Cleary Gottlieb advises many of the largest and most significant U.S. and international banking entities in the world on the full range of banking, securities and regulatory matters.

Clients in the financial sector rely on the firm for clear and up-to-the-minute guidance, skilled representation in high-stakes transactions and the ability to litigate complicated financial disputes. Cleary taps resources from across practice areas and offices in worldwide finance centers to advise clients on transactions, legislative developments and unfolding regulatory implementation in the United States and Europe, including:

  • Domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, strategic alliances, private equity investments and capital markets transactions
  • The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Volcker Rule, swap dealer and other requirements applicable to derivative markets, and the Act’s systemic resolution and capital provisions
  • Rescue operations, recapitalizations and regulatory transformations arising from the 2008 financial crisis
  • Litigation and arbitration arising from complex financial matters
  • The Basel III capital and liquidity rules

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Notable Experience


  • Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered, among other banking organizations, in all aspects of implementation of, and compliance with, the Volcker Rule. Includes advising on the scope of permissible trading and investment activities, and on restructuring and spin-outs of trading and fund operations.

  • American Express, BNP Paribas, Capital One, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ, PNC and Toronto Dominion, as well as a Brazilian bank and a number of other U.S., Asian and European banks, on the development of resolution plans as required by the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDIC. Also advising numerous domestic and international banks on restructuring and other corporate responses to resolution planning initiatives.

  • A number of sovereigns and other clients in connection with European sovereign debt issues, including Greece in connection with its February 24, 2012, invitation to offer to exchange approximately €206 billion face-value of Greek bonds held by private sector creditors and Iceland in its negotiations with the United Kingdom and The Netherlands to repay amounts expended to reimburse depositors in Landsbanki, a failed Icelandic bank.

  • itBit Trust Company, a commercial Bitcoin exchange, in becoming the first U.S.-chartered and regulated virtual currency exchange; advised on novel regulatory issues, including the application of anti-money laundering, capital requirements, consumer protection and cybersecurity standards in the context of virtual currency exchange activity.

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Litigation, Enforcement and Compliance

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as well as hedge funds, and asset managers in investigations by the DOJ, SEC, FINRA, State Attorneys General, Congressional committees and the UK FSA relating to subprime mortgage matters, including the structuring and marketing of CDOs and RMBS.

  • Major financial institutions in investigations by the U.S. Treasury Department’s OFAC, FinCEN, the DOJ, the SEC, and state and federal banking regulators and prosecutors regarding compliance with U.S. sanctions programs and anti-money laundering requirements. Recently advised Clearstream Banking in its $152 million settlement with OFAC involving a novel theory addressing industry dealings with the Central Bank of Iran.

  • Several major financial institutions, including BNP Paribas, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, Citigroup and BNY Mellon in connection with matters arising from the Madoff fraud, including investigations by the DOJ and the SEC; investigations and litigation brought by the New York State Attorney General, the Department of Labor and the trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy; investor litigation in the United States and Italy; and “clawback” litigation by the Madoff bankruptcy trustee in the United States and the United Kingdom.

  • More than 40 international banks that were alleged to have underwritten securities issued by Lehman Brothers in the 18 months prior to its collapse, in a $417 million settlement of a class action arising out of the Lehman offerings.

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