Cleary Gottlieb Soars in Chambers Global 2006 Rankings; 80 Lawyers Cited as Leaders in Their Fields
January 20, 2006
Cleary Gottlieb garnered impressive results in the soon-to-be released Chambers Global 2006 Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers. Reflecting our broad international strength, Chambers distinguishes 80 Cleary Gottlieb lawyers working in Africa, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latin America, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as those doing “global” work. This is an increase from 53 lawyers recognized last year, with Dirk Vandermeersch, Enrique González Diaz, Laurent Ruzette, Jean-Yves Garaud, John Palenberg, Ward Greenberg, Romina Polley, Michael Brems, Oliver Schröder, Larry Friedman, Bob Greig, Roberto Bonsignore, Matteo Beretta, Bill McGurn, Steve Wilner, Andrés de la Cruz, Francesca Lavin, Jaime El Koury, Jeff Lewis, Mark Walker, Nicolas Grabar, Roger Thomas, Wanda Olson, Dan Braverman, Yong Lee, Andrew Shutter, Sebastian Sperber, Glen Scarcliffe, Shaun Goodman, Bob Tortoriello and Michael Ryan being cited for the first time.
Chambers also gives top-ranks to 41 Cleary Gottlieb practice groups worldwide, recognizing the following areas for the first time: TMT in Belgium; Capital Markets: Debt & Equity in China/Hong Kong; Dispute Resolution in France; Arbitration (International) in the global practice; Banking & Finance and Capital Markets in Italy; Corporate & Finance in Latin America; Capital Markets in Russia; Corporate/M&A: Foreign in South Korea; Banking & Finance: Bank Lending, Capital Markets: High Yield Products and Tax in the United Kingdom; and International Tax in the United States.
The following Cleary Gottlieb practices are recognized for being among the best in the world, based on Chambers’ interviews of the firm’s clients and competitors:
- Banking & Finance: “Cleary Gottlieb is the most prominent New York firm in Brussels, with an extensive Belgian law practice of very high caliber. Examples of the ‘well-regarded’ European securitization practice include, the firm’s role advising Goodyear on a $280 million multi-country European receivables securitization program, co-arranged by Calyon and Natexis Banques Populaires.”
- Competition/Antitrust: “Cleary Gottlieb is undoubtedly a leading firm – many would say the leading firm – for competition in Brussels. Clients particularly acclaimed its ‘strength and depth, which comes from being a US practice staffed with outstanding European lawyers who have close ties to the EC’ … the firm’s Brussels lawyers have advised on the cream of the headline-grabbing EU competition cases, notably acting for RealNetworks in its successful complaint against Microsoft, and for Coca-Cola in the settlement of the EC’s five-year Article 82 investigation.”
- Corporate/M&A: “Home to the highest quality lawyers working on the largest deals…the firm is ‘the Rolls-Royce of corporate firms in Belgium.’ As one of the few New York firms with substantial local law capacity, the corporate team occupies a particularly strong position for major transactions that require access to the US capital markets.”
- TMT: “With ‘a team of true experts’ in telecoms and technology to ‘deliver top-quality work,’ the firm provides a wide array of TMT advice.”
- WTO/International Trade: “This operation’s ‘high-calibre lawyers’ won enthusiastic praise for the smooth way in which they ‘bring their individual strengths to bear,’ including ‘the ability to assemble any amount of information and quickly make sense of it.’”
- Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: “Exclusively handling M&A, restructuring and, most importantly of all, capital markets transactions…the office services the whole region, excelling in Korea in particular, where the firm holds up to 50% of the market share.”
- Banking & Finance: “The more general banking practice is rather overshadowed by its outstanding profile for equity capital markets work. However … the Paris-based team enjoys a particular emphasis on structured finance.”
- Capital Markets: “At the forefront of equity capital markets in Paris for many years…the firm retains its ‘extremely strong position’ in the opinion of competitors. Clients, particularly multinationals with significant operations in France, are fervent in their praise. ‘It’s essential for our lawyers to have dual French and US law capability, and Cleary Gottlieb does that better than anyone,’ said one.”
- Competition/Antitrust: “Boasting one of the longest-established antitrust practices of any US firm in Paris and in Brussels, Cleary Gottlieb is a leading contender for EU cartel investigations and M&A notifications, thanks to its fully integrated practice and blue-chip corporate client base. Clients endorsed the lawyers as ‘highly professional - they are quick to respond and provide reliable advice that stands the test of time.’”
- Corporate/M&A: “‘In a class of its own among US firms in Paris,’ commented one client … There was a similar consensus over the reasons for the firm’s dominance: ‘Whatever they turn their hand to, they do perfectly.’ The office is frequently described by local commentators as a French firm in all but name, and it has been untroubled by the recent, and aggressive, arrival of its US compatriots onto the French market.”
- Dispute Resolution: “Bolstered by a five-star Paris M&A practice, the team benefits from access to the firm’s substantial pool of corporate clients. Interviewees believe it is ‘only a matter of time’ before it matches the critical mass of its M&A litigation competitors.
- Private Equity:“‘Always one of the big players in Paris,’ the firm has positioned itself at the top end of the market, and picks up its fair share of large and cutting-edge transactions. This year these have notably included advising BC Partners on its headline €1.3 billion acquisition of Picard Surgelés.”
- Tax: “Interviewees heaped praise upon the practice, with one describing the US giant as ‘a French firm to beat all French firms, despite being American!’”
- Banking & Finance: “The firm excels in bank regulatory advice, in which field it has counseled Deutsche Bank and HypoVereinsbank on the structuring of innovative bank capital instruments … and the firm remains popular with the investment banks for its skill in handling complex restructurings and NPL portfolio transactions.”
- Capital Markets: Debt and Capital Markets: Equity: “Focusing on complex, big-ticket transactions where its ‘perfect’ service is in high demand from both issuers and underwriters, the team has had a bumper year on the equity capital markets side and advised on several of the big IPOs. ‘We like them because the people we mandate are actually the ones who do the work and who we trust,’ explained one client.”
- Competition/Antitrust: “Well known for its excellent international network and its first-class office in Brussels, the firm also won recognition for building on the strength of its Cologne office following its prominent hirings in 2003. The firm has since picked up a raft of high-level work that has helped position it as one of the top-ranking German and EU competition law groups.”
- Corporate/M&A: “Bearing a ‘name that is worth gold,’ the team has increased its market share by winning a string of landmark deals. Clients appreciate the group’s culture, which they described as pragmatic and precise but also ‘absolutely human - they are never overly lawyerly.’ The group landed one of its most spectacular deals to date by acting as international legal adviser to HypoVereinsbank in its business combination with the Italian bank UniCredit.”
- Arbitration (International): “A stellar corporate profile puts the firm in line for a portion of major international arbitration in which it generally represents some element of its ‘spectacular client base.’ According to observers, ‘a number of exceedingly brilliant attorneys’ are able to ‘handle complex matters beautifully.’”
- Banking & Finance: “Across the Italian legal market, this US powerhouse was labeled the ‘biggest up-and-comer of the year.’ Clients praised the high-quality work of the six-partner team that operates out of the Milan and Rome offices … the team’s substantial number of US-qualified lawyers was viewed as another selling point.”
- Capital Markets: “Peers acknowledge this firm as ‘a top-notch team, likely to make a huge impact on the Italian market, despite its relatively recent arrival.’ Its profile received a considerable boost last year with the largest equity offering in the world: the sale by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance of 1.15 billion ordinary shares in Enel.”
- Competition/Antitrust: “This American powerhouse is widely considered a ‘step ahead of the rest.’ Boasting a ‘very deep bench of lawyers,’ its ‘highly talented and dedicated’ team has handled some of the most high-profile cases in the field, always managing to keep an ‘international perspective on transactions.’”
- Corporate/M&A: “The firm had ‘made an important move forward in the Italian market’ this year. The five-partner team is especially skilled at handling cross-border transactions for an extensive international clientele … including Fresh del Monte Produce in its acquisition of Del Monte Foods Europe from the Cirio Group, a deal that formed part of the disposal of Cirio Group’s assets under Italian insolvency proceedings.”
- Corporate/M&A: Foreign: “This Tokyo office ‘is all about quality,’ claim commentators. Clients speak highly of the ‘confident, responsible and always timely’ advice offered by a team that ‘understands the business issues, provides valuable transactional advice and communicates fantastically well.’”
- Real Estate: Foreign: “With its ‘confident approach,’ this team focuses mainly on real estate finance, acquisitions and derivative work.”
- Corporate & Finance: “The out-and-out leader in Latin America, the firm’s activity in the region forms a considerable part of its practice ... The firm is an important historical fixture in Latin America, having been involved across the region since the 1950s, far longer than any other international player. Peers agree that in this time it has ‘been successful in capturing the market.’ The nature of its work has also been subtly shifting from its traditional focus on sovereign debt – where it still reigns supreme – to encompass a greater slice of worldwide capital raising for the private sector … This ‘huge commitment to the region’ is undertaken by ‘hard-working, international-quality’ practitioners. The firm is set apart, according to sources, by its involvement in a huge proportion of the region’s most important transactions for a ‘deeply entrenched client base,’ and by the ability to field large teams of lawyers who possess excellent local experience and have spent a substantial amount of time in the region.”
- Capital Markets: “Having appeared ‘on most of the major deals in the last decade,’ the experienced team is generally viewed as the first port of call for issuers and underwriters alike. ‘It really is the best equipped to meet our very specialized needs in the world of securities,’ explained one Western bank client.”
- Corporate/Commercial: “‘For a small Moscow operation it seems to get remarkably good work!’ Several interviewees echoed this sentiment and commended the team on its consistently high-quality work.”
- Corporate/M&A: Foreign: “Acknowledged to be at the ‘top of the tree - dedicated and informed,’ the practice encompasses corporate finance, M&A and restructuring. Clients of all kinds rate the team highly for its ‘commitment and technical skill.’”
- Banking & Finance: Bank Lending: “This ‘finely balanced’ team garners praise for its prowess in bank lending and is also recognized as a player in the acquisition finance market. Clients value the skills of its ‘talented’ bank lending lawyers to ‘understand the law, communicate effectively and organize themselves well.’”
- Capital Markets: Debt and Capital Markets: High Yield Products: This ‘formidable international firm’ has long been renowned for its equity practice, particularly work on highly complex cross-border transactions.”
- Tax: “Part of an integrated group of over 75 lawyers based in the US, Europe and Asia, the tax group is ‘a one-stop shop across all jurisdictions, and across the jurisdictions they are uniformly excellent,’ according to clients.”
- Banking & Finance: “An impressive group that stands out first and foremost for its bank regulatory prowess, this practice has made a large footprint in the domestic market while maintaining a strong international profile.”
- Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: “Though its tremendous international clout may have sometimes overshadowed its domestic strength, this cadre of ‘high-octane lawyers’ should not be overlooked, according to sources.”
- Capital Markets: Derivatives: “In the vanguard of the industry thanks to its breadth of practice and enduring relationships with the likes of Citigroup, the firm’s ‘prodigious team of lawyers’ includes about nine partners who work on a mixture of fixed income and equity derivatives. Experience includes assisting The Bond Market Association in its establishment of new capital rules for banks.”
- Capital Markets: Securitization: “The group’s flair for bespoke structures demonstrates ‘real quality across the board,’ peers said. The group represented Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac in their structured offerings amounting to $489 billion in 2003 and 2004.”
- Competition/Antitrust: “‘Globally, you can’t beat this practice,’ claimed sources. Its talented US team has a ‘strong transatlantic reach,’ with additional support from expert attorneys in Brussels, Cologne, Paris and Rome. Clients appreciate the top-to-bottom quality provided by this deep team, adding: ‘They are the type of firm that will certainly go all out for you.’”
- Corporate/M&A: “An international player whose cross-border expertise benefits from a ‘high degree of co-ordination within the firm,’ and results in a fluidity between international offices that is sometimes lacking in rivals, clients said. The firm also boasts outstanding capital markets, tax and financial products experience. Clients commend its ‘familiarity with our business and ability to put its fingertips on the applicable provisions.’”
- Tax: “This internationally renowned firm is home to ‘an ensemble of the crème de la crème of tax lawyers.’ A 30-strong team ‘is geared up to deal with the most intricate and sophisticated’ matters, including a substantial financial products practice, tax planning and dispute resolution, alongside national and multinational M&A, joint venture and start-up matters.”
- International Tax: “‘Obviously a great name in the tax arena,’ the firm’s New York practice receives accolades for its visibility in international matters, as well as for its ‘excellent client base for international work.’
The Cleary Gottlieb lawyers distinguished by Chambers Global as leading lawyers in the world are:
- Jean-Pierre Vignaud for corporate & finance.
- Antoine Winckler, Dirk Vandermeersch, Enrique González Diaz, Mario Siragusa, Nick Levy, Robbert Snelders and Romano Subiotto for competition/antitrust;
- Maurits Dolmans for competition/antitrust and TMT;
- Jacques Reding, Jan Meyers and Jean-Louis Joris for corporate/M&A;
- Laurent Ruzette for corporate M&A and corporate/M&A: public law;
Till Müller-Ibold for WTO/International Trade.
- Andrew Bernstein and Robert Bordeaux-Groult for capital markets;
- Pierre-Yves Chabert and Valérie Lemaitre for capital markets and corporate/M&A;
- Antoine Winckler and François Brunet for competition/antitrust;
- Jean-Michel Tron for corporate/M&A and tax;
- Jean-Yves Garaud for dispute resolution;
- Jean-Marie Ambrosi for private equity;
- Gilles Entraygues and Pascal Coudin for tax.
- Christof von Dryander for banking & finance: acquisition finance & syndicated lending, banking & finance: regulatory, capital markets: debt and capital markets: equity;
- Gabriele Apfelbacher for capital markets: equity and corporate/M&A;
- John Palenberg, Thomas Kopp and Ward Greenberg for capital markets: equity;
- Dirk Schroeder and Romina Polley for competition/antitrust;
- Klaus Riehmer, Michael Brems, Thomas Buhl and associate Oliver Schröder for corporate/M&A.
- Jean-Yves Garaud, Larry Friedman and Bob Greig for arbitration (international);
- Jean-Pierre Vignaud for projects: Francophone Africa specialists.
- Roberto Bonsignore for banking & finance;
- Roberto Casati for capital markets and corporate/M&A;
- Mario Siragusa, Matteo Beretta and associate Laura De Sanctis for competition/antitrust;
- Giuseppe Scassellati-Sforzolini and Bill McGurn for corporate/M&A.
- Steve Wilner and Tsunemasa Terai for corporate/M&A: foreign;
- Andrés de la Cruz, Francesca Lavin, Jaime El Koury, Jeff Lewis, Les Silverman, Mark Walker, Nicolas Grabar, Roger Thomas and Wanda Olson for corporate & finance.
- Dan Braverman and senior attorney Murat Akuyev for capital markets;
- Scott Senecal for capital markets and corporate/commercial;
- Senior attorney Vladimir Frolov for corporate/commercial.
- Jinduk Han and Yong Lee for corporate/M&A: foreign.
- Andrew Shutter for banking & finance: bank lending;
- Ash Qureshi for capital markets: debt & equity and capital markets: high yield products;
- Simon Ovenden for capital markets: debt & equity and capital markets: structured finance;
- Sebastian Sperber for capital markets: debt & equity;
- Glen Scarcliffe for capital markets: high yield products;
- Shaun Goodman for competition/European law;
- Nik Mehta for tax.
- Bob Tortoriello for banking & finance: mainly regulatory;
- Allan Sperling and Les Silverman for capital markets: debt & equity;
- Ed Rosen, Michael Dayan and Seth Grosshandler for capital markets: derivatives;
- George Cary and Mark Leddy for competition/antitrust;
- Michael Ryan and Victor Lewkow for corporate/M&A;
- Edward Kleinbard, Erika Nijenhuis and Jim Peaslee for tax;
- Les Samuels for tax and international tax.
For the full text of these rankings, please visit the Chambers’ website at http://www.chambersandpartners.com.