Recognized as one of the top litigation and arbitration groups in the world, Cleary Gottlieb has helped governments, corporations, financial institutions and individuals in cases that have dominated world business and legal news.

Our lawyers are committed to providing clients with creative and result-oriented litigation and arbitration counsel. This ethos permeates everything we do in the pursuit of innovative, sustainable results. Litigation and arbitration capabilities have played a central role in Cleary’s success since the firm’s early years and continues today: More than one-third of our U.S. lawyers are litigators, and many of Cleary’s most important and enduring client relationships originated with a dispute-related matter—testimony to the long-standing trust clients have put in us to protect, enforce and defend their interests.

Firm engagements frequently involve complex legal issues that require novel solutions and cross-border coordination of the firm’s varied resources, allowing us to pair our renowned corporate, regulatory and financial experience with our litigation prowess. Our litigators’ abilities to handle both local matters and multijurisdictional disputes make us equally at home representing clients in virtually any venue worldwide.

Cleary’s practice includes a deep bench of former federal prosecutors, the former chief legal counsel of the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a former General Counsel of the SEC. The team regularly draws upon the experience of many other partners who provide experience and credibility with the government, including former senior officials of the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission and the former General Counsel of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

We handle litigation and arbitration involving a wide variety of issues, such as securities, derivatives, M&A, sovereign debt, investment treaties, antitrust, bankruptcy, white-collar crime, employment, executive compensation, intellectual property and general commercial disputes.

Notable Experiences

  • Several major financial institutions in investigations by authorities in the U.S., Europe and Asia concerning Foreign Exchange (FX) trading, and LIBOR, ISDAFIX and other benchmark rates, including:

    • Citigroup in the LIBOR investigation, resulting in the DOJ declining to prosecute, and in its resolution of FX investigations by the DOJ and U.S. Federal Reserve;
    • HSBC and Citigroup in FX settlements with the UK FCA, the U.S. CFTC and (for Citi) the U.S. OCC; and
    • Goldman Sachs in civil actions involving FX and ISDAFIX and related regulatory matters.
  • The Republic of Argentina in its highly publicized defense against claims by “holdout creditors” relating to Argentina’s sovereign debt, including in multiple hearings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and in briefing to and oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the district court’s extraterritorial discovery order.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt in an ICSID arbitration under the U.S.-Egypt bilateral investment treaty brought by H&H Enterprises Investments relating to an investment in an Egyptian resort.

  • BNP Paribas and HSBC in winning dismissal of $5.5 billion civil RICO and related state law claims asserted against our clients in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York based upon allegations that the banks are responsible for helping Cuba avoid U.S. sanctions thereby frustrating plaintiffs’ ability to collect on judgments against Cuba.

  • BNP Paribas in winning dismissal of a “petition for contempt” by a default judgment creditor of the Republic of Cuba seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from our client.

  • Vale S.A. in winning a dismissal of a multi-billion civil RICO claim in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York based upon allegations of complicity in the misappropriation of the plaintiff’s mining concession in West Africa.

  • Gilead Sciences in winning dismissal on all counts of a purported class action alleging unfair competition and Affordable Care Act violations related to the pricing of Gilead’s Hepatitis C treatments.

  • Google in defeating a shareholder class action arising out of the company’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the largest-ever deal in our client’s history.

  • The Hellenic Republic in earning a milestone arbitration victory that likely will have broader implications for other sovereign disputes arising from the global financial crisis.
  • HSBC, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Citigroup and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation in connection with the Madoff fraud, including in major bankruptcy litigation spanning the U.S., Italy, the UK, Ireland, Luxembourg and Bermuda. No other firm has played as prominent a role in the defense of financial institutions in matters arising from the scandal and the bankruptcy of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.
  • KCG Holdings in a multi­defendant securities class action regarding high frequency trading, based on allegations lifted from Michael Lewis’s bestselling book Flash Boys.
  • Keurig Green Mountain in successfully defeating a preliminary injunction motion seeking to block the launch of Keurig’s 2.0 coffee brewer, as well as in related and ongoing monopolization litigation brought by competitors and purported class action plaintiffs.
  • Marc J. Gabelli in winning the voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the SEC alleging violations of the Investment Advisors Act. In 2013, we won a landmark ruling for Gabelli and Bruce Alpert in Gabelli v. SEC before the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing that the general federal statute of limitations applicable to governmental civil penalty claims does not incorporate a discovery rule.
  • The U.S. Nortel estate in a groundbreaking cross­border trial in Wilmington and Toronto courts concerning a dispute with Nortel’s Canadian and European estates regarding the allocation of asset sale proceeds and billions of dollars of intercompany claims.
  • Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) in several litigations challenging the constitutionality of the 2014 Recovery Act, a piece of legislation which the firm helped draft; and in connection with a $9.5 billion debt restructuring.
  • Rosneft in obtaining a favorable 2015 settlement in extensive litigation proceedings in the Netherlands, England, Russia, the U.S., France, Ireland and Singapore related to the bankruptcy and liquidation of Yukos Oil Company, ending disputes spanning nearly a decade.

  • Sanofi U.S. in successfully defending against a multibillion dollar monopolization lawsuit brought by a competitor challenging Sanofi’s loyalty discounts for its anticoagulant drug, Lovenox.

  • Teladoc (as plaintiff) in winning a landmark preliminary injunction against the Texas Medical Board, preventing the implementation of a rule that would have ended telehealth in Texas and put our client out of business.

  • United Test and Assembly Center Ltd. in the dismissal of seven of nine claims in a patent license suit brought by Amkor Technology.

  • A prominent art collector in winning judgment as a matter of law, after a two-week jury trial, in an action involving alleged breach of a contract for the purchase of a valuable painting.

  • Pro bono clients in high-­profile matters that have yielded extraordinary results, including:

    • convincing New York’s highest court to overturn its own 40-­year precedent in the pursuit of overturning our client’s convictions and opening the door for others to have their cases heard; and
    • on the day before the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic 2015 decision supporting same-­sex marriage, achieving an unprecedented jury verdict for LGBTQ rights in the U.S. that has helped inspire Congress to enact legislation to protect consumers from the controversial practice of “conversion therapy” nationwide.
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