Cleary Gottlieb Announces 19 New Partners and Counsel Worldwide
November 12, 2007
International law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that it has elected eight new partners and 11 new counsel, effective January 1, 2008. The elections bring the total number of Cleary Gottlieb partners worldwide to 196 and the total number of counsel to 50.
“It is with great pride that we introduce these eight women and 11 men as partners and counsel of Cleary Gottlieb,” said firm managing partner Mark Walker. “Representing ten offices and 18 practice areas, they mirror who we are as a firm and will enhance our ability to continue to perform a broad range of sophisticated legal work for clients around the world.”
The experience of the 19 lawyers spans the following practice areas: capital markets; structured finance; joint ventures; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; privatizations; acquisition finance; project finance; litigation and arbitration; corporate governance; securities enforcement and white-collar defense; restructuring; competition and antitrust; and environmental law. They are also active in our Asian, Africa, Latin America and Russian practices. They are admitted to practice law in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia and the United States. The new class includes lawyers who are fluent in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, Serer (Senegalese) and Spanish.
“Bringing together lawyers from different geographic, cultural and educational backgrounds has always been a core value at the firm, and we believe it is this tradition that has helped Cleary Gottlieb to become one of the world’s preeminent international law firms,” Mr. Walker continued. “Our newly elected partners and counsel will further strengthen our single, integrated worldwide partnership and continue our commitment to legal excellence, internationalism and diversity.”
Biographical information of the newly elected partners and counsel follows.
Niping Wu, counsel, is resident in the firm’s Beijing office. She joined the firm’s New York office in 1997 and was based in the firm’s Hong Kong office from 2004 to 2006. Her practice focuses on cross-border corporate and financial transactions as well as capital markets transactions, including private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings. She was counsel to Bank of America in its $3 billion investment in China Construction Bank—one of the largest-ever foreign investments in a Chinese company and the first strategic investment into one of China’s “big four” state-owned banks. In private equity matters, she represented TPG in its investment in BankThai and Newbridge Asia in its investment in Taishin Financial Holding. She also has experience advising clients on public and institutional securities offerings by both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers and recently advised the underwriters in the SEC-registered initial public offering of online game developer and operator Perfect World Co. She is a member of the Bar in New York.
Deborah Janssens, counsel, joined the firm’s Brussels office in 1999. Her practice focuses on various aspects of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, corporate reorganizations, capital markets and (secured) debt finance. She has also been involved in a number of arbitration and litigation cases. She recently represented Dutch multi-utility company Delta NV in its successful bid for the Indaver Group and private equity house BC Partners in its successful bid for Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing. In the capital markets arena, she has advised on the initial public offerings of Telenet, Belgium’s largest broadband provider, as well as that of Elia, Belgium’s electricity grid operator. She teaches corporate law as a teaching assistant at the Jan Ronse Instituut of the University of Leuven and has also published articles in the area of corporate law. She is a member of the Bar in Brussels and New York.
Peter Werdmuller, counsel, joined the firm’s Brussels office in 1999. He is a Dutch lawyer whose practice focuses on Dutch and European Union corporate and capital markets transactions. Matters in which he has been involved include Mittal Steel’s acquisition of, and second-step merger into, Arcelor and various mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions in recent years by Euronext. He has worked for Goodyear on various matters pertaining to Goodyear’s refinancing and restructuring of its existing European loan facilities. He is a member of the Bar in New York and Rotterdam.
Silke Heinz, counsel, joined the firm in 2000 and is based in the firm’s Cologne office. From 2000 to 2004 she was resident in the firm’s Brussels office. Her practice concentrates on European and German competition matters, with particular focus on merger notifications, antitrust law and antitrust litigation. She has provided antitrust advice for some of the most newsworthy mergers of the last decade, including Conoco’s acquisition of Phillips Petroleum and, more recently, The Dow Chemical Company’s acquisition of Wolff Walsrode from Bayer. She has recently advised Medtronic on its acquisition of Kyphon and also regularly advises clients BC Partners and Axel Springer AG. She recently helped win a successful challenge on behalf of Axel Springer in the German Federal Court against an earlier decision by the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal regarding the merger of Axel Springer with ProSiebenSat.1 Media. She is a member of the Bar in Cologne.
Manuel Metzner, counsel, joined the firm’s Frankfurt office in 2000 and was resident in the firm’s New York office from 2003 to 2004. His practice focuses on corporate and capital markets transactions. In recent years, he has advised Deutsche Post and Deutsche Postbank on a number of matters, including Deutsche Postbank’s €1.5 billion initial public offering and subsequent securities offerings. Recently, he has advised clients on several capital markets matters involving technology companies, including in the offerings by centrotherm photovoltaics AG and Q-Cells AG—the world’s largest independent manufacturer of photovoltaic cells. He is a member of the Bar in Frankfurt am Main and New York.
Murat N. Akuyev, partner, is resident in the firm’s Moscow office. He joined the firm’s New York office in 1995 and was based in the London office from 1996 through 1997. His practice focuses on corporate and financial transactions, particularly securities offerings, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive experience in cross-border transactions involving businesses in Russia. Recognized by Chambers Global as a “leading lawyer” in the field of Capital Markets, he represented Rosneft on its $10.6 billion initial public offering—the largest-ever IPO by a Russian company. He was also counsel to the underwriters in the IPO of Polymetal—the world’s fifth largest producer of silver and the largest primary silver producer globally. He also represented underwriters in the IPO of Mechel Steel Group—the first IPO and New York Stock Exchange listing for a Russian mining and metallurgy company. He is a member of the Bar in New York and is a Russian qualified lawyer.
Chantal E. Kordula, partner, joined the firm’s New York office in 1997. Her practice focuses primarily on transactions in Latin America, particularly acquisition and project finance, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. She recently played a lead role representing a wholly owned subsidiary of AIG Global Investment Group in its acquisition of the U.S. port assets of DP World and the financing of the acquisition. During the past few years she has advised América Móvil on several transactions, including its $2.4 billion acquisition of Verizon Dominicana. She has also represented Suez Energy in the project financing of a coal-fired power plant in Panama, Citigroup Venture Capital and BMG Limited Partnership as sponsors in the project financing of Northeast Biofuels, an ethanol plant in New York State, and Financial Security Assurance on structured financing transactions in Mexico. She is a member of the Bar in New York.
Avi E. Luft, counsel, joined the firm’s New York office in 2004. His practice focuses on litigation and arbitration, including matters involving commercial agreements, mergers and acquisitions, securities, and bankruptcy. He has also represented clients before regulatory agencies for issues involving accounting and auditing fraud. An instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, he was counsel to PeopleSoft on litigation aspects of its landmark acquisition by Oracle. More recently, he represented a major corporation in its successful motion to quash subpoenas for international discovery issued at the behest of Microsoft, and he is currently representing a preeminent investment bank in litigation arising out of trading in commercial paper issued by Enron. He is a member of the Bar in New York.
Benet J. O’Reilly, partner, joined the firm’s New York office in 1999. His practice focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, and restructuring transactions. He also has experience in cross-border transactions and securities offerings. He is currently advising TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners in their $27.5 billion acquisition of Alltel and is also advising Bank of America on its $2 billion investment in Countrywide Financial Corporation. He also represented Hewlett-Packard in its recent acquisitions of technology companies Neoware and Opsware. He is a member of the Bar in New York.
James D. Small III, counsel, joined the firm’s New York office in 1996. He was resident in the firm’s London office from 1997 to 2002, and resident in the firm’s Hong Kong office from 2002 to 2003, when he transferred back to New York. His practice focuses on corporate and financial transactions, with a focus on U.S. securities law matters in the United States and international capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate transactions. He also advises on corporate governance matters. Recently, he has been counsel in a number of noteworthy initial public offerings, including those of Lumber Liquidators, People’s United Financial and MasterCard. He has also represented McDonald’s Corporation in a series of transactions relating to Chipotle Mexican Grill, leading to the completion of the tax-free split-off of Chipotle from McDonald’s. Previously, he had represented Chipotle in its IPO. He is a member of the Bar in New York.
Barthélemy Faye, partner, joined the firm in 1998 and is resident in the firm’s Paris office. From 1998 to 2001, he was resident in the firm’s New York office. He represents corporate and sovereign clients and his practice covers a broad range of corporate and financial matters, including capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. He has participated extensively in the firm’s emerging markets practice, including with respect to project financings, sovereign debt restructurings and privatizations. He has advised various clients on African matters and is currently representing ArcelorMittal in connection with a $2.2 billion integrated mining, infrastructure and industrial project in Senegal; ONGC Mittal Energy Limited in the negotiation of oil and gas exploration and production permits in Nigeria; the Gambia River Basin Development Organization in its $1 billion hydro-electric project; and the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the negotiation of their external debt restructurings. He also represented Alcoa and Alcan in negotiations with the Government of the Republic of Guinea for the construction of a $1.5 billion alumina refinery. During the past several years, he has worked extensively on financing and capital markets transactions for a number of clients, such as Goldman Sachs, Valeo and Crédit Agricole, including in connection with Crédit Agricole’s €3.2 billion Rule 144A offering of extendible short-term notes. He is a member of the Bar in Paris and New York.
Patricia Georgiou, counsel, joined the firm’s Paris office in 2000. Her practice focuses on corporate and financial transactions, including private and public merger and acquisition transactions, capital markets transactions, structured financings, and joint ventures. Recently, she was counsel to Dott. Antonino Ligresti and his co-investors’ holding company in its €726 million public bid for Générale de Santé, the leading provider of private healthcare and hospital services in France, and to Vestar Capital Partners in connection with the sale of OGF—the leading French provider of funeral services—to Astorg Partners. She also advised Natixis in its €5.5 billion secondary offering—one of the largest French share offerings in 2006—and was counsel in the €2.4 billion rights offering of Société Générale and in the €1 billion initial public offering of Rexel on Eurolist, marking the company’s return to the markets after being taken private. In addition, she advised Pharma Logistics Europe in the sale of leading pharmaceutical depositary Depolabo to French private equity fund Sagard FCPR, and she has advised Citigroup and Emirates Overseas Petroleum on corporate transactions in the Middle East. She is a member of the Bar in Paris.
Delphine Michot, counsel, whose practice focuses on commercial and criminal litigation, as well as arbitration, joined the firm’s Paris office in 2000. Most recently, she represented ArcelorMittal in Paris Court summary proceedings in winning the dismissal of an anti-merger injunction brought by Arcelor activist minority shareholders against the first step of the back-end merger of Mittal Steel with Arcelor. She also provided litigation advice to Mittal in its groundbreaking acquisition of Arcelor. Additionally, she has represented outdoor advertising group JCDecaux in obtaining two major victories before the Paris Court of Appeals. She also won dismissal of claims against a group specialized in the food business in proceedings that were among the first launched in France in the fast growing area of private enforcement of antitrust rules. She is a member of the Bar in Paris.
Claudio Di Falco, counsel, joined the firm’s Rome office in 1999, where he is now based. He was a resident in the firm’s New York office from 2002 to 2003. His practice focuses on corporate and financial transactions, particularly securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Recently, he has been active advising on initial public offerings, including representing the joint global coordinators and joint lead managers in the €1.24 billion IPO of Italian energy and telecom cables company Prysmian S.p.A.—the largest IPO in Italy this year. He was also counsel in the IPO of Italian luxury yacht manufacturer Aicon S.p.A. He has been among the principal lawyers in Europe representing the Province of Buenos Aires of Argentina in a global exchange offer that restructured more than 94% of the Province’s defaulted bonds. He was also a member of the team that represented the Republic of Argentina in its sovereign debt restructuring. A participant on the Cleary Gottlieb team that partnered with the World Bank in preparing its report “Doing Business 2007: How to reform,” he is a member of the Bar in Palermo, Italy and New York.
Matteo Montanaro, partner, joined the firm’s New York office in 2004. In 2005, he transferred to the firm’s Milan office, where he is now based. His practice is primarily focused on corporate matters, having substantial experience in cross-border and domestic acquisitions and divestitures, joint venture deals, mergers, and other corporate reorganizations. He has also advised on project finance transactions, privatizations and commercial contracts. Recently, he represented French insurer Groupama SA in its €1.25 billion acquisition of Nuova Tirrena S.p.A., an Italian company active in the non-life and life insurance sector. He has also represented Edison S.p.A. on several transactions, including the sale of its electricity transmission grids and the sale of its gas transportation pipeline network. He is a member of the Bar in Alessandria, Italy.
Leah Brannon, partner, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 2003. From 1996 to 1997 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt. From 2000 to 2001, she served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and from 2002 to 2003 she served as law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States. Her practice focuses on antitrust matters, such as counseling, mergers and antitrust litigation, including appellate litigation. Over the past few years, she has provided antitrust advice on several major mergers, including Maytag’s acquisition by Whirlpool, PeopleSoft’s acquisition by Oracle and, more recently, Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick. Recent antitrust litigation matters include advising Polimeri Europa in civil antitrust litigation. She has taught antitrust law as a teaching fellow at Harvard University and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
Jeremy J. Calsyn, partner, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 1999. From 2000 to 2001, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. His practice focuses on antitrust matters and, in 2006, he represented Mittal Steel on the international merger control aspects of its groundbreaking acquisition of Arcelor. Other steel industry matters on which he has worked during the past year include Essar Steel’s acquisition of Algoma Steel and Evraz Group’s acquisitions of Oregon Steel Mills and Highveld. In antitrust litigation matters, he has counseled Kureha Chemical Industry Company and Asahi Glass Corporation against allegations of antitrust violations. He is also currently representing LG Philips LCD in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice investigation of possible price-fixing and related civil class actions. He is a member of the Bar in California and the District of Columbia.
Shawn J. Chen, partner, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 2004. His practice focuses on securities litigation, including SEC enforcement matters and white-collar criminal defense. Prior to joining the firm, he served for five years as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he successfully prosecuted several cases to jury verdict, on charges ranging from tax evasion to interstate murder-for-hire. He also successfully argued a number of cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals. From 1995 to 1996, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Jon O. Newman, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and then, from 1996 to 1997, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He is a member of the Bar in Illinois, New York and the District of Columbia.
Joyce E. McCarty, counsel, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 1987. Her practice focuses on corporate and financial transactions, particularly collateralized debt obligations and other structured finance products. She also has extensive experience counseling clients on environmental matters as they relate to acquisitions, securities offerings, financings, bankruptcy and “Superfund” remediation projects. In the past year alone, she has closed more than 20 collateralized loan obligations and other transactions for major investment banks. She also regularly provides pro bono advice to a non-profit organization active in the area of rights for native Hawaiians. She formerly served as a law clerk to the Honorable Samuel P. King of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. She is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia and Hawaii.
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 approximately 950 lawyers around the world. In November 2007, Chambers Global named Cleary Gottlieb “Global Capital Markets Law Firm of the Year.” Additionally in 2007, International Tax Review named Cleary Gottlieb both “U.S. Tax Firm of the Year in Europe” and “New York Tax Firm of the Year;” International Financial Law Review named Cleary Gottlieb “Russian Law Firm of the Year;” JUVE awarded the firm “Antitrust Law Firm of the Year;” LatinFinance rated Cleary Gottlieb as the “Best International Securities Law Firm” for the fourth consecutive year; and the firm’s Brussels office received International Law Office’s “Client Choice Award” for Belgium. The firm has ranked in the top 10 of the American Lawyer’s A-List, a comprehensive ranking based on revenue, pro bono, associate satisfaction and diversity, since the lists’ inception in 2003. Cleary Gottlieb has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Paris, Brussels, London, Moscow, Frankfurt, Cologne, Rome, Milan, Hong Kong and Beijing.