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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

New York

  • One Liberty Plaza
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10006
  • Tel:+1 212 225 2000
  • Fax:+1 212 225 3999
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partner: Mark Leddy
  • Number of partners worldwide: 198
  • Number of lawyers worldwide: 1,200
  • www.clearygottlieb.com

Firm Overview:
Recent Firm Awards and Achievements:
Law Firm of the Year by Legal Business (2013); "Go To" Firm (IP, Litigation, Securities,Corporate, International) by Corporate Counsel (2012); Investment Funds Client Service Firm of the Year by Chambers USA (2012); Competition/ Antitrust Firm of the Year by Chambers Global (2012 & 2013) and Latin America Firm of the Year by Chambers Global (2012); US Law Firm of the Year by Legal Business and IFLR (2011); Best Law Firm and Best Law Firm in Latin America by Latin Finance (2013); Top Five Global Law Firm by Law36O's "Global 20" (2012); Top Three Innovative Law Firm in Financial Time's US Innovative Lawyers Survey (2011); Top Ten Law Firm in Vault's Guide to Top 100 Law Firms (2012); Top 25 US Firm (selected by Directors and General Counsel) in Corporate Board Member's "America's Best Corporate Law Firms Survey" (2012); Most Innovative US Firm in Europe by IFLR (2011);Competition/Antitrust Firm of the Year by Chambers USA, US News & World Report, Best Lawyers and Top Legal (2011); Top Two Elite Firm by Global Competition Review (2011-13); International Trade and Finance Firm of the Year by US News & World Report - Best Lawyers' Best Law Firms, (2013); South Korea International Firm of the Year by Chambers Asia (2013); Italian Competition! EU Firm of the Year by TopLegal (2012); North America Tax Firm and North America Media & Entertainment Tax Firm of the year by International Tax Review (2011); Best International Counsel in Latin America: Corporate/M&A by Chambers Latin America (2013); Best Legal Advisor in Latin America by Global Finance (2012); M&A Practice Group of the Year and Antitrust Practice Group of the Year by Law36O (2013); Tax Team of the Year by Chambers USA (2011); Americas Debt & Equity-Linked Team of the Year by IFLR (2011); Global Elite firm every year since its inception by Legal Business' "Global 100" (2003-12); Top Seven firm worldwide appearing as arbitration counsel in The American Lawyer (2011); Top 30 most active firms worldwide by Global Arbitration Review (2011).
League Table Results: Number one Global and U.S.Equity & Equity-Reaed Managers' Counsel in Thomson Reuters, (based on value, 2012); number one EMEA Equity ad Equity-Linked Issuers' Counsel in Bloomberg, (based on volume, deal count, 2012); number two U.S. Straight Debt Issuers' Counsel by Thomson Reuters, (based on value, 2012); number three Global Bond Issuers' Counsel in Bloomberg, (based on deal count, 2012); number three US Corporates Issuers' Counsel in Bloomberg, (based on volume, 2012); number one in Russian M&A in Mergermarket, (based on value, 2012); number two in French M&A in Mergermarket, (based on value, 2012); number two in UK M&A in Mergermarket, (based on value, 2012); number three in Emerging Markets M&A in Thomson Reuters, (based on value, announced, 2012); number four in Middle East & North African M&A by Thomson Reuters, (based on value, completed, 2012); number one firm advising US equity ma'nagers in Bloomberg, (based on value, 2011); number two firm advising global bond issuers in'Blobim"berg, (based on deal count, 2011); number three firm advising global bond managers in Bloomberg, (based on deal count, 2011); number two firm advising US equity-linked managers in Bloomberg (based on value, 2011); number four firm advising US investment grade issuers in Bloomberg, (based on value, 2011); number two firm advising Euromarket high-yield issuers (excluding emerging markets) in Bloomberg (based on value, 2011); number five firm advising Malaysia equity IPO issuers in Bloomberg, (based on value, 2011); number five firm advising EMEA equity & equity-linked issuers in Bloomberg, (based on value, 2011); number one firm in Latin America M&A in Thomson Reuters, (based on value, completed, 2011); number one firm in Mexican M&A in Thomson Reuters, (based on value, completed, 2011); number one firm in Russian M&A in Thomson Reuters, (based on value, completed, 201 1); number two firm in German M&A in Thomson Reuters, (based on value, announced, 20'11);tinumber three firm in Italian M&A in Thomson Reuters, (based on value and deal count, comnpleted, 2011); number two firm in Greater China M&A in Mergermarket, (based on value, announced, 2011); number two firm in global metals and mining M&A in Thomson Reuters, based on value, completed, 2011).
Deals of the Year: The firm continues to receive consistent recognition by various influential publications as counsel in Deals of the Year.

Main Areas of Practice:
Antitrust and competition;Asia; banking and financial institutions; bankruptcy and restructuring; capital markets; corporate governance; derivatives; employee benefits; energy; environmental; intellectual property; international trade; Latin America; leveraged finance; litigation and arbitration;mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures; private clients and charitable organizations; private equity; privatizations; pro bono; project finance and infrastructure; real estate; securities enforcement and white-collar defense; sovereign governments and international institutions; structured finance; and tax.

International Work:
For more than 60 years, Cleary Gottlieb has been preeminent in shaping the globalization of the legal profession. The firm’s worldwide practice has a proven track record for innovation and providing work of the highest quality to meet the domestic and international needs of clients. Cleary Gottlieb’s clients include multinational corporations and international financial institutions, sovereign governments and their agencies, as well as domestic corporations and financial institutions in the countries where the firm’s offices are located. Although each of the 16 offices has its own practice, Cleary Gottlieb’s ‘one firm’ approach offers clients the ability to access the full resources of all of the firm’s offices and lawyers worldwide to the extent their matters so require. Approximately 1,200 lawyers work at Cleary Gottlieb worldwide.

New York Office Profile:
The NewYork office handles corporate, securities and structured finance matters; mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures; litigation; banking and financial institutions; bankruptcy and restructuring; representation of sovereign governments in financial matters; taxation; employee benefits; real estate; and work for individual clients and charitable organizations. Clients range from the top investment banking firms and corporate entities to sovereign governments throughout Latin America and high net worth individuals. The New York office has approximately 500 lawyers.

Washington Office Profile: The Washington office focuses on banking and financial institutions regulations; corporate and securities law; environmental, public and administrative law; structured finance; litigation; antitrust and international trade; taxation; and legislative counseling. The office serves as the focal point for the firm’s US regulatory practice and, in particular, its counsel on corporate governance issues. Clients range from government loan agencies to Fortune 500 corporations. Approximately 100 lawyers work in the Washington office.


  • One Liberty Plaza,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10006
  • Tel +1 212 225 2000
  • Fax +1 212 225 3999
  • Website : www.clearygottlieb.com
  • 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20006
  • Tel +1 202 974 1500
  • Fax +1 202 974 1999

Antitrust - District of Columbia

THE FIRM Commentators are unanimous in their praise of Cleary's antitrust practice, pointing in particular to its exceptionally deep bench and the breadth and quality of its work. These attributes are evident from the scope of top-class clients in its portfolio. Highlights include successfully representing Citi, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan in antitrust litigation related to airline terminal financing.

Sources say: "A fantastic firm that brings its breadth and depth of expertise to bear in the antitrust arena."

KEY INDIVIDUALS George Cary is "extremely bright," according to sources, who praise his "crisp and clear advice." He has long been rated by peers as one of the leading lawyers in the area. His high-profile representations include achieving dismissal for GlaxoSmithKline in an antitrust suit concerning alleged price-fixing of drugs in California.

Mark Leddy is Cleary's managing partner, but remains extremely busy in the antitrust space and is "a real star," according to sources. "If I could pick one lawyer in the world to be on my team, I would pick him any day. He epitomizes excellence," said one interviewee. Leddy recently acted for Whirlpool in antitrust litigation concerning refrigerators.

The "terrific" Mark Nelson is seen as one of the rising stars of the DC antitrust Bar, and is described as a "go-to partner for any antitrust question." His practice is primarily concerned with M&A antitrust. Along with George Cary, he represented Deutsche Telekom in the attempted sale of T-Mobile to AT&T, in a deal which would have been worth $39 billion.

Jeremy Calsyn is seen as a "very fine lawyer" and an "extremely responsive, very thorough and hard-working litigator." He practices across the antitrust law spectrum, and acted for Bausch & Lomb on its acquisition of Ista Pharmaceuticals.

Brian Byrne returns to Washington, DC following a three-year secondment in the firm's Brussels office. He is described as an "incredibly good advocate," and is noted for his client management and problem-solving skills. He was part of the team representing 3M in its proposed acquisition of Avery Dennison.

Leah Brannon is one of the younger partners coming through at the firm. She is already earning plaudits as a "really, really good antitrust lawyer" with a high level of knowledge and intellect. She played a key role in the aforementioned Citi, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs litigation.

Corporate/M&A - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This corporate team stands out for its strong and enduring representation of financial institutions, private equity firms and major international companies. Its recent work includes representing Oriental Financial Group in its purchase of BBVA's Puerto Rico bank for $500 million, and advising market research company GfK on two recent acquisitions. The team includes a considerable number of corporate governance and SEC compliance experts in DC, and offers clients wide-ranging knowledge at every stage of a deal. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Marquardt recently counseled OneWest Bank on a joint venture with June Bug Enterprises and on its FDIC-aided deals. He also offers noted regulatory guidance on cross-border matters alongside a robust transactional practice.  

Antitrust - Nationwide

THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb has one of the leading antitrust practice groups in the country, and is predominantly based out of Washington, DC. Its capabilities are manifold, with exceptional strength and coverage in civil litigation, cartel investigations and mergers and acquisitions. Among its blue-chip clients is Western Digital, which it represented in its $4.8 billion acquisition of Hitachi's hard disk drive arm. It also gained dismissal in the New York Supreme Court for a number of major financial institutions, including Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, in a case of alleged monopolization concerning the financing of airline terminals. The team has also acted for a number of organizations on responding to automotive parts cartel investigations undertaken by authorities on a global scale, demonstrating its ability to coordinate its impressive worldwide resources.

Client Service "They are so easy to work with – they fit right in, are highly intelligent and I trust them implicitly."

Commercial Awareness "They bring a unique combination of agency experience, talent and advocacy skills – they are experts in the variety of antitrust issues that arise out of a company's day-to-day operations."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice continues to be spearheaded by formidable practitioners George Cary and Mark Leddy.

Banking & Finance - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm is a popular choice with private equity clients and corporate borrowers. Acquisition financings continue to be a major focus of the practice. Highlights in this area include advising Bausch & Lomb in a refinancing and up-sizing of its credit facilities, the proceeds of which were earmarked for several key acquisitions, and representing the National Copper Corporation of Chile in connection with a $1.867 billion financing for the acquisition of equity shares in Anglo American Sur. It has also been busy lately dealing with several complex restructuring matters.

Client Service "They are dedicated to us: they offer consistency and have a great work ethic. They are always available." "Their turnaround time is so rapid, it is amazing. They have a great bedside manner."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Laurent Alpert is singled out by sources as "patient and methodical" and for "knowing all the provisions that are industry-relevant." His wealth of experience in loan transactions is particularly valued by clients.  

Margaret Peponis is described as a "very talented individual who always impresses with her creativity and her intelligence." She recently advised Biomet in connection with the amendment and restatement of its existing credit facility.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb's restructuring and insolvency practice is headquartered in New York. The firm's wider global footprint enables it to conduct engagements in any top-level bankruptcy matter, particularly those involving international and cross-border restructuring elements. The practice has experienced a successful year, and recently filed one of the largest Chapter 11 cases of the past year on behalf of oil tanker business Overseas Shipholding Group.

Client Service "A solid practice with outstanding professional skills and great client focus."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Global practice head James Bromley is renowned for his expertise in advising debtor and creditor clients on international restructuring matters. His recent highlights include acting as lead counsel for Overseas Shipholding on its high-value Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He is praised by interviewees as a "very good, practical lawyer with a calm demeanor."

The "hard-working and extremely bright" Lisa Schweitzer enters the nationwide rankings thanks to an excellent year. Sources are quick to identify her prowess in working towards a pragmatic business solution for her clients. Her recent work has included her continued lead for Nortel Networks.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team maintains its outstanding reputation for advising both issuers and underwriters on key transactions including IPOs, equity offerings, and convertible and secured debt offerings. Highlights include representing Nationstar Mortgage Holdings in its $250 million IPO and Credit Suisse Group as issuer in a $2 billion offering of tier 2 buffer capital notes.

Sources say: "The sheer brain power of their practice is impressive." "They are consistently good no matter who the partner is and their associates are also very good."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Alan Beller is "practical" and "in tune with the SEC," sources say. Clients recommend his advice on corporate governance matters.

Leslie Silverman is a lawyer whose advice on complex legal issues related to underwriting is frequently sought by clients. He was counsel to Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse as underwriters on Transocean's public offering of $1.2 billion of shares and a registered public offering of $2.5 billion of senior notes.

Craig Brod recently advised The Hartford Financial Services Group on a $2.15 billion capital raising which included an offering of 7.875% fixed-to-floating rate junior subordinated debentures due 2042 and a $1.55 billion offering of senior debt in three tranches.

Nicolas Grabar is "smart, calm, thoughtful and quick," admiring sources report. He continues to have a particularly impressive reputation for his representation of Mexican and Brazilian companies.

Jeffrey Karpf has "great judgment," is "highly thorough" and "always calm and collected," clients say. He recently represented the underwriters in the sale by the US Department of Treasury of approximately $5.75 billion of American International Group (AIG) common stock.

David Lopez is praised by sources for his "highly thoughtful" and "collaborative" approach. His recent highlights include representing LyondellBasell Industries on a $2 billion offering of 5% senior notes due 2019, and a $1 billion offering of 5.75% senior notes due 2024.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM Market sources report that this team is frequently called upon to advise financial institutions on transactions and regulatory matters of the utmost complexity. It has been at the vanguard of shaping and analyzing the Dodd-Frank Act, in addition to advising market-leading clients on the consequences of these reforms. Recent highlights include advising ISDA on implementing an auction settlement mechanism for loan credit derivatives and on documents governing bullet loan credit default swaps.

Sources say: "The service is excellent and their expertise is great."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Dayan is "detailed, focused and extremely knowledgeable," impressed clients say. He has recently advised a credit default swap dealer consortium on the establishment of a credit default swap clearing initiative by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Seth Grosshandler is exceptionally highly regarded by market participants for his "great authority and knowledge" in the field of derivatives and insolvency. He has advised Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Wachovia on derivatives and other exposure to Lehman Brothers.

The "excellent" Edward Rosen has a tremendous reputation for his expertise and experience in advising clients on derivatives and securities transactions and regulation. His recent highlights include advising a clearing joint venture between NYSE and DTCC called New York Portfolio Clearing on commodities and securities law related to the structuring of portfolio margining arrangements.  

Michael Mazzuchi advised BNP Paribas on the disposition of $1.7 billion of structured notes held by Fortis Bank before its acquisition by BNP Paribas. Clients praise his "breadth of expertise" as "highly useful in analyzing new products."

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team frequently advises underwriters on MBS work and its reputation for CLO work remains strong. Recent highlights include advising Credit Suisse Securities (USA) on two CLO transactions totaling $770 million.

Sources say: "Their strengths are depth of knowledge, the broad resources readily available, the attention to detail, the personal interaction and the ability to share your sense of urgency."

KEY INDIVIDUALS DC-based Mitchell Dupler is highly regarded by sources for his transactional and regulatory expertise. He continues to be a frequent choice for underwriters on MBS transactions.

Joyce McCarty is respected by interviewees for her CLO experience. Her clients include Goldman Sachs, GSO Capital Partners and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

THE FIRM The dexterity and experience of this firm's New York and Washington, DC teams allow it to remain at the vanguard of corporate activity, especially in the technology, IP and pharmaceutical industries. Lawyers have been prominent on some of the largest deals of the year, such as the $3.6 billion acquisition of Human Genome Sciences by long-standing client GlaxoSmithKline. Its reputation as a go-to firm for high-value transactions has attracted many other industry behemoths including Google, Coca-Cola and Sony.       

Sources say: "I think the Cleary team was very professional, knew what it was doing, and all the legal processes were done very slickly."

KEY INDIVIDUALS New York partners Victor Lewkow, Paul Shim and Michael Ryan are all key contacts for the corporate practice.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb stands out for its prominence in four main areas: executive compensation, private equity, ERISA fiduciary matters and M&A. The team boasts an impressive client list which features the likes of banking powerhouses Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, as well as global corporations such as McDonald's. In recent highlights the New York-based firm advised Google on its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, and represented Mexican food giant Grupo Bimbo in its deal to buy the bakery assets of Sara Lee.

Sources say: "A very high-quality firm and practice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The eminent Brick Susko has a broad skill set, with work including the tax and fiduciary aspects of executive compensation as they relate to incentives such as stock options and golden parachutes. Of late, he has advised a number of large financial groups on ERISA fiduciary matters.

Arthur Kohn advises on pension compliance and executive compensation, acting for clients such as McDonald's and American Express. "He is absolutely first-rate," say sources.

Energy & Natural Resources - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm is best known for its expertise in mining and metals transactions. The group handles sales, securities offerings and purchases for a range of top-drawer clients including Vale, Codelco and Citi. The team has been active over the past year advising on a number of the leading deals in this space, including representing Alpha Natural Resources in its $8.5 billion purchase of Massey Energy, a groundbreaking transaction that has led to the formation of one of the largest coal groups in the USA. In similar fashion, the group also recently acted for Citi, which was leading the biggest rights offering made by a Canadian issuer to date. The firm is also known for its ongoing representation of the likes of Petrobras and Petróleos Mexicanos in a range of oil and gas matters.

Sources say: "The attorneys are all exceptional: they are assertive and able to manage difficult situations very well, and always look for solutions." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Cooper and Jeffrey Lewis are key contacts in New York.

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb maintains its position at the cutting edge of financial services regulation and reform. The firm has cultivated an experienced team of specialist practitioners and continues to attract new talent from the regulatory community. The team's broad spectrum of capabilities across compliance, enforcement and transactional matters is highly valued by clients, which include some of the county's leading financial institutions. It has been advising Bank of America on a broad array of transactional, compliance and enforcement matters regarding its merger with Merrill Lynch. Other notable clients include Credit Suisse, HSBC, BNP Paribas and Citibank.

Commercial Awareness "They have an extremely good understanding of the business and market risks. They give pragmatic solutions and advice that you can 'operationalize' and work well with the regulators on."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Tortoriello operates in the highest levels of the bank regulatory sphere. One interviewee reports: "He is brilliant! A legend who has impeccable client service despite what must be enormous demands." Tortoriello is considered by peers to be "a world leader and recognized authority on international banking law in the USA." He is particularly noted for his strength in compliance and enforcement matters, and is increasingly recognized for his handling of financial institution transactions.

Derek Bush is "superstrong on institutional knowledge," relate sources, who also comment that "he is very invested in his clients, is smart and practical, and definitely thinks about things from a business perspective." Bush enjoys a reputation as a "top-flight adviser" in both domestic and international bank regulation and legislation.

Michael Krimminger joins the firm this year from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where he served as general counsel. His recent regulatory experience and insight are considered to be of great strength to the firm. One source comments: "I think the world of him; he is the next generation."

Katherine Mooney Carroll continues to impress sources with her commitment to client service and maturity in relation to regulatory matters. "She is pleasant to work with, smart and practical," comments one source.

"First-rate" partner Giovanni Prezioso's expertise spans broker-dealer regulatory advice and securities law. He "brings a lot of value through his SEC tenure and has a real presence in the industry." Recent highlights have included the representation of the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in a number of SEC enforcement action appeals.

David Aman's strength, according to one source, is his "historical knowledge: he is very good at the nitty-gritty detail of the rules as well as understanding the politics, interpretations and background to the regulations." He has been particularly active in the representation of trade organizations such as SIFMA as well as financial institutions participating in the ongoing dialog with the regulators.

The "highly regarded" Linda Soldo is considered to be "a great practitioner" in regulatory enforcement and investigations.

International Arbitration - Nationwide

THE FIRM This flourishing firm continues to bolster its global strength by recently opening additional offices in South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Brazil. The prominent group is held in high esteem for its strong investment treaty and commercial arbitration practices, and clients especially appreciate its commercial awareness. The group's significant client roster includes several sovereign states and companies across the globe. Notable highlights include representing the Russian Federation in three parallel UNCITRAL arbitrations brought by former shareholders of YUKOS, with damages claims surpassing $100 billion. 

Commercial Awareness "All the lawyers possess great knowledge of international arbitration and the law in many different countries. They focus not only on the legal aspects of the arbitration but also on the business aspects, providing a valuable business-oriented solution."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Rosenthal offers extensive experience in handling a range of complex arbitrations, and recently represented Citigroup Financial Products in an ICC arbitration regarding its purchase of a EUR2 billion portfolio of German loans from Eurohypo. Commentators acknowledge that "he is very diligent and a pleasure to work with." 

Howard Zelbo has a varied portfolio of investor-state and commercial arbitrations, and also handles commercial litigation. He is part of the team serving as counsel to the Argentine Republic in a multibillion-dollar ICSID arbitration brought by bondholders under the Argentina-Italy BIT.

Investment Funds - Nationwide

THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb's private funds team has racked up an impressive deal list forming funds for a number of prominent industry players such as TPG, KKR and JPMorgan. Its lawyers have made an impressive mark on the international stage, and demonstrate notable skill in forming private equity funds with global elements. The team's recent work includes advising Victoria Capital Partners on its Latin American-based second fund. It offers clients the benefit of its extensive market perspective, gained through years of working with major industry players.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Gerstenzang enjoys a sterling reputation in the private funds space, and is hailed by one commentator as "a thought leader" in the space. He recently formed two Asia-focused funds for private equity giant KKR.

Elizabeth Lenas has cultivated a strong reputation in the field, acting on behalf of major industry names such as TPG, KKR and Blackstone Alternative Asset Management.

Private Equity - Nationwide

THE FIRM This solid firm has a well-established international private equity practice with cross-border capabilities across Europe and Asia. The team has impressive expertise across the full gamut of matters, ranging from M&A and leveraged buyouts to portfolio company transactions and fund formation. Notable cases of late include handling multiple matters for long-standing client TPG. The team also managed numerous transactions for Warburg Pincus, including its acquisition of Endurance International from Accel-KKR.

Sources say: "A great firm that is well established in the area."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Terrific lawyer" Michael Ryan has broad experience across a range of corporate and financial matters, and serves as principal outside counsel to TPG.

Paul Shim recently provided counsel to TPG in a number of matters, including a $1.7 billion recapitalization of Savers together with Leonard Green & Partners.

The "very experienced, very responsive and very thoughtful" Christopher Austin receives extensive praise, with one client describing him as "very good in a contentious negotiation" and "the best I deal with in terms of his ability to get a deal done." 

Projects - Nationwide

THE FIRM A big name within the PPP community, Cleary Gottlieb continues to handle domestic and international infrastructure, energy, and various other projects on behalf of several longstanding clients, including Highstar Capital, DP World, Codelco and Alpha Natural Resources. The firm is frequently instructed in relation to innovative projects, as well as those that call for cross-border expertise. The group was retained by the US-located Fintech Energy in connection with its acquisition of shares in an Argentine gas distribution business which is involved in major renewables projects in Argentina.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Strong market endorsement has enabled "very strong lawyer" Richard Lincer to climb the PPP rankings this year. In the past year he has handled a series of big-ticket matters for the likes of DP World, Cascade Investment and Aerostar Airport Holdings.

The "exceptional" Jeffrey Lewis is commended by clients for his "tremendous ability to manage difficult situations very well." He has recently led the team's work on behalf of DB Masdar Clean Tech Fund in connection with its private equity investment in a solar cell manufacturing project.

Real Estate - Nationwide

THE FIRM This versatile real estate group handles complex financing, securitization and capital markets transactions, drawing on its deep bench of highly skilled and specialized attorneys. It also offers significant experience in bankruptcy matters, restructurings and workouts, and recently represented affiliates of the Simon Property Group in a $300 million mortgage loan restructuring. Other notable clients include Colony Capital, Goldman Sachs and OneWest Bank.

Sources say: "A very good, diversified practice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources hold Steven Horowitz in high esteem, describing him as "a truly outstanding practitioner." He is experienced across a broad range of transactions, acting for investors, banks and owners on matters both in the USA and around the world.

Securities - Nationwide

THE FIRM This premier firm stands out for its ability to guide clients through national and international regulatory challenges in the securities arena. From both an advisory and enforcement standpoint, the firm is able to provide its client base with a full response to regulatory and litigious securities matters. An experienced and knowledgeable team of regulatory experts includes a raft of former federal prosecutors and senior SEC executives. The group is engaged on some of the industry's highest-profile investigative proceedings including multiple actions relating to the 2011 collapse of brokerage firm MF Global, the multiagency LIBOR investigation and the Facebook IPO. On the securities litigation side, the team remains on the front line of a number of significant matters and represents financial groups including BNP Paribas, Citi and HSBC. 

Client Service "They have good solid experience and provide good practical advice. Their client service is good. They understand customer service and get the right expert to us."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Mitchell Lowenthal is a "seasoned litigator" who gives "practical advice,” and “recognizes the pros and cons of going for settlement or discovery." He continues to provide counsel to some of the world's leading financial institutions embroiled in securities class actions following the demise of Lehman Brothers. Key clients include HSBC and ING. 

SEC alumnus Alan Beller has a formidable reputation in the securities advisory arena. His firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of the SEC enables him to bring great insight to the table to counsel clients on regulatory and corporate governance.

Giovanni Prezioso has "wonderful judgment and is a terrific adviser," says one interviewee. The former SEC general counsel provides regulatory advice and representation in securities enforcement and litigation matters.

Tax - Nationwide

THE FIRM This international goliath has a domestic and global reputation for financial products, taxation issues and M&A work, which sees it placed in the very top tier of US corporate tax firms. The group continues to adapt and evolve according to the new challenges presented by ever-changing domestic and international legislation. Particular growth areas in terms of expertise include the firm's bankruptcy and restructuring-related tax work. In recent highlights, the group advised Google on the tax aspects of its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

Sources say: "Very good, very proactive. They do excellent work and are very thoughtful, polished lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Partners operating out of the firm's New York practice include Erika Nijenhuis, William McRae and Leslie Samuels.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

THE FIRM This group leverages admirably from the firm's internationally recognized banking and finance practice, and continues to be involved in many high-value bankruptcy and restructuring matters in the USA and around the world. This is a major differentiator for a practice which is experienced at the highest level across a comprehensive range of bankruptcy situations. In recent highlights, the group assisted Overseas Shipholding Group in filing for Chapter 11 protection in one of the largest bankruptcy cases of the past year. Other highlights have included representing Fintech Advisory, the largest creditor of Mexican glassmaker Vitro SAB de CV, in Vitro's complex Mexican restructuring, as well as in related Chapter 15 proceedings in the USA.

Sources say: "A strong group with a good breadth of expertise. They deal well with complex bankruptcy matters. They also have breadth within the transactions and litigation groups, which makes them strong on cross-border stuff." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS James Bromley is head of Cleary's global restructuring and insolvency practice. He is an acclaimed expert in international restructurings, described by interviewees as a "very good, practical lawyer with a calm demeanor." He is lead counsel for the second largest publicly traded oil tanker company in the world, Overseas Shipholding Group, during its high-profile Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Lisa Schweitzer is "hard-working and extremely bright," according to sources, many also praising her unerring dedication to finding the right solutions for her clients. She continues to advise Nortel Networks as its lead restructuring counsel.

Sean O'Neal is currently advising Wilmington Trust as special counsel to the indenture trustee in the ResCap bankruptcy. He is also representing several major international and domestic financial institutions in relation to their required compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act. Interviewees describe O'Neal as a "phenomenal bankruptcy lawyer who is intelligent, commercial and practical."

Corporate/M&A - New York

THE FIRM This acclaimed New York M&A team is enormously experienced in technology and life sciences M&A, and acts on a wide array of high-end transactions, many of which have an international flavor. Its M&A clients also benefit from the firm's powerful domestic capital markets practice and the support of its many international offices in Europe, Asia and South America. The group recently acted for Google on its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google's largest acquisition to date.

Sources say: "They had strong background in our industry and were able to offer excellent service."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources characterize Victor Lewkow as "an incredible resource." He is praised as "calm and balanced," accessible and "highly experienced, particularly in hostile public offering situations." He recently represented GlaxoSmithKline in the negotiation of a $3.6 billion merger agreement with Human Genome Sciences following an earlier hostile bid and tender offer.

Market commentators say Paul Shim has "a calm manner" and is "very smart." He advised TPG on a deal alongside Leonard Green & Partners to acquire Savers in a $1.7 billion recapitalization. He also advised TPG's Primedia subsidiary on acquiring Rent.com from eBay for $145 million.

Michael Ryan has a lauded financial and corporate advisory practice, and is particularly strong in work for private equity clients. 

Daniel Sternberg's recent highlights include advising Alkermes on its $1 billion combination with Elan Drug Technologies.

Ethan Klingsberg "is a brilliant business lawyer who gives very solid advice for companies that are dealing with very complex corporate governance issues," clients say. He recently advised Agilent Technologies in its $2.2 billion acquisition of Danish cancer diagnostics company Dako.

Christopher Austin recently counseled Asahi Kasei on its $2.21 billion acquisition of critical care device manufacturer ZOLL Medical.

Robert Davis recently advised Biomet on its $280 million acquisition of DePuy Orthopaedics from Johnson & Johnson, and counseled Bausch + Lomb on its $500 million acquisition of eye care business Ista Pharmaceuticals.

Benet O'Reilly joins the rankings having had a busy year and earning high market praise as a "very cool, professional, efficient and organized" attorney. He acted alongside Klingsberg on Agilent's deal to acquire Dako, and alongside Lewkow on GSK's merger with Human Genome Sciences. He also led the team advising GlaxoSmithKline on its $213 million investment in Theravence.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - New York

THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb is widely acknowledged as a standout firm in employee benefits and compensation in New York. The group focuses on transactional work, with notable expertise in M&A and private equity compensation matters. Recent work includes representing The Home Depot in its acquisition of Redbeacon, and acting for Primedia on its acquisition of Rent.com from eBay. In addition to its deal-based practice, the group advises on ERISA fiduciary matters, and is viewed as a go-to choice in this area for banking giants such as BNP Paribas, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse. 

Sources say: "A very high-quality firm and practice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS One of the most experienced practitioners in this field, Brick Susko advises large financial groups on the regulatory aspects of executive compensation and on ERISA fiduciary matters. "He is a terrific professional," clients comment.

Arthur Kohn is hugely experienced in the full spectrum of benefits and compensation work, and has acted for a number of large national companies, including McDonald's and Bank of America, on issues relating to compensation disclosure. Sources say: "He is truly phenomenal."

Robert Raymond specializes in counseling private equity clients on executive compensation. He recently advised TPG Capital on its internal compensation structure.

Described as "one to watch," Michael Albano has a growing reputation in the New York benefits and compensation world. He advises on a diverse range of issues and often represents large multinational clients, including Google and Coca-Cola.

Latin American Investment - New York

THE FIRM Cleary continues its transactional dominance in Latin America, with an impressive roster of institutional corporate clients. Its large Latin America team is principally based in New York, though it also makes use of its offices in São Paulo and Buenos Aires. The team is regularly present on many of the region's most significant deals. It advised General Mills on the acquisition of Brazilian food company Yoki Alimentos - a deal estimated at BRL1.75 billion, and part of which involved the company also taking on Yoki's approximately BRL200 million in debt. On the securities side, the team recently advised leading Mexican telecom operator América Móvil on multiple debt offerings, including the EUR1 billion issue of senior notes. It has also undertaken mandates for the likes of PEMEX, Banco Davivienda and Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicações (EMBRATEL).

Sources say: "The undisputed leader." "Capable, professional and service-oriented lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Cooper has an excellent reputation, particularly for complex restructuring and refinancing work. He was one of the lead advisers to the steering committee of bank creditors - including BNP Paribas and RBS - on the refinancing of CEMEX's approximately $7 billion of debt.  

Sources agree that securities expert Nicolas Grabar is "the full package: always on top of everything, knowledgeable, and an easy guy to deal with." 

Francesca Odell recently worked alongside Grabar advising Petrobras and its subsidiaries on several multimillion-dollar global notes offerings.

Jeffrey Lewis is noted for his M&A expertise, with recent highlights including advising Brazilian mining giant Vale on the $407 million disposition of its Colombian assets.

Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Carmen Amalia Corrales is well known as an expert on securities matters and sovereign debt restructuring. Clients describe her as "very bright and business-minded." 

Jorge Juantorena advises on a range of finance, securities and M&A issues. He recently counseled the initial purchasers on Alpek's $782.1 million debut global equity offering.

Senior counsel Wanda Olson is described by sources as "super-knowledgeable and super-efficient."

Litigation - New York

THE FIRM Cleary houses an impressive bench of renowned litigators whose ability to handle the most complex disputes keeps the firm at the top of the list for high-profile clients. Its notable experience in matters involving financial institutions continues to see it involved in key commercial and securities disputes on both a national and international scale. The team is also highly regarded for its expertise in the white-collar criminal defense arena, and is bolstered by its significant complement of former government practitioners. It currently represents a range of financial heavyweights in securities actions triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, including Caja Madrid, Bank of America and HSBC. Other recent highlights include successfully acting for underwriters including Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Global Markets in a securities class action.

Sources say: "They have a very broad base of expertise, and real depth that extends globally." "They offer outstanding strategic and expert litigation advice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Moloney is an experienced and respected litigator, whose expertise covers a range of securities, commercial and bankruptcy matters. His work includes the high-profile representation of HSBC in matters relating to the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Lawrence Friedman is held in high regard for his commercial litigation practice, and is described as "masterful in court" and "great with strategy; practical and tactical." He is experienced in handling disputes on a global scale, and his client base includes Crédit Lyonnais and People's United Bank.

The "highly efficient" Mitchell Lowenthal is an esteemed securities litigator who handles complex and high-value civil disputes for clients such as Bank of America. He is particularly noted for his ability to "synthesize a large amount of information very quickly and get clients the best response to everything." 

David Brodsky is praised for the depth of his experience in white-collar criminal defense matters. He is also respected for his ability to handle securities investigations and enforcement matters. He consistently demonstrates a sterling ability to work with both individuals and institutions in high-profile investigations.

Lewis Liman is highly regarded for his white-collar criminal expertise, and is also recognized for his experience in securities litigation. He is "effective, well known and formidable," and is highlighted for his "ability to really dig in on complicated factual issues."

Lev Dassin continues to impress commentators with his extensive experience as a "seasoned white-collar practitioner," and is particularly highlighted for his trial skills. His "incredibly good judgment and rapport with clients" see him retained on a raft of complex matters for clients.

Real Estate - New York

THE FIRM This sophisticated practice focuses on handling complex corporate and finance-related matters for a high-end client base. The team offers particular experience in securitization, leasing and capital markets, and regularly lends this expertise to some of the most prestigious projects in the USA. One highlight saw the group acting on behalf of Goldman Sachs, providing advice on the origination and securitization of a $1.4 billion mortgage loan secured by Hawaii's Ala Moana Center.

Sources say: "Their client service is outstanding." "The response time is immediate and they know how to get deals done and protect the client." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "incredibly intelligent" Michael Weinberger is praised by sources for being able to "synthesize the key risks for businesspeople, and guide their decision making." He advised Goldman Sachs on a $135 million loan advanced for the acquisition of 222 Broadway.

Steven Wilner is a "businessman's lawyer" who "puts the legal issues in the appropriate context" according to interviewees. Standout matters include advising Genting Group affiliates on the development and financing of a proposed $500 million Massachusetts resort casino. 

Sources appreciate that Steven Horowitz is "a lawyer's lawyer and is very well grounded." He advised Genting Organization on a proposed $4 billion investment for a major exhibition and convention center development at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

Kimberly Blacklow advised multiple CMBS 2.0 lenders on the origination of repo facilities totaling more than $500 million. Sources highlight that she is "a very savvy attorney, highly proficient in the workout of complex structured real estate transactions, and also a very skilled negotiator." 

Tax - New York

THE FIRM This outstanding firm commands a great deal of respect from market sources. It attracts particular approbation for its capability in tax matters relating to capital markets and financial products, and advises on a range of tax issues in the field of M&A, recapitalizations, structured finance, reorganizations, and legislative and regulatory matters. Further strength resides in the firm's capacity to advise international and financial clients engaged in controversy and IRS audits and appeals, and in a tax bench that offers a commercial, proactive, professional and excellent value for money service. Key clients include Goldman Sachs, Warburg Pincus and Google, the latter of which recently sought the firm's counsel in a matter concerning the tax aspects of its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

Sources say: "Always professional and proactive in their analysis and services. They always seem to be one step ahead of the process." "Absolutely world-class. A top-notch firm with some of the smartest lawyers in the city."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The income tax practice of Erika Nijenhuis is characterized by an emphasis on international tax planning and financial products, including advising foreign and domestic clients on inbound and outbound business activities, capital markets transactions and financial production formulation. She is "very good, very thoughtful, and knows tax law very well," say sources. Her distinguished clients include Credit Suisse.

James Peaslee's practice comprises a variety of US tax matters. He has particular expertise in structured finance and financial products, and has represented an array of financial organizations engaged in IRS-audit disputes. Peers regard him as "a star: one of the best tax lawyers in the country and a brilliant fellow."

Leslie Samuels is well known for the expertise he brings to matters relating to domestic and international taxation, including the direct investment in the USA by foreign entities, M&A and the development of new financial products. He recently brought his considerable attributes to bear on a matter concerning SABMiller's multibillion-dollar acquisition of Foster's Group.

James Duncan specializes in the tax aspects of major joint ventures and restructurings, M&A, securities transactions, financial products, and tax planning for multinationals and financial services organizations. He recently represented Alpha Natural Resources in its multibillion-dollar merger with Massey Energy, and is regarded as an excellent lawyer who has "very good business sense, and is very creative and very practical."

The deeply knowledgeable Yaron Reich is renowned for his expertise in the tax issues relating to bankruptcy and insolvency, financing, real estate and M&A matters. He recently advised Conversus Capital regarding the sale of its portfolio of co-investments and private equity fund interests.

Jason Factor has a burgeoning reputation for handling tax matters in the field of joint ventures, partnerships, private equity and hedge funds, financings and M&A transactions. He is "very fluent, very deal-savvy and very practical," say sources. 

William McRae impresses peers with his thoughtful and analytical approach to a range of matters in the field of federal income tax. He has particular expertise in M&A, financial products and general corporate transactions, and, in common with his colleague Kristofer Hess, has also been involved in handling work for a number of leading investment banks.