Cleary Gottlieb Partner Matteo Montanaro Joins Abu Dhabi Office

September 4, 2013

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has strengthened its presence in the Middle East and North Africa with the relocation of partner Matteo Montanaro to its Abu Dhabi office.

Matteo, who started at the firm in 2004 and became a partner in 2008, has also worked in the firm’s New York office and most recently in Milan. He joins partner Gamal Abouali, who launched the Abu Dhabi office in September 2012, and counsel Chris Macbeth, bringing the number of client-facing staff based there to seven lawyers.

“With the opening of our Abu Dhabi office last year we added weight behind our ability to provide an even better service to our clients in the Middle East and North Africa and those with interests in the region. Now, with the arrival of Matteo, who brings a vast expertise of advising sovereign and corporate clients, we will continue to capitalize on business opportunities and look ahead to long-term growth,” said Cleary Gottlieb partner Gamal Abouali.

Matteo Montanaro said: “I am delighted to have relocated to the Middle East and look forward to becoming fully integrated into the local business environment. I have long had strong business connections in the region and being based locally is a tremendously exciting opportunity for me to build on those existing relationships, establish new ones and enhance the firm’s reputation.”

About Cleary Gottlieb’s Middle East and North Africa Practice

With over a decade of experience in the Middle East and North Africa and an unparalleled global presence, Cleary Gottlieb’s Middle East and North Africa practice advises both corporate and sovereign clients, including sovereign wealth funds, in some of the largest transactions in the region.

The Abu Dhabi office is fully integrated with the firm’s Middle East and North Africa practice, which comprises approximately 20 partners and counsel based in Abu Dhabi, London, Paris, New York and Frankfurt. It offers clients in the Middle East and North Africa and those doing business in the region access to the full range of services of Cleary Gottlieb’s offices, including its leading practices in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, litigation and arbitration, bankruptcy and restructuring, and project finance and infrastructure.

Practice highlights include:

  • #3 in Emerging Markets M&A for H1 2013 by Thomson Reuters (completed, based on value).
  • #2 in EMEA Equity & Equity-Related Issuer Legal Advisor for H1 2013 by Thomson Reuters.
  • “Highly recommended” in Oman for 2012 by The Legal 500 EMEA.
  • #2 in EMEA Equity & Equity-Related Issuer Legal Advisor for Q2 2013 by Thomson Reuters.
  • #3 in Emerging Markets M&A for Q2 2013 by Thomson Reuters (completed, based on value).
  • #3 in Emerging Markets M&A for 2012 by Thomson Reuters (announced, based on value).
  • #4 in Middle East & North African M&A for 2012 by Thomson Reuters (completed, based on value).
  • Ranked by Chambers Global as one of the best firms in the region for capital markets, corporate/commercial and investments funds.
  • #1 in Emerging Markets M&A for 2010 by Thomson Reuters (announced and completed, based on value).
  • Counsel to Wind Telecom and Orascom Telecom Holdings, the mobile telecommunications companies led by Egyptian entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris, in its $21 billion merger with VimpelCom.
  • Counsel to Orascom Telecom Media and Telecommunications Holdings S.A.E. in the sale of a $1 billion stake in Egypt mobile carrier Mobinil to France Telecom and the subsequent mandatory tender offer by France Telecom.
  • Counsel to Lafarge in its $15 billion acquisition of the cement business of Orascom Construction Industries, one of the largest-ever corporate transactions to occur in the Middle East.
  • Counsel to Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) in its acquisition of Atlantique Telecom and in winning an ICC arbitration and damages against Planor Afrique in relation to an investment in Burkina Faso.
  • Counsel to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in its successful challenge to the jurisdiction of the English courts in connection with a substantial claim brought against the bank and a senior diplomatic figure in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Counsel in the IPOs of Investcom (the first DIFX listing), Depa, Investcorp , Bank Muscat, Alba and Amer Group, and counsel to the Government of Jordan in the IPO of the state-owned Jordan Telecommunications Company and subsequent divestment.
  • Counsel to the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq in connection with the Basrah Gas Company project, a joint venture between South Gas Company (an Oil Ministry affiliate), and affiliates of Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi Corporation.
  • Counsel to the Republic of Iraq in successfully defending its sovereign immunity in the English Court of Appeal, in relation to a $35 million claim by a Saddam Hussein-era creditor.
  • Counsel to Meraas Capital in a joint venture with Boston Properties Limited Partnership to purchase the landmark GM Building for $2.8 billion and three other New York City office buildings for an additional $1.1 billion.

About Cleary Gottlieb

Founded in 1946 by lawyers committed to legal excellence, internationalism, and diversity, Cleary Gottlieb is a leading international law firm with approximately 1,200 lawyers around the world.