Cleary Gottlieb Announces 16 New Partners and Counsel Worldwide
October 31, 2005
International law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that it has elected 10 new partners and six new counsel, effective January 1, 2006. The elections bring the total number of Cleary Gottlieb partners worldwide to 180, and the total number of counsel to 41.
“It is with great pride that we elect these four women and 12 men as partners and counsel of Cleary Gottlieb,” said firm managing partner Mark Walker. “The newly elected partners and counsel are based in nine of the firm’s offices in the United States, Europe and Asia, and their practices include international securities and capital markets, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, private equity, antitrust and competition, bankruptcy and restructuring, intellectual property law, and tax.” The new partners and counsel include men and women who are fluent in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Korean and Spanish, and are admitted to practice law in England and Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States.
“These women and men have worked at Cleary Gottlieb since early in their careers,” Mr. Walker continued. “In their new roles as partners and counsel, they will enhance our ability to provide our clients with unmatched legal services across the globe.”
Biographical information of the newly elected partners and counsel follows.
· Christopher J. Cook, counsel, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 1997. In 1999, he transferred to the Brussels office, where he is now based. His practice focuses on international competition and antitrust law, and he has extensive experience representing clients in mergers and joint ventures before the European Commission and U.S. antitrust agencies. He also works on non-transactional competition matters in Europe and the United States that involve alleged abusive conduct and cartel behavior. A member of the Bars in New York and the District of Columbia, and a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, he has represented The Coca-Cola Company in the European Commission’s five-year investigation into the company’s commercial practices. Currently, he is advising IMS Health on the E.U. antitrust aspects of its proposed $7 billion merger with Dutch media group VNU.
· Werner Meier, partner, joined the Frankfurt office in 1992 and became counsel in 2000. He was resident in the New York office from 1995 to 1996. A member of the Bars in Frankfurt and New York, his practice spans German and international capital markets transactions, banking, finance, and corporate law. In recent years, he has focused on German restructurings, as well as international syndicated loans, securitizations and other structured finance transactions. Most recently, he represented the lead arrangers, including Citigroup Global Markets, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank AG London and GE Commercial Finance, in a €1.15 billion credit facility agreement with German cable operator iesy Hessen GmbH & Co, which was used to finance iesy Hessen’s acquisition of the Kabelnetz NRW group. He is also widely published on German and U.S. finance and corporate law issues.
· Hanno Sperlich, partner, whose practice focuses on corporate and capital market transactions, joined the Frankfurt office in 1998. He was resident in the New York office from 1998 to 1999. He has represented major financial institution clients in noteworthy transactions, including HypoVereinsbank—the second-largest publicly traded bank in Germany—in a €3 billion rights offering and in its business combination with UniCredito. He also advised Bank Austria Creditanstalt in its 2003 IPO. A member of the Bar in Frankfurt, he is co-author of the book German Takeover Law—a commentary, published by C.H. Beck in 2002.
· Robert K. Williams, counsel, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 1997 and has been based in Hong Kong since 1999. A member of the Bars in Texas and the District of Columbia, he advises clients on a variety of international corporate matters, including debt and equity capital markets transactions, with a particular emphasis on offerings by sovereigns. His practice also comprises private equity investments and mergers and acquisitions, especially China-related matters. Recently, he represented Newbridge Capital in its RMB 1.2 billion investment in Shenzhen Development Bank—the first foreign control investment in the Chinese banking sector. He has also represented the underwriters, including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and UBS, in numerous SEC-registered bond offerings in the excess of $2 billion by the Republic of the Philippines and advised the Republic of Indonesia in its first global bond offering since the Asia financial crisis, as well as in a subsequent offering. Prior to joining Cleary Gottlieb, he was second secretary at the United States Embassy in Beijing from 1988 to 1990, and vice consul at the United States Consulate General in Hong Kong from 1991 to 1994.
· Noëlle Colfer, counsel, joined the firm’s London office in 2002. She specializes in advising companies on intellectual property and information technology issues arising in mergers and acquisitions, flotations, placings, and outsourcing transactions, as well as on the research, development and commercial exploitation of products. A Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, she advised IBM on the European aspects of its $3.5 billion cash and stock acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global business and technology services unit, PwC Consulting. She also advised Siemens on the IP aspects of its acquisition of Alstom’s industrial turbine business, and Henkel KGaA in the acquisition of French Rhodia Group’s cartridge silicone sealants business.
· Shaun Goodman, partner, joined the London office in 2002. His practice encompasses all aspects of EC and U.K. competition law, including merger control, licensing and distribution, intellectual property, restrictive practices, market dominance, and cartel investigations. He has extensive experience representing clients before the European Commission, the U.K. Office of Fair Trading and the U.K. Competition Commission. A Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, he is currently representing Euronext in connection with the Competition Commission’s investigation of a potential transaction involving the London Stock Exchange, as well as British Salt in an ongoing Competition Commission investigation of its acquisition of New Cheshire Salt. Earlier this year, he negotiated undertakings on behalf of Neopost, ending a long-running antitrust investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.
· Scott C. Senecal, partner, joined the firm in 1989 and became counsel in 1999. The senior resident lawyer in the Moscow office since 1996, he has also been resident in the New York, London and Hong Kong offices. In 1993, he was stationed in Kuwait, where he advised on war reparation claims and on sovereign borrowings and asset management. He has advised on many significant Russian securities offerings by Russian corporates and banks. He regularly advises on mergers and acquisitions transactions and joint ventures, representing both foreign investors and Russian entities, including both foreign investment in Russia and Russian investment abroad. In addition, he also frequently advises on syndicated loans, representing Russian borrowers,including the financing of Gazprom’s Blue Stream Project to build and operate a gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey. He is a member of the Bar in New York.
· Gamal M. Abouali, partner, joined the firm’s New York office in 1997. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, privatizations and project and other financings, particularly with respect to cross-border and emerging market transactions. He also has substantial experience with capital markets transactions. From 1999 to 2004, he was resident in the Paris office. During a sabbatical year from 1999 through 2000, he was a legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization during the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, including the Camp David summit of July 2000. Since 2001, he has represented Mittal Steel Company in a number of strategic acquisitions in Eastern Europe and North Africa and in other matters. He has recently advised the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and Kuwait Oil Company in connection with Project Kuwait, involving the opening of Kuwait’s northern oil fields to foreign investment and management. He has represented Citigroup Venture Capital International in several of their acquisitions in Latin America, including an oil and gas investment in Peru. He represented the underwriters in a series of offerings by France Telecom of debt and equity-linked securities with an aggregate principal amount of more than $20 billion. He is a member of the Bar in New York.
· Jay Hoon Choi, counsel, joined the New York office in 1998 and was resident in the Hong Kong office from 1999 to 2002. He is a member of the Bar in New York. His practice focuses on international securities and corporate transactions, particularly private placements and public offerings of debt, equity and equity-linked securities of non-U.S. issuers. Over the years, he has represented KT Corporation, Korea’s largest telecom company, and POSCO, one of the world’s largest steel companies, in their debt and equity offerings. He also advised Warburg Pincus and Targa Resources, Inc. on Targa’s senior notes offering, and advised Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley on Banco Mercantil del Norte’s Tier 2 notes offering.
· Kristofer Hess, partner, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 1998. He was resident in the London office from 2001-2003 before returning to the New York office, where he is now based. A member of the Bars in New York, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, his practice focuses on the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, spin-offs and capital markets, with an emphasis on international transactions. In 2002, he provided tax advice to South African Breweries in connection with its acquisition of Miller Brewing Company. Most recently, he advised the American Express Company on the tax aspects of the spin-off to shareholders of its American Express Financial Advisors unit.
· Lisa M. Schweitzer, partner, joined the New York office in 1996. Her practice focuses on financial restructuring, insolvency, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and commercial litigation. She represents corporate debtors, as well as ad hoc and official creditor committees, in U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings as well as restructurings in other jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Asia. In U.S. Bankruptcy Court, she recently represented Vencor, Inc. (now known as Kindred Healthcare, Inc.) in winning confirmation of a plan of reorganization for Vencor and 128 affiliates, leading to Vencor’s successful emergence from Chapter 11. She also was a member of the Cleary Gottlieb teams that represented the Daewoo group of companies in their successful reorganization, involving nearly $70 billion in debt, and SK Networks in its reorganization. She is a member of the Bar in New York.
· Margaret E. “Meme” Stowers, partner, joined the New York office in 1996. Her practice focuses on acquisition financing, private equity and other investments, as well as public and private securities offerings. She has represented Texas Pacific Group in numerous acquisitions, including handling financing matters in TPG’s acquisition of ON Semiconductor from Motorola and in the acquisition of KRATON Polymers from Ripplewood Holdings. Recently, she represented TPG and Warburg Pincus in their acquisition of Neiman Marcus, and she represented Targa Resources, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company, in its acquisition of Dynegy’s midstream services business. She is a member of the Bar in New York.
· Sergio Sorinas, counsel, whose practice focuses on European and French competition law, as well as state aid, joined the firm’s Brussels office in 1997, and has been resident in the Paris office since 2000. A member of the Bars in Barcelona, Spain and Paris, he advised Groupe Danone in a major European Commission cartel investigation into Danone’s sales and marketing practices in the French beer market. He also obtained E.U. antitrust approval for Lagardère/Hachette’s acquisition of Vivendi Universal Publishing (now called Editis). Most recently, he represented JCDecaux, a worldwide leader in outdoor advertising, before the Paris Court of Appeals and won suspension of the enforcement of a French Competition Council order against the company, marking the first time the Paris Court had ever suspended such a measure.
· Pietro M. Fioruzzi, partner, joined the firm’s New York office in 1997. He was resident in the Rome office from 1998 through 2001, when he helped open our office in Milan, where he is presently based. A member of the Bars in Milan and New York, his practice focuses on advising international and Italian corporate clients and investment banks on a wide range of corporate and financial matters, including capital markets transactions, securities regulatory issues and public mergers and acquisitions. He recently represented Fresh Del Monte Produce in its acquisition of Del Monte Foods Europe from the Cirio Group. Currently, he is representing Alitalia in the major capital increase and rights offering that is a key element of its restructuring plan, and HypoVereinsbank in its business combination with UniCredito, one of Europe’s largest cross-border M&A transactions this year.
· Vania Petrella, partner, joined the firm in 1998 and has been resident in the Rome office since 1999. She was previously resident in the New York and Brussels offices. A member of the Bar in Naples, her practice focuses on Italian and international tax issues relating to cross-border capital markets and merger and acquisition transactions. She also advises on the tax implications of holding company structures, reorganizations, joint ventures, partnerships and employee incentive plans. Clients for which she has provided tax advice include Vivendi Universal, Goldman Sachs and Fresh Del Monte Produce. She has also advised Valeo on structuring and implementing its international employee stock plan, and recently represented Gaz de France on the employee offering that was part of its IPO. She regularly lectures and is widely published on various aspects of Italian and international tax law.
· Stefano Sciolla, counsel, joined the Brussels office in 1997. He was resident in the firm’s London office from 1998 to 1999, when he transferred to the Rome office, where he is based today. His practice focuses on corporate and financial law, particularly mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate cross-border transactions, debt offerings and restructurings. A member of the Bar in Turin and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, he has represented Enel in its sale of Elettrogen, Eurogen and Interpower, as part of the liberalization of the Italian electricity generation industry, for an aggregate consideration of approximately €8.4 billion. He also advised a leading Italian industrial conglomerate in its £1 billion acquisition of automotive company GKN’s 50% stake in helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland, as well as GKN real estate assets. Recently, he represented private equity firm PAI Partners in the purchase of a majority stake in Italian clothing retailer Gruppo Coin S.p.A. from Finanziaria Coin S.r.l.
For further information, you can contact Richard Lincer at +1 212 225 2560 (New York). You can also contact Amy Fantini, Media Relations Manager, at +1 212 225 3775 (New York).
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 800 lawyers around the world. The firm was named the top Global M&A Legal Advisor for the first half of 2005 by Thomson Financial. In 2005, for the second year in a row, the firm was named Best International Securities Law Firm by LatinFinance, and Western Europe Competition/Antitrust Law Firm of the Year by legal publisher Chambers and Partners. Most recently, Juve named Cleary Gottlieb as German Law Firm of the Year. The firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Paris, Brussels, London, Moscow, Frankfurt, Cologne, Rome, Milan, Hong Kong and Tokyo.