Cleary Gottlieb Excels in The Legal 500 U.S. 2013 Guide: 91 Lawyers and 28 Practices Recommended

June 20, 2013

To highlight Cleary Gottlieb’s breadth of knowledge across its U.S. practice, The Legal 500 U.S. 2013 guide distinguished 91 of the firm’s lawyers and 28 practice areas as leaders in their field.

The Legal 500 U.S. recognized the firm for the first time in its M&A Litigation category.

The following Cleary Gottlieb practices were recommended as among the best in the United States, based on The Legal 500’s survey of in-house counsel and lawyers across the country.


Bank Lending (Including Other Sources of Financing): “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a good reputation for private equity and corporate work, and invariably acts for the sponsors and borrowers. The ‘extremely responsive and knowledgeable team’ is praised for its ‘very high level of service’ and ‘business acumen.’”

Capital Markets: Debt Offerings - Advice to Issuers and Capital Markets: Debt Offerings - Advice to Managers: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘one of the greatest firms for capital markets work’ and has an enviable depth of experience in both the US and beyond, particularly in Latin America. The team is noted for its strength in acting as both issuer and underwriter counsel and has an impressive client roster, featuring major financial institutions and corporations.”

Capital Markets: Equity Offerings - Advice to Issuers and Capital Markets: Equity Offerings - Advice to Managers: “The capital markets capabilities at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ‘make it really easy for the client at all stages of the transaction’; and it is this level of service which has allowed the firm to remain at the forefront of equity work. The collaborative nature of the firm is highlighted; ‘the team is always ready to call on other experts when needed.’ While extremely competent on both the issuer and underwriter side, the firm has a particularly strong practice advising managers.”

Capital Markets: Global Offerings - Advice to Corporate and Finance - Capital Markets: Global Offerings - Advice to Financial Institutions: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘always available and able to meet even the tightest of deadlines’ and continues to be ‘undoubtedly one of the dominant firms on a global level,’ with standout global capabilities in the representation of both issuers and underwriters in a variety of transactions.”

Capital Markets: High-Yield Debt Offerings - Advice to Issuers and Finance - Capital Markets: High-Yield Debt Offerings - Advice to Managers: “Highly regarded for its ‘breadth and depth of market knowledge,’ Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘excellent’ team demonstrates ‘great acumen and experience’ in the high-yield debt arena. The firm has significant experience in markets outside the US, particularly Latin America, and it represents issuers and managers.”

Corporate Restructuring: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP stands out for the sheer scope of its restructuring practice and clients commend its ‘broad capabilities in restructuring but also in M&A and intellectual property’ as well as its ‘extensive international expertise in both restructuring and other disciplines, which differentiates it from US-focused firms.’ The group fields a ‘very deep bench that covers the full spectrum of matters in the bankruptcy space’ and attracts strong praise for its niche strength in complex banking issues, with lawyers highlighted as ‘extremely knowledgeable, especially with regard to esoteric bankruptcy issues that involve derivatives and regulatory matters.’”

Financial Services - Litigation: “Based out of New York and Washington DC, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s 20-partner commercial litigation group includes a number of lawyers who have developed specific expertise representing financial institutions in core and non-core banking issues, as well as enforcement matters. As befits the firm’s work sharing ethos and culture, the team draws upon the strengths of other practice areas and works particularly closely with its corporate and regulatory colleagues. ‘Extremely responsive and staffed with appropriate bench strength,’ the firm’s multi-disciplinary approach has come to the fore in its ongoing representation of several major banks.”

Financial Services - Regulatory: “Deeply entrenched in the financial services industry, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ‘knows the laws and regulations and also the industry, so it can give practical and useful advice which is tailored to a client’s needs.’ Active for many of the most significant players in the industry … ‘because it represents so many institutions, you know that its advice is consistent with the best practices in the market.’ The firm benefits from a highly collegial approach to work across all practice areas, a factor which ensures that its financial services regulatory team benefits from significant input and work sharing from other complementary substantive areas of law including M&A, securities, tax and litigation. Regularly instructed on ‘the most difficult issues and problems, where it is important to know both the requirements and the regulatory expectations,’ much of the work handled by the team has a strong international complexion, and in this regard the firm benefits from offices in key financial centres including London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.”

Project Finance: Advice to Lender and Project Finance: Advice to Sponsors: “The ‘always available and highly professional’ team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP delivers ‘excellent, prompt and deal-oriented’ advice to high-profile clients… The firm works extensively in Latin America in the areas of infrastructure and renewable energy, with a particular bent towards sponsor representation.”

Structured Finance: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘excellent business acumen, industry knowledge and very strong teams,’ and it is recommended ‘for truly complex matters.’ The US structured finance, securitization and derivatives group, housed in New York and Washington DC, shares ‘the true strength of the firm, which lies in the fact that its partners bring to bear the collective wisdom of the firm; we receive integrated, holistic advice.’ It is ‘clearly a top-rank firm in the equity-linked and equity derivative space.’”

Investment Fund Formation and Management

Private Equity Funds: “[Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s] clients are quick to draw attention to the practice’s ‘premier client service’ and ‘considerable strength in depth,’ with an international capability that gives it ‘the resources to undertake multiple tasks simultaneously’ across its global network.”

Labor and Employment

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘EBEC team is first rate - extremely knowledgeable, very responsive and very pragmatic in its legal advice.’ The group consists of 20 attorneys in New York. Outside the US, a further 13 attorneys focus on non-US employee benefits and executive compensation law. Expert in executive compensation and corporate governance, private equity and alternative investments, ERISA fiduciary matters and mergers and acquisitions, it excels in all aspects of this practice area.”


International Arbitration: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP favors a ... structure that minimizes internal competition for clients and thereby facilitates the process of forming trans-national, multi-office teams that is so essential to international arbitral practice. Representing investors and sovereigns in both investor-state and commercial arbitration, the practice has accrued ‘huge experience across the entire sector.’”

Securities: Shareholder Litigation: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York- centered securities litigation group acts for numerous major financial institutions and corporations in securities matters.”

White-Collar Criminal Defense: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ‘attracts a lot of international work’… This ‘superb’ team is also at the forefront of the LIBOR investigations, in which it is representing two major financial institutions.”

Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts

Antitrust: “Housing ‘the best thinkers, strategists and advocates working in antitrust worldwide,’ Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s excellent reputation continues. Praised for its ‘incredible depth’ and agency experience, the team is skilled in both global merger control and litigation.”

M&A Litigation: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has represented targets, bidders, white knights, investment banks and other M&A participants in the full range of takeover- related litigation matters, including hostile takeovers, proxy litigations, challenges to anti- takeover devices, directors’ breach of duty, allegations of inadequate disclosure, and issues of compliance with federal or state law.”

M&A: Mega-Deals ($5 billion+): “In the past year, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP was involved in three high-profile M&A deals relating to IP, and has advised on IP-related transactions with values totaling more than $27 billion. In addition to playing a major role in the technology and consumer services sectors, the practice actively advises many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; and continues to advise financial institutions.”

Private Equity Buyouts: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has developed a formidable private equity department… [T]he firm has blossoming connections to major private equity houses.”

Real Estate and Construction

Real Estate: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has five real estate partners in New York, with a ‘strong’ knowledge base and particularly strong experience in capital markets, finance and securitization matters.”


Domestic Tax: East Coast: “The ‘excellent’ East Coast tax practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP remains a market-leader with evident strength in corporate and capital markets matters. The New York-based tax team provides tax planning advice to a number of high-profile clients.”

Financial Products: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘world-class tax department’ in New York continues to be unanimously praised as a global market leader in financial products, in particular in derivatives and securitization. The firm regularly advises major financial institutions, private equity firms and industry associations, demonstrating depth of expertise in many aspects of structured finance and tax planning matters.”

International: “Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘world class tax practice’ handles cross-border matters for private equity firms, financial institutions, industry associations and large multinational companies. As well as advising on complex transactions, the firm is engaged in a number of controversy matters for domestic and international clients.”