Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, 2018 Edition.pdf

Première position founded in 1946 by four former

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Première Position Founded in 1946 by four former partners from the Wall Street firm Root Clark Buckner and Ballantine, Cleary Gottlieb is remarkable for its prescient, early foray into Europe. Expanding beyond its New York and DC offices, the firm set up shop in Paris in 1949, making the strategic choice to hire local lawyers who were partially trained in the United States. The decision to award these foreign lawyers equal partnership gave Cleary a unique advantage in terms of its international presence. With the formation of the European Community in 1967, the firm was well-situated—having anticipated the eventual eco- nomic alignment, it opened a Brussels office in 1960. The firm would then play a leading role in the burgeoning Eurodol- lar markets. A London outpost followed in 1971, and the firm added English law capabilities in 1997. Offices in Frankfurt, Moscow, Rome, Milan, and Cologne were established between 1991 and 2004. As to Asia, the firm has had an office in Hong Kong since 1980, which was bolstered by the firm’s launch of its Hong Kong law practice in 2011. In 2006, the firm opened a second Chinese office in Beijing, and in 2012, the firm’s Asia presence expanded further with the opening of an office in Seoul, Korea. A longstanding Latin American practice was supplemented by a physical presence in 2009, when Cleary opened an office in Buenos Aires, followed by the launch of its São Paulo office in 2011. Also in 2012, the firm opened an office in Abu Dhabi, enabling it to better serve clients based in the Middle East as well as those who have interests in the region. Cleary has continued to be involved in high-profile corporate matters close to home and abroad, such as in Actavis’ $70.5 billion white knight acquisition of Allergan, and Medtronic in its $42.9 billion acquisition of global healthcare products com- pany Covidien. The firm also represented SABMiller in its his- toric $108 billion merger with multinational brewing company AB InBev, and advised The Dow Chemical Company on the anti- trust aspects of its $130 billion merger of equals with DuPont. On the litigation and arbitration fronts, clients routinely turn to Cleary to handle high-stakes matters and white-collar enforce- ment matters. For example, Cleary successfully represented The Arab Republic of Egypt in an ICSID arbitration under the Spain- Egypt bilateral investment treaty arising out of the alleged sus- pension of gas supplies by the government to a liquefied natural gas plant operated by Unión Fenosa Gas in Egypt. Cleary also successfully secured the dismissal of claims against the Hel- lenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration initiated by the Slovak bank, Poštová banka, and its former Cypriot shareholder under the bilateral investment treaties between the Hellenic Republic and the Slovak Republic and Cyprus. Cleary’s New York and Washington, D.C.-based litigators continue to advise major financial institutions’ investigations into potential manipulation of LIBOR and trading practices in the global foreign exchange market. The firm also regularly represents clients in monopo-
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  • Fall '16
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