Cleary Gottlieb Elects 10 New Partners and Counsel
November 2, 2020
Cleary Gottlieb has elected seven partners and three counsel, effective January 1, 2021.
The elections will bring the firm’s total worldwide partners to 169 and counsel to 58.
“I’m delighted to introduce our newly elected class of global partners and counsel,” said Cleary Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang. “Our clients turn to us to assist on their most consequential matters. We respond to their needs with an exceptional team of lawyers, a collaborative approach, and a focus on excellence. Our new partners and counsel reflect Cleary’s unwavering commitment to delivering world-class service and results to our clients.”
The new partners and counsel are resident in the firm’s Brussels, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Washington, D.C. offices. Their practice areas include antitrust, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, private funds, structured finance, and tax.
The new partners and counsel are:
- Kenneth Blazejewski, partner, focuses on organizing and advising private investment funds. He is resident in the New York office. His work includes advising fund managers and institutional investors on fund formations and hybrid private equity and M&A transactions, such as fund GP-led fund restructurings, tender offers, and GP-stake investments. Ken has advised Coller Capital on numerous matters, including GP-led restructurings with Revelstoke Capital Partners, Irving Place Capital, JC Flowers, and American Capital; KKR in a number of fund matters, including the formation of KKR’s Asian private equity funds, health care growth equity funds, telecommunications, media, and technology growth equity funds, and social impact funds; Angelo Gordon in several fundraises, including for its third European realty fund and its fourth Asian realty fund; Sixth Street Partners in the formation of its growth investment fund; and iCapital Network on its acquisition of Wells Fargo Alternative Investments’ feeder fund platform. Ken joined the firm in 2007 and became counsel in 2017. From 2011 to 2013, he was resident in the London office.
- Jamal Fulton, partner, focuses on the organization and operation of private investment funds, including buyout, growth, social impact, and hedge funds, and he also represents high net worth individuals in their venture capital and private equity investments. He is resident in the New York office. Jamal has represented TPG in a wide range of fund matters, including the formation and operation of a number of its social impact, private equity, and growth funds, and in various co-investment arrangements; KKR in the formation of its technology growth, global impact, and pan-Asia funds; ESL Investments in fund matters, including matters related to its acquisition of Sears Holdings; Blackstone Alternative Asset Management in the formation of separately managed accounts and investment activities; Acumen, a global anti-poverty organization, in fund formation matters; and Concrete Rose Capital in the formation of The Concrete Rose Fund, which targets investments in early-stage businesses founded by underrepresented people of color and/or that address significant social issues impacting minorities. Jamal joined the firm in 2012. In 2014, he was resident in the London office.
- Paul Gilbert, partner, focuses on UK and EU competition law, including merger control, anticompetitive agreements, abuse of dominance, and sectoral regulation. He is resident in the London office. Paul has represented clients before the European Commission, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (and its predecessors, the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission), as well as in litigation before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal. He has advised HarperCollins in the OFT and European Commission e-book investigations; HP on an OFT market study into government procurement of ICT; Lafarge on its UK building materials joint venture with Anglo American’s Tarmac business; Ryanair on the competition aspects of its bid to acquire Aer Lingus and related minority share acquisition; Google on its acquisition of Looker; and Ecolab on its acquisition of Holchem. He is currently providing UK antitrust advice to Tronox on its proposed acquisition of TiZir Titanium & Iron; Schibsted and Adevinta on their proposed acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group; Veolia on its proposed acquisition of Suez; and NVIDIA on its proposed acquisition of ARM Holdings. Paul joined the firm in 2011 and became counsel in 2015. Before joining Cleary, he was Deputy Director of Competition Policy at the UK Office of Fair Trading.
- Jens Hafemann, counsel, focuses on tax law and corporate transactions. He is resident in the Frankfurt office. Jens has advised Lavazza in its acquisition of Mars Drinks from Mars Incorporated; Hanon Systems in the $1.2 billion acquisition of the Global Fluid Pressure & Controls business of Magna International Inc. and the post-M&A integration of German Magna entities; Alstom in its terminated €15 billion combination with Siemens’ Mobility business, and its acquisition of Bombardier Transport; General Motors in the sale of its Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations to PSA Group; International Flavors & Fragrances in its acquisition of Fragrance Resources; LVMH in its acquisition of RIMOWA; Asahi Kasei in its acquisition of Polypore International and the back-to-back sale of the worldwide separations media business to 3M; Lafarge in its merger with Holcim; and Gazprom in a complex asset swap transaction with Wintershall. Jens joined the firm in 2008. From 2012 to 2013, he was resident in the New York office. He became a senior attorney in 2015.
- Michael James, partner, focuses on a broad range of international corporate and financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private investment fund formation, joint ventures, and consortium and co-investment transactions. He is resident in the London office. Michael has represented TPG in the sales of TES Global, Times Higher Education, and Victoria Plumb; Warburg Pincus and Santander Asset Management in its €5.4 billion merger with Pioneer Global Asset Management; BNP Paribas in its acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s global prime brokerage and electronic equities business; Sixth Street Partners in connection with the formation of numerous special situation and lending funds; Credit Suisse Asset Management in connection with the spin-out Credit Suisse Quantitative and Systematic Asset Management; TPG Growth and The Rise Fund in connection with numerous growth and early-stage venture investments; and Hillhouse Capital Management in connection with the formation of its first private equity fund, Hillhouse Fund II. Michael joined the firm as a trainee in 2010. In 2011 and between 2013 and 2014, he was resident in the New York office.
- Esther Kelly, counsel, focuses on EU competition law, including complex cartel, behavioral, and merger control matters. She is resident in the Brussels office. Esther has represented The Dow Chemical Company in its $130 billion all-stock merger of equals with DuPont; Alstom before the European Commission and other antitrust agencies in its terminated €15 billion combination with Siemens’ Mobility business and its successful acquisition of Bombardier Transport; United Technologies Corporation before the European Commission and other antitrust agencies in its merger with Raytheon Technologies Corp; IMS Health (now IQVIA) in its acquisition of certain Cegedim businesses; Samsung Electronics before the European Commission and other antitrust agencies in its $1.05 billion sale of its worldwide printer business to HP Inc.; IBM in its defense against antitrust complaints in the area of maintenance services for mainframes and mid-range servers; Sony Corporation in the European Commission’s optical disk drives investigation and a subsequent appeal to the EU’s General Court and Court of Justice; and NYSE Euronext in its then-contemplated merger with Deutsche Börse. She is currently advising NVIDIA in its proposed acquisition of ARM Holdings; and Veolia Environnement in its proposed €11.3 billion acquisition of Suez. Esther joined the firm in 2009.
- Chris Churl-Min Lee, partner, focuses on the organization and operation of private investment funds. He is resident in the Hong Kong office. His experience covers a broad array of private fund strategies, including buyout, growth equity, venture, special situations and real estate funds, as well as “hybrid” funds. He also represents institutional investors in connection with their investments in private funds. His representations have included MBK Partners in the formation of its private equity funds, including MBK Partners Fund V; Hillhouse Capital in a wide range of fund matters, including the formation of its private equity funds and various co-investment arrangements; TPG in the formation of TPG Asia VII and various co-investment arrangements; KKR in the formation of its most recent Asia-focused private equity fund; BRV Lotus in the formation of its private equity funds; Northstar in the formation of its most recent flagship fund; Coller Capital in various secondary transactions; Gaocheng Capital in the formation of its first growth fund; and sovereign investors in their investments in various private investment funds. Chris joined the firm in 2007 and became counsel in 2017. From 2007 to 2008 and 2016 to 2018, he was resident in the New York office; from 2008 to 2012, he was resident in the Hong Kong office; and from 2012 to 2015, he was resident in the Beijing office.
- Macey Levington, partner, focuses on corporate and financial transactions as well as U.S. bank regulatory matters, encompassing complex structured finance transactions including collateralized loan obligations, receivables securitizations, and asset-based lending arrangements. He is based in the Washington, D.C. office. Macey regularly advises major arrangers such as Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Mizuho, and Natixis and collateral managers such as Owl Rock Capital Advisors in the structuring and offering of CLOs, and has been instrumental in more than $32 billion in such transactions since 2017. He has advised both lenders and borrowers in structuring and negotiating asset-based lending transactions secured by portfolios of corporate loans and other fixed-income assets. Macey also has extensive experience in receivables financing transactions, including advising Verizon Communications in the establishment of a platform for the securitization of installment receivables generated by their sales of mobile phones; Cushman & Wakefield in a $160 million sale of commercial facility services receivables; and Alcoa in securitizations of trade receivables. Macey joined the firm in 2009 and became counsel in 2018.
- Mark McDonald, partner, focuses on high-stakes mergers and acquisitions litigation as well as complex commercial litigation and arbitration, including disputes involving securities and financial institutions. He is resident in the New York office. Mark has represented National Amusements Inc. (NAI), Shari Redstone, and Sumner Redstone in a favorable settlement against CBS Corporation and certain members of its board of directors concerning CBS’s attempt to dilute NAI’s voting control of CBS; Kindred Healthcare in successfully defeating a motion for preliminary injunction in connection with its merger with TPG, Humana, and Welsh, Carson; and controlling stockholder Danfoss in litigation challenging the fairness of its $700 million acquisition of minority shares of Sauer-Danfoss. His additional notable experience includes a wide variety of litigation and arbitration matters for clients such as Tatneft in proceedings to enforce a $112 million arbitral award against Ukraine; Leonardo Electronics in defeating arbitration claims over $230 million; J. Aron (the commodities trading arm of Goldman Sachs) in litigation brought by oil producers; and several international banks in lawsuits brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Mark joined the firm in 2011.
- John McGill, counsel, focuses on corporate and financial transactions, particularly CLOs and other structured finance transactions. He is based in the Washington, D.C. office. John’s practice also includes public and private mergers and acquisitions, including significant experience advising financial institutions and private equity firms. He advised N M Rothschild & Sons in its acquisition of West Gate Horizons Advisors, an investment manager to CLO vehicles, and the underwriters (including Citigroup) and collateral managers (including Babson Capital and Invesco Senior Secured Management) in more than $16 billion of CLOs since 2017. He has advised a variety of high-profile clients in significant international transactions, including BNP Paribas in transactions with Deutsche Bank with respect to its prime brokerage business; Alstom in its acquisition of Bombardier Transportation; OpenText in its acquisition of Carbonite; and Samsung in several cross-border acquisitions and divestitures. John joined the firm in 1999.