Cleary Gottlieb Achieves Excellent Results in Chambers USA 2009 Guide: Two-thirds of U.S.-based Partners Distinguished as Leaders

June 12, 2009

Cleary Gottlieb was recognized as one of the best law firms in the United States with 33 top-ranked practices in the Chambers USA 2009 legal directory. New areas cited for excellence are the firm’s Energy & Natural Resources, Broker Dealer Regulation and White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations practices. Several practices and individuals highlighted in previous editions of the guide advanced in the rankings and 75 Cleary Gottlieb lawyers have been distinguished as leaders in their respective fields.

The following Cleary Gottlieb practices are recognized for being among the best in the United States

Antitrust and Antitrust: Cartel (National) – “‘Without a doubt, deserving of its place among the US elite,’ this substantial team has maintained a superb reputation for antitrust work over the years and continues to represent the world’s largest companies in complex and high-stake matters in the most closely monitored industries. The group handles merger and dispute matters on both a national and international scale; strong agency relationships in Washington, D.C., excellent ties in Brussels, and an impressive number of lawyers specializing in the field ensure this team remains close to its clients’ hearts.”

Antitrust (D.C.) – “A stalwart of the Washington, D.C. antitrust landscape … [t]he firm’s global presence continues to be a major draw for international clients, who agree that it is well placed to assist them with merger filings and cross-border antitrust matters. It is equally extolled for work on the domestic front, where the lawyers are highlighted for their creativity and excellent relationships with the agencies.”

Banking & Finance (National) – “‘A strong firm qualitatively,’ this group has an excellent reputation for its established borrower and private equity work and is praised by clients for business common sense and good judgment. The firm maintains a consistently busy acquisition finance practice.”

Banking & Finance (N.Y.) – “This team comprises ‘knowledgeable lawyers with outstanding resources,’ and is widely regarded as a successful borrower-side practice with ‘a superb network and a robust list of private equity clients.’ … Clients feel the team is ‘diligent and responsive: the lawyers really put themselves in the client’s shoes, so they are 100% committed.’”

Bankruptcy/Restructuring (N.Y.) – “Representing both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy and restructuring and buyers and sellers in distressed M&A, this high-quality group has been doing well in work arising out of the economic downturn. … Sources appreciate the ‘incredibly responsive, thorough and client-friendly lawyers’ for their ability to ‘anticipate issues and provide clear advice ahead of events.’”

Capital Markets: Debt and Equity (National) – “A ‘strong, diverse practice and impressive global footprint,’ have kept this firm active and agile over the past year. The group has excelled at handling financially crucial transactions for its clients in the midst of tough market conditions.”

Capital Markets: Derivatives and Capital Markets: Structured Products (National) – “Bolstered by a deep bench, the firm’s regulatory and transactional expertise shines through. The firm’s across-the-board strength in structured finance means that … regulatory bodies routinely seek out the group’s advice.”

Capital Markets: Securitization (National) – “This team has increased the breadth of its work across various areas of securitization. … One of the firm’s great draws is its efficient interdisciplinary approach to client service.”

Corporate/M&A (National) – “Cross-border transactions are central to the workload of this international firm and its strong ties to major financial institutions provide it with a bedrock of large-scale deals.”

Corporate/M&A (D.C.) – “‘Always a force to be reckoned with, Cleary Gottlieb deserves the utmost respect from opposing sides in deals.’ This formidable international firm serves a significant number of financial institutions, and the Washington, D.C. group works closely with the larger New York office on several cross-border transactions.”

Corporate/M&A: The Elite (N.Y.) – “Cleary’s international outlook is one of its most distinguishing features, with a wide array of jurisdictions across the world boasting an office. … With its specialty in financial products and capital markets, it is ideally placed to take advantage of the financial institution-related work that has emerged in recent months.”

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (N.Y.) – “[T]his firm dominates the financial services market; it has cultivated a reputation as one of the leaders in ERISA fiduciary matters, and is praised for its good work counseling clients on the employee benefit aspects of M&A transactions. The team is applauded for its proactive outlook, and ‘works tirelessly to keep clients abreast of new laws and issues.’ … The team wins full marks for its service: ‘Although it’s a big firm, the lawyers always make you feel like you are their most important client.’”

Energy & Natural Resources (N.Y.) – “‘When in doubt, I call Cleary,’ says one client. The team offers a broad foundation of premium-quality finance expertise, including projects, M&A or securities, delivered by ‘pleasant, hard-working, creative and collegial attorneys without egos.’”

Financial Services Regulation: Banking (Regulatory Enforcement & Investigations), Financial Services Regulation: Banking & Securities (Regulatory Compliance), Financial Services Regulation: Broker Dealer Regulation, and Financial Services Regulation: Financial Institutions M&A (National) – “Handling a great deal of work generated by the financial downturn, Cleary Gottlieb has dominated on a spate of headline-grabbing rescue operations, recapitalizations and regulatory transformations. … This is a uniformly high-quality team, with interviewees enthusing: ‘They know what they are doing and they don’t make mistakes – they put all the resources that are needed into a matter.’”

International Arbitration (National) – “Cleary Gottlieb combines its international coverage with a high-quality arbitration practice. Heavyweight attorneys in New York and Washington, D.C. coordinate with partners in London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Brussels and Frankfurt to achieve the best results for clients using an ‘organized, thorough and experienced approach’ to complex, cross-border matters.”

Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation (National) – “As activity in the deal market slows, the Cleary team has witnessed increased work in rescue financings, a number of which have private equity elements. ‘Finding creative solutions to complex problems’ and ‘always bringing in the right specialists,’ the practice has recently handled first and second private equity fund formation focused on investments in Asia.”

Investment Funds: REITs (National) – “This team has established itself in real estate financing … The team is strongest on the lender side and the firm’s international reach has been a major asset, with its reputation growing steadily in the Middle East and Latin America.”

Latin American Investment (N.Y.) – “Once again, market sources crown Cleary Gottlieb ‘the undisputed market leader’ in New York for Latin American investment work. The team is made up of ‘incredibly effective and consummate professionals at all levels.’… Peers agree that this firm has ‘one of the biggest footprints and strongest commitments to the region.’”

Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite, Litigation: Securities, and Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (N.Y.) – “The team impresses clients with its integrated global service, providing sound technical and strategic advice across offices and disciplines. Complex civil litigation and matters before the SEC for financial institutions are par for the course, and bankruptcy-related litigation has been high on the agenda in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis. … The firm’s securities enforcement and white-collar defense group is highly recommended for its well-rounded approach to litigation, and draws on the firm’s expertise in the areas of financial and securities regulation.”

Private Equity: Buyouts (National) – “Distinguished by its expertise in sovereign wealth funds and its experience in Asia and the Middle East, this practice is also noted for its advice on setting up partnership agreements, document formation and its capabilities in all aspects of M&A transactions. Sources say: ‘The lawyers appreciate, tactically, how to make an important point without disrupting the process.’”

Projects: Infrastructure and Projects: Power (National) – “A team of ‘unbelievably thorough’ attorneys of exceptional quality provide the project finance and infrastructure expertise here. … [T]he firm fields outstanding individuals at every level. The lawyers are generalists, working across power, infrastructure, mining and metals, and oil and gas, and the firm exhibits particular strength in sponsor representation in Latin American power projects and North American port financings.”

Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (N.Y.) – “‘This team excels in extraordinary and unusual transactions,’ report clients, who are equally impressed by its thoroughness and speedy responses … ‘They work to get the deal done instead of trying to prove that they are the smartest people in the room.’”

Securities Regulation (National) – “Cleary is still renowned for a team that produces ‘superior quality work across the board.’ It is also commended for its integrated approach, with clients remarking that ‘you get the entire firm’s full range of expertise working for you.’”

Tax: Corporate & Finance (National) – “This New York-centered firm has a transactional tax practice of national repute and has made its name in cross-border and international M&A financing. … Sources say: ‘The attorneys are marvelous and their terrific practice representing the prominent investment banks really makes them standout.’ … Pinpointing the key skills of the group, interviewees remark that ‘at the crucial stages of a deal the lawyers are never afraid to make authoritative decisions’ and that ‘remarkable talent runs throughout the practice.’”

Tax (N.Y.) – “This transactional tax practice has a focus on financial products and enjoys an outstanding reputation, both in New York and internationally. Providing ‘amazing quality from beginning to end,’ it has a forte in cross-border M&A financing, while advisory work, restructurings and controversy matters have all been increasing features of the workload.”

For the full text of these rankings, please visit Chambers’ website.