporate debt restructurings, and has also carved out a niche advising on government sovereign debt restructurings. Sources say: ‘The firm delivers a very high standard service, not only in Italy but worldwide.’”

Tax: “This compact tax department maintains a solid market reputation, especially in relation to financial and capital markets transactions. International mandates are a particular source of strength.”

TMT: Telecommunication: “This international player is frequently involved in high-level contentious and non-contentious regulatory mandates within the TMT sector, as well as some notable antitrust cases. Sources say: ‘Absolutely dependable and detail-oriented.’ ‘Analytical, attentive and efficient.’”


Banking & Finance: “This high-quality practice is best known for its work in the corporate and capital markets spheres, so it is no surprise to see it acting for borrowers in some of the market’s most impressive transactions. The firm’s international footprint, as well as its elite reputation, secures the admiration of market sources. Sources say: ‘A really strong brand.’”

Capital Markets: “Thanks largely to its long experience in the market and close relations with top-end Russian corporates, Cleary continues to be a leading outfit in both debt and equity capital markets work. The team is split between the London and Moscow offices, allowing clients access to the best Russian and English law advice. Sources say: ‘The difference between Cleary and other firms is that the quality of the people is consistent. In spite of position or experience, all the lawyers work at an extremely high level. You can see they are the best and brightest people.’”

Corporate/M&A: “Cleary commands an enviable portfolio of corporate clients, and the Moscow office has become synonymous with high-quality advice on prominent transactions. Its strong, partner-driven service is very attractive to clients, as is the cross-border team. Drawing on the collective strength of its London and Moscow offices, the Russian practice remains a major player in this field. Sources say: ‘The team was excellent in terms of drafting legal agreements and negotiating.’”

Private Equity: “Renowned for its top-quality M&A and capital markets offerings, this multi-talented team is also recognised for its involvement in some high-end private equity mandates. Cleary benefits from experience dating back to 1991, when it was one of the first international firms to open a Moscow branch. The group works closely with international colleagues to provide clients with full coverage of cross-border deals.”

Restructuring/Insolvency: “Expertly combining the resources of its global network, this team has a well-deserved reputation for securing some of the most exciting projects around. It also draws on the expertise of the firm’s stellar capital markets and corporate practices. Sources say: ‘High-quality services, excellent drafting skills, and exceptional management and internal communication.’”

TMT: “This firm is renowned for its strength in corporate and capital markets matters, and regularly advises on some of the most high-value transactions in the market.”

United Kingdom

Banking & Finance: Sponsors: “The focus of Cleary’s banking practice is centred on its high-end borrower and sponsor clientele … Emerging markets are a key focus for the team, and the firm acts for a range of natural resources companies on major financings. The firm is internationally considered a leader in advising sovereign states in this field. Sources say: ‘They have tremendous attention to detail and quick turnaround times.’”

Corporate/M&A: High End Capability: “This team has been at the forefront of emerging markets work since its inception and has benefited from long-standing relationships in these markets to capitalise on the international surge in M&A. Sources say: ‘Tremendous firm with a great reputation’ ‘Fundamentally focused on the client.’”

Dispute Resolution: Litigation: Highly Regarded: “The firm handles litigation for a number of large corporates and sovereign nations, and in recent months has acted on litigation relating to cartel investigations, financial institution clients and emerging markets fraud actions. Sources say: ‘They always make us feel that we are the centre of attention and that they really care. They are always ready to participate.’”