Cleary Gottlieb Announces Nine New Partners and Counsel Worldwide

November 9, 2009

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that it has elected four new partners and four new counsel, effective January 1, 2010. In a separate release, Cleary Gottlieb also announced today that Lev Dassin, former Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will join the firm as a partner in the New York office. These announcements follow the firm’s elections of Claudia Annacker and Meredith Kotler to partner earlier this year. Today’s elections and the addition of Lev Dassin will bring Cleary Gottlieb’s total worldwide partners to 199 and counsel to 50.

“We are delighted to introduce the new partners and counsel of Cleary Gottlieb,” said firm Managing Partner Mark Walker. “With experience in 15 practice areas, these bright lawyers exemplify the firm’s ability to provide our clients with unparalleled collaboration across individually strong practices and offices. The new class shares the firm’s longstanding commitment to legal excellence and will enhance our ability to advise on challenging matters relating to the unprecedented changes in the global financial landscape.”

The new partners and counsel are admitted to practice in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Lebanon and Israel. They have experience in a broad range of practice areas, including: banking and financial institutions; capital markets; corporate governance; derivatives; energy; executive compensation and employee benefits; intellectual property; leveraged finance; litigation and arbitration; mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures; private equity; restructuring; securities enforcement and white-collar defense; sovereign governments and international institutions; and tax. The lawyers are active in our European Union, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Latin America, Russia and Middle East practices.

Biographical information for the new partners and counsel is below.

Michael J. Albano, partner, advises on compensation and benefit matters, including plan design and securities law disclosure, benefit aspects of mergers and acquisitions, employment law and related matters, and ERISA fiduciary matters. Michael joined the firm in 2001 and practices in the New York office. Recently, he was counsel to the United Auto Workers in its negotiations with General Motors and the U.S. Treasury regarding the funding for retiree healthcare obligations in connection with the planned restructuring of General Motors. He also recently represented Noble Group in connection with its purchase of substantially all of the assets of SemFuel, a fuel terminalling and storage business; Grupo Bimbo in its acquisition of Weston Foods, a food production and distribution business; and Citigroup in connection with its disposition of Phibro Energy, a commodities trading business. He is a member of the Bar in New York.

Carlo de Vito Piscicelli, counsel, focuses on international acquisition, leveraged finance and restructuring matters and advises on high yield bonds and all types of loan facilities and related derivatives transactions. He regularly advises on international financings and restructuring matters for clients in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He advises Alrosa and Rosneft on their financing matters, and advises TPG on the financing of acquisitions, including TPG’s and Affinity Equity Partners’ acquisition of United Test and Assembly Center, the largest covenant-lite LBO in Asia. Carlo recently represented Mediobanca in the Ferretti Group’s restructuring and Terex in the acquisition and debt restructuring of the Fantuzzi Reggiane Group. He has advised many Italian clients on financing and restructuring matters over the years, including most recently Finmeccanica, Fiat, Intesa Sanpaolo and Technogym. He joined the firm in 2004 and is a member of the Bar in Milan and New York. He is based in Milan and London.

Victor Hou, partner, joined the firm’s New York office in 2007 and focuses on litigation, including government enforcement work, white-collar criminal defense, securities litigation and general commercial litigation. From 2001 to 2007, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he investigated and prosecuted numerous federal offenses, including racketeering, terrorism, murder, securities fraud, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud and international narcotics trafficking. While serving in the Government, Victor tried 12 jury trials to verdict and briefed and argued numerous appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He is currently representing Bank of America in a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and in investigations by the New York State Attorney General and other regulators related to the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch merger. He is also advising dozens of underwriters of securities issued by Lehman Brothers Holdings in multi-district litigations. He recently won dismissal of a shareholder class action filed against Wachovia Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan Securities and Jefferies & Company, as underwriters of Globalstar’s 2006 initial public offering. He serves as Secretary for the Securities Litigation Committee of the New York City Bar Association and is a member of the Bar in New York.

Daniel Ilan, counsel, focuses on all aspects of intellectual property law with a particular emphasis on intellectual property and technology transactions. He regularly advises global clients on IP and information technology issues arising in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, licenses, R&D agreements and other corporate, capital markets and commercial transactions. He also counsels clients on strategic intellectual property issues, such as technology standardization. Daniel is currently representing Nortel Networks on the IP aspects of its asset sales through bankruptcy auctions, and recently has advised clients as diverse as American Express, Grupo Lala, Grupo Bimbo, GlaxoSmithKline, Ricoh and the Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. A resident of the New York office, he joined the firm in 2000 and worked in our Brussels and Paris offices before moving to New York. He is a member of the Bar in New York and Israel, and a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Matthew P. Salerno, partner, joined the firm in 2001 and is a resident partner in our New York office. His practice focuses on corporate and financial transactions, particularly public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, and contests for corporate control. Recently, Matt represented Alpha Natural Resources in its $2 billion merger with Foundation Coal Holdings; Evraz Group in its $2.3 billion cash acquisition of Oregon Steel Mills and in its $4 billion acquisition of IPSCO and the simultaneous divestiture to OAO TMK of certain of IPSCO’s U.S. assets; Medtronic in its $3.9 billion acquisition of Kyphon; and Citigroup in its $20.3 billion public exchange offers of common stock for preferred stock and trust preferred securities. In 2008, he also represented Hellman & Friedman in its proposed joint acquisition with Bain Capital of Lehman Brothers’ investment management business, including Neuberger Berman, and Alpha Natural Resources in its proposed acquisition by Cleveland Cliffs Natural Resources. He is a member of the Bar in New York and New Jersey.

Richard Sultman, partner, advises on corporate taxation, with emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, capital markets and financial products. He advises debtor groups and lenders on the international tax aspects of corporate restructurings, such as the U.K. schemes of arrangement for the Vita Group and TI Automotive. Richard joined the firm’s London office in 2004 and was a resident in the firm’s New York office from 2006 to 2007, after which he returned to London. He has represented ArcelorMittal in several matters, including its acquisition of London Mining South America Limited and in the structuring and implementing of the company’s 2008 Employee Share Purchase Plan. He was also counsel to ArcelorMittal Finance, as borrower, along with ArcelorMittal, as guarantor, in an unsecured $4 billion revolving credit facility. He advised Vale in its $1.6 billion acquisition of mining assets from Rio Tinto and recently represented Tata Steel in connection with its offering of global depository receipts, which was accompanied by the listing of the company’s GDRs on the London Stock Exchange, complementing the existing listing of its shares in India. The transaction was the largest Indian GDR ever to be listed in London. He is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

David Toube, counsel, joined the firm’s London office in 2007. His practice focuses on United Kingdom and European regulatory securities law, European financial sanctions and anti-money laundering law, within both the United Kingdom and the European Union. Recently, he represented LIFFE Administration and Management, a subsidiary of NYSE Euronext, in its negotiations with LCH.Clearnet Group to establish an internal clearing function for the LIFFE derivative markets in London. He was counsel to Bank of America in respect of all non-U.S. regulatory matters arising from its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. He has advised American Express in relation to its preparation for licensing as a payment institution under the Payment Services Directive. He was counsel to Temasek in its multi-billion dollar investment in Merrill Lynch and advised TPG in raising a new investment fund, TPG Financial Partners, which at the time of its inception had $4 billion in capital commitments. David also has experience advising on the regulatory aspects of M&A transactions, including representing American Express in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Corporate Payment Services, which is the commercial card and corporate purchasing business unit of General Electric, and J.C. Flowers & Co. in its €3 billion sale of NIBC to Kaupthing Bank. He is a member of the Bar of England and Wales.

Roland Ziadé, counsel, is a resident of the Paris office. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. Recognized as an “Up and Coming” international arbitration lawyer by Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, he recently advised the Republic of Congo in numerous high profile arbitration matters. He also represented a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal in the triumphant arbitration of a dispute that arose from a contract concerning the design and construction of a steel plant in the Czech Republic. Roland has written and lectured on numerous topics related to international arbitration and litigation, and has served as an arbitrator in International Chamber of Commerce and ad hoc arbitrations. He joined the firm’s New York office in 2002 and relocated to the Paris office in 2003. He is a member of the Bar in Paris, New York and Beirut.

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 1,100 lawyers around the world. The firm received a number of accolades this year, including its selection as: the “#1 Go-To Law Firm for Corporate Transactions” by Corporate Counsel; “Best Firm for Latin American Legal Services” by LatinFinance; and “Best International Firm of the Year” by TopLegal. The firm’s capital markets and mergers and acquisitions practices were also recently named: “Global Capital Markets Law Firm of the Year” by Chambers Global; “Equity Team of the Year for the Americas” by International Financial Law Review; “Strongest U.S. Firm in European M&A” by LegalWeek; and “African M&A Advisor of the Year” by Acquisitions Monthly. Global Competition Review named the firm “Best Antitrust Law Firm in Brussels” and International Tax Review has named the firm “New York Tax Firm of the Year” and “U.S. Tax Firm of the Year in Europe.” Cleary Gottlieb was also named “Belgian Law Firm of the Year” by Chambers Europe and “French Law Firm of the Year” by International Financial Law Review.

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. The firm was selected as one of Yale Law Women’s “Top Ten Family Friendly Firms.” Cleary Gottlieb has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Paris, Brussels, London, Moscow, Frankfurt, Cologne, Rome, Milan, Hong Kong and Beijing.