Cleary Gottlieb Grows Debt Finance and Private Equity Transaction Capabilities With Addition of Partner Matthew Mao in New York

May 20, 2024

Cleary Gottlieb announced today that Matthew Mao will return to the firm as a partner in the debt finance practice in the New York office.

He rejoins the firm from Fanatics Holdings, Inc., where he acted as Senior Vice President, Legal, covering corporate transactions. His return continues Cleary’s growth in New York to serve its private equity and sponsor clients and underscores its deep bench of seasoned transactional practitioners.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt back to Cleary,” said Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang. “His diverse transactional experience bolsters the firm’s private equity-focused debt financing capabilities and complements our recent focus on growing our debt finance and transactional practice in the United States and Europe.”

“We are very excited to welcome Matt back to our team. His deep debt finance expertise and experience leading significant transactions in-house enhances our ability to support sponsor clients,” said debt finance partner Meme Peponis. “This experience advances Cleary’s integrated client service offerings as financing arrangements are becoming increasingly sophisticated.”

“I am incredibly excited to rejoin the team here at Cleary, who constantly move the needle forward on complex transactions reshaping the dealmaking landscape,” said Matt. “I have always hugely admired their exceptional counsel, advice, and judgment across practice groups and global offices. I look forward to leveraging my experience both as outside and in-house counsel to ensure best-in-class representation for Cleary’s clients.”

In his role at Fanatics, Matt spearheaded a wide scope of corporate legal matters, including leading its debt financings and equity investments. Prior to Fanatics, he also served as Senior Legal Director, Corporate Transactions at Hillspire, LLC, where he led a variety of corporate transactions and initiatives, and as Vice President, Law at MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, where he advised on leveraged buyouts, debt financings, and liability management matters.

Matt received his J.D. from Stanford Law School and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago.