Cleary Gottlieb Achieves Outstanding Results in Chambers Global 2011: 121 Lawyers and 97 Practices Selected as “Leaders in the Field”

March 23, 2011

Evidencing the strength of the firm’s overall practice and extent of its geographic reach, the 2011 edition of Chambers Global distinguishes 121 Cleary Gottlieb lawyers and 97 practices as “leaders in the field.” The firm is recognized for work in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China/Hong Kong, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as regionally throughout Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and globally.

As the publication has evolved, Chambers has moved toward a focus on firms with “truly international experience.” For this edition, Chambers Global included additional ranking tables for practice areas that are most relevant to international clients and recognized “regional experts,” lawyers with specialist knowledge and experience of foreign jurisdictions outside their own country. Recognizing Cleary Gottlieb’s commitment to markets around the world, Chambers profiled the firm for the first time in the following categories:

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


  • Arbitration (International): “This firm’s arbitration expertise is chiefly concentrated in Paris, from where it acts on a variety of arbitrations including key cases involving sovereign states. Sources say: ‘Excellent in both Paris and the USA.’”
  • Banking & Finance: “This firm has a strong presence in the USA and Latin America, and is especially well regarded for sponsor-side representations in London and regulatory work in Germany. Its Latin American practice is particularly robust in Brazil and Mexico, with clients here including both financial institutions and borrowers. Many deals feature complex structured elements that straddle banking and finance and the debt capital markets.”
  • Capital Markets: DebtCapital Markets: Equity and Capital Markets: Structured Finance & Derivatives: “This firm maintains an excellent reputation in debt, equity and structured finance, with a formidable profile in the USA, Latin America and across Asia and Europe. It is also a market leader in Russia. The firm routinely undertakes work with significant international aspects, including many sovereign debt transactions.”
  • Competition/Antitrust: “This US firm maintains its leading position in the market thanks to being one of the few players with equally strong US and European teams. The 150-lawyer group advises clients from its 12 offices worldwide, with Brussels and Washington, DC being the main hubs of activity. ‘The firm has a strong international presence and a well-deserved and long-standing reputation for quality.’”
  • Corporate/M&A: “This US firm has made its global network a priority which is reflected in its prominence in major markets such as the USA, Asia, the Middle East, the UK, Europe and Latin America. The firm is able to advise on a whole raft of corporate and M&A matters, across industry sectors for its global and domestic clients. Sources say: ‘Cleary is very impressive and has great international reach.’”
  • Dispute Resolution: “In addition to its very strong New York base, this group has significant disputes capacity in Paris, Rome and London, and also offers exceptional strength in antitrust cases via its Washington, DC office. The team counts a number of key financial institutions among its clients. According to sources: ‘A very good global disputes practice, with great strength in competition litigation.’”
  • Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation: “This highly regarded US firm is frequently enlisted as counsel for special projects, including the restructuring of private equity funds.”
  • Private Equity: “This firm maintains its prominent reputation in the USA and, with offices in 12 major international financial centers, it is well placed to handle work in many jurisdictions and continues to be present on EU transactions. … ‘Cleary has a fabulous international network. … It’s really first-rate.’”
  • Public International Law: “This firm has PIL expertise spread across its network of offices, including Paris, New York and London. It is most notable for its investment treaty arbitration work … ‘Has a strong all-round practice for sovereigns which provides many opportunities to get involved in PIL matters.’”
  • Tax: “With an undisputed leading practice in the USA, Cleary’s tax group is also in demand in Europe due to its excellent international transactional record. … The lawyers are experienced in providing advice related to financial products, as well as handling challenging cross-border corporate transactions. ‘We would go to them consistently because they deliver such high-quality work. … Experience is the team’s strongest quality.’”



  • Corporate/Commercial and Projects & Energy: “Primarily based in Paris, this practice has a considerable presence for corporate work across Africa, with an extremely broad spread of knowledge and experience including M&A, joint ventures, capital markets and sovereign debt. A significant area of growth for the team has been acting for private equity firms on African deals. Sources note: ‘This firm has had a good year and demonstrates a lot of strength and depth.’”


  • Capital Markets: Debt and Capital Markets: Equity: “The Hong Kong and Beijing offices of this firm are principally seen on the issuer side of debt and equity capital market transactions. Sources say: ‘They have the right size of team and a global reach. … Capable lawyers who speak Korean proficiently, with the ability to give precise and clear advice whenever and wherever.’”
  • Corporate/M&ACorporate/M&A: Private Equity and Hong Kong-based: Corporate & Finance: “Operating out of offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, this firm’s reach extends to South Korea, India, the Philippines and Malaysia, where it is a leading provider of advice on complex corporate matters. Recent work in Greater China has spanned the manufacturing, energy, IT and insurance sectors.”


  • Arbitration (International): “This firm’s Paris office is at the center of its international arbitration practice. Its pan-European team of 15 partners focuses on public international law and investment treaty instructions. Sources say: ‘The team is innovative and demonstrates impressive attention to detail.’”
  • Capital Markets: Debt and Capital Markets: Equity: “[Cleary Gottlieb] has market-leading presences in strategic European locations – the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Russia – and employs teams of versatile lawyers who offer strong expertise in multiple practice areas. ‘A top-notch capital markets firm.’ … ‘They value their clients, big or small. … Consistently high quality – their HR is fantastic at hiring only the best people. They have a culture of people who work hard and are very smart.’”
  • Competition/European Law: “According to sources: ‘The quality of the work and the responsiveness are outstanding. … The network of offices in key countries, combined with the varied expertise of the Brussels office, makes this firm ideal for any transaction in Europe involving multiple jurisdictions. … The service is excellent – that’s why we go back to them again and again.’”
  • Corporate/M&A: “This elite US firm has been active in the European market for more than 60 years and has grown to eight offices since its arrival on the continent. The Paris office was the first to be established and remains a jewel in the firm’s crown. ‘An absolute benchmark in energy-related M&A. … The firm is very highly regarded.’”
  • International Trade/WTO: “This practice offers knowledge and experience in matters including EC proceedings, anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, and state aid issues. Sources say: ‘A well-known firm globally that does a very good job in Brussels.’”
  • Tax: “This high-quality U.S. firm has a flourishing tax practice in Paris and recognized teams in Italy and Germany. It handles mostly corporate-flavored work, as well as capital markets transactions. It also offers assistance in tax disputes and investigations. Sources note: ‘Lots of emphasis on client service. … Reliable and consistent, good to turn to in the good times, and with the more difficult questions, too.’”
  • Technology & Communications: “A top adviser on competition matters, according to sources, this firm has been involved in major deals in the sector and has especially strong teams in Belgium and Italy.”

Latin America 

  • Banking & Finance: “This firm’s long-standing presence in the region, reputation in New York and enviable roster of banking clients keep it at the top of the market. It advises both lenders and borrowers, and it has acted for the creditors in some of the large restructurings in Latin America during the downturn. ‘Cleary’s success in the region speaks for itself; you know you will get top quality when you hire this firm.’”
  • Capital Markets: “This heavyweight has a long-standing presence in Latin America and is renowned for its capital markets work in the region. In a highly anticipated move, the firm recently announced its decision to open its doors in São Paulo in 2011. Sources hail the team’s deep bench strength and tremendous knowledge across all areas of capital markets products. ‘Cleary Gottlieb has the reputation – it’s the one that clients know and turn to. … Superb service and execution. … This firm outpaces the competition based on its unique and sound knowledge of not only the products but also the countries.’”
  • Corporate/M&A: “Cleary was involved in many of the largest Latin American transactions of recent times and is the undisputed market leader. It runs most of the work from New York, but also pools talent from other teams across the world and has a small representative office in Buenos Aires. Its long-standing practice spans M&A, equity work and restructurings. ‘It has the most knowledgeable partner base of any firm, and the deepest bench. … The firm does not overstaff, or understaff – it just brings the necessary amount of people.’”
  • International Arbitration: “This firm has built a strong presence in Latin America on the back of its corporate work in the region and is particularly highlighted for its experience in sovereign debt and bondholder disputes. The team is primarily engaged in investment disputes and is well regarded for its expertise in both investor and sovereign state representation.”
  • Projects: “This firm has a strong presence in Latin American transactions, and its talented team also tackles a busy projects workload in the region. It is renowned for its work for lenders and also acts for sponsors and sovereigns in infrastructure work, PPPs and related legislation. ‘This firm offers real depth in terms of its partners and associates.’”

Middle East 

  • Capital Markets: “Clients are quick to note that this Middle Eastern team, true to the firm’s broader reputation, provides high-quality and well-informed advice on a range of matters.”
  • Corporate/Commercial: “[Cleary Gottlieb] earns numerous mandates for regional clients and advises them primarily out of London and Paris.”



  • Best of Belgium - “Clients laud the competition team as ‘one of the the best you can get. The team is adept at dealing with sensitive issues that go beyond the law; it fully understands the borderline between law and politics in Belgium.’ The corporate/M&A team is similarly regarded as a domestic market leader, whilst the banking and international trade teams also earn recognition amongst commentators. Clients are also quick to commend the firm for ‘its impressive consistency and collegial approach, which other firms struggle to maintain across a large global footprint.’”
  • Banking & Finance 
  • Competition/European Law 
  • Corporate/M&A 
  • International Trade/WTO 







  • Best of Italy: “This international firm comes highly recommended for its work in corporate, dispute resolution and equity capital markets. Other commended practice areas include restructuring and insolvency and banking and finance. The teams in Rome and Milan are often instructed in cross-border operations thanks to the vast resources of the global network and the high number of Italian and US qualified lawyers. The corporate team is recognized as ‘one of the best departments in the country due to its clear international strategy.’ … The equity capital markets team is rated as one of the best in Italy and, as to be expected, is often engaged in important international deals. … Dispute resolution is another highly regarded practice area.”
  • Banking & Finance 
  • Capital Markets: Debt
  • Capital Markets: Equity
  • Corporate/M&A 
  • Dispute Resolution 
  • Restructuring/Insolvency 
  • Tax 




  • Best of Russia: “This multinational high-flyer has built an admirable reputation in Russia thanks to long-serving expertise on the ground, which has attracted a loyal following of top Russian corporations and government departments. However, sources say the firm’s greatest value comes in coordinating multi-jurisdictional deals with other offices in its network – notably London, New York and Paris – thanks to a pool of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) experts throughout the firm.”
  • Banking & Finance 
  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate/M&A 
  • Restructuring/Insolvency 

South Korea 

United Kingdom 

  • Best of the UK: “The London branch of this international heavyweight focuses primarily on international finance and corporate work, with tax, antitrust, dispute regulation and IP as complementary disciplines. The London team is at its best when acting as a link in the firm’s global chain, particularly when coordinating competition law work via the Washington and Brussels offices or financial undertakings through New York, Paris and Moscow. … Clients regularly cite the uniform high standards of the group as a prime attraction: ‘Other firms just can’t guarantee the same kind of consistent quality across such a large global footprint.’” 
  • Banking & Finance: Sponsors 
  • Capital Markets: Debt 
  • Capital Markets: Equity 
  • Corporate/M&A 

United States