Cleary Gottlieb Named “European Legal Team of the Year” at British Legal Awards

December 3, 2009

Cleary Gottlieb was named “European Legal Team of the Year” at the British Legal Awards, held in London on Thursday, December 3rd, for the firm’s role advising BNP Paribas Group on its acquisition of Fortis Bank. The short-list for the award was selected by the editorial team at Legal Week and the final result determined by a panel of distinguished judges.

The judges noted the complexity of the transaction, which involved government bodies and financial supervisory authorities across several jurisdictions, negotiations with the European Commission, and fierce litigation by opponents of the transaction. The transaction closed on May 13 after eight months, making BNP Paribas the largest bank in the Eurozone by deposits.

In the transaction, Cleary Gottlieb represented BNP Paribas in its acquisitions of approximately 75% of Fortis Bank and a majority stake in Banque Générale du Luxembourg, and on the acquisition of 25% of Fortis Insurance Belgium by Fortis Bank, as well as the simultaneous defeasance of a portfolio of structured products from Fortis Bank worth about €11.5 billion.

The firm fielded a large team spanning multiple offices, including Paris, Brussels, London, New York and Washington, and practice groups, including corporate, finance, regulatory, competition and tax.