Cleary Gottlieb Adds Two Partners to Washington, D.C. Office

May 9, 2011

International law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that it has added two partners to its Washington, D.C. office.

David Becker, who was previously a partner at the firm, rejoins the Washington, D.C. office after serving as General Counsel and Senior Policy Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Juan Morillo joins Cleary Gottlieb from the Washington, D.C. office of Clifford Chance, where he was a partner and head of the firm’s U.S. litigation and dispute resolution practice.

Mr. Morillo, 42, joins Cleary Gottlieb’s global litigation practice and will represent clients in government investigations and in civil litigation. Mr. Becker, 63, will focus on securities enforcement and regulation, corporate governance and internal investigations, and financial services reform. With the additions of Mr. Morillo and Mr. Becker, Cleary Gottlieb will have 197 partners worldwide.

“We are very pleased to welcome David back to the firm and delighted to welcome Juan to the partnership,” said Cleary Gottlieb managing partner Mark Leddy. “David’s and Juan’s extensive experience will significantly bolster our securities and litigation capabilities in Washington and enhance our ability to serve our U.S. and international clients. With their addition, the firm’s Washington office will have 13 litigation partners, and the firm will increase the number of partners with senior government experience.”

Mr. Morillo’s practice focuses on advising clients in criminal and civil government investigations, conducting internal investigations, and defending clients in class actions and in other civil lawsuits. He has handled matters involving accounting, financial, securities, and tax fraud issues, and defended clients in antitrust, environmental, FCPA, OFAC, FCA, and immigration cases. At age 37, The American Lawyer selected Juan as one of the top 50 litigators in the country under the age of 45.

Mr. Becker served as the Commission’s General Counsel and Senior Policy Director from February 2009 to February 2011. During his two-year tenure, he was the senior lawyer for the Commission and advised the Commission on the full range of its actions from both a legal and policy perspective. Mr. Becker was a partner at Cleary Gottlieb from 2002 until rejoining the Commission in 2009. He first came to Cleary Gottlieb from the Commission where he had served as General Counsel from 2000 to 2002. Prior to 2000, David had a long career in private practice as a securities lawyer.

Mr. Morillo commented: “Over the last few years my practice has expanded domestically and internationally. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of Cleary Gottlieb’s strong domestic and international reputation across many practice areas and am excited to be joining this top-ranked and growing global litigation group. With strong litigation and enforcement capabilities in Washington and New York and established practices in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, Cleary provides a unique platform for my litigation and enforcement practice. I am excited to be part of such a great institution with a deep tradition of legal excellence and international expansion.”

Mr. Becker commented: “I am delighted to be rejoining Cleary Gottlieb and look forward to working again with many of my former colleagues and some new ones. The firm is fortunate to have an extremely talented group of lawyers, many with strong experience in government service, and I look forward to contributing what insights and experience I can for the benefit of our clients and Cleary Gottlieb.”

About Cleary Gottlieb’s Washington, D.C. Office

The Washington office of Cleary Gottlieb was established in 1946, when the firm was founded, and currently has more than 100 lawyers. The office’s primary practice areas include antitrust, corporate (including transactional and regulatory), and litigation. Lawyers in the Washington office work seamlessly with lawyers in the firm’s other offices around the world, offering clients of any office access to the full resources of the firm worldwide.

The close integration of our New York and Washington offices, along with our established practices in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, enables us to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to a broad range of litigation and arbitration matters that touch multiple jurisdictions.

The Washington office’s 20 partners include several with significant government experience. With the return of David Becker, our ranks in the Washington office include two former General Counsel of the SEC, a former Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, two former Assistant United States Attorneys, a former Assistant to the Solicitor General, and a former Principal Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Air Force. 

About Cleary Gottlieb

Founded in 1946 by lawyers committed to legal excellence, internationalism, and diversity, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers in offices around the world.