Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP at a Glance


  • “Great view from the office”
  • “Incredibly diverse and collegial working environment”
  • “Internationally oriented work”


  • “Expectation of availability”
  • “No management training for seniors”
  • “The firm is opaque about its promotion processes”

The Buzz

  • “International”
  • “Top of the line”
  • “Really into being quirky”
  • “Workaholics”

About Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

With offices around the globe and a web site in over 10 languages, one cannot deny Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's international scope. But don't call it a U.S. firm with overseas offices-this is an "integrated global partnership." The firm opened its first international office in 1949 and has awarded partnerships to lawyers in foreign offices from the very beginning. Still, no matter how far the firm roams, Wall Street will always be home.

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 Gottlieb 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 economic alignment, it opened a Brussels office in 1960. The firm would then play a leading role in the burgeoning Eurodollar 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 recently 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.

While growing the firm's geographical footprint, Cleary Gottlieb has continued to be involved in high-profile corporate matters close to home such as advising Google in the sale of Motorola Mobility's mobile devices business, acting as counsel to Neiman Marcus, TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus in the sale of Neiman Marcus for over $6 billion, as well as acting as counsel to Goldman Sachs, as financial advisor to DirecTV in its acquisition by AT+T for over $50 billion in AT+T stock and cash. On the litigation front, clients routinely turn to Cleary Gottlieb to handle bet-the-company litigation and white collar enforcement matters. Cleary Gottlieb's New York and Washington, DC-based litigators continue to advise major financial institutions in ongoing litigation arising out of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, investigations into potential manipulation of LIBOR and trading practices in the global foreign exchange market, as well as successfully representing clients such as Travelocity and its parent Sabre Holdings, in obtaining dismissal of an antitrust class action.

Home and Away

Cleary Gottlieb advises on high-profile matters not only in the U.S. but around the world. The firm advised Russian mobile telecommunications operator MegaFon in its London and Moscow listed IPO-the largest IPO by a Russian company since 2010 and the largest telecoms listing in London for over 10 years. In Europe, the firm represents Franco-Belgian financial institution Dexia in its dismantling plan, the largest, most complex wind-down of any European financial institution, and one that has major systemic implications for the Eurozone. The firm advised African Minerals Limited on a $350 million finance package in connection with its Tonkolili iron ore project in Sierra Leone. In India, the firm represents Lafarge in the sale of a minority stake in Lafarge India to Baring Private Equity Asia, reported to be the largest private equity investment in the cement industry in India. And slightly closer to home, Cleary is the leading firm worldwide involved in offerings by Mexican issuers according to Thomson Reuters data from the last 10 years.

Worldwide Wonder

Since 2011, the firm has opened offices in São Paulo, Seoul and Abu Dhabi. While the offices may be new, Cleary's presence in these regions is not.

The firm has been actively engaged in Latin America work for more than 50 years. With more than 30 partners or counsel and approximately 70 associates engaged in the practice, Cleary dedicates significant resources to its Latin America practice and has a broad and deep talent base in this area. Lawyers in the practice are spread between New York, São Paulo and Buenos Aires. The firm has represented Brazilian company Petrobras in some of the largest-ever capital markets transactions.

With more than 30 years of experience in Asia, Cleary Gottlieb has a longer history in the region than almost any other international law firm and has had a vibrant Korea practice for more than two decades. With over 30 lawyers worldwide fluent in Korean, the firm offers clients a talented and deep team of native Korean-speaking U.S. lawyers. Lawyers in the firm's larger Asia practice are based in Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, London and New York. The firm represented Malaysia-based global agriculture company Felda in its $3.2 billion IPO, one of the world's largest IPOs in 2012, and has served as counsel in securities offerings of Korean issuers, including The Republic of Korea and the Korea Development Bank since the early 1990s.

Moreover, Cleary Gottlieb has been active in the Middle East for several decades and has an unparalleled presence there, advising both corporate and sovereign clients in many of the most important transactions in the region. The Abu Dhabi office is fully integrated with the firm's Middle East practice, which comprises approximately 20 partners and counsel located in London, Paris, New York and Milan, in addition to Abu Dhabi. The firm has represented the Republic of Iraq in multiple cases, including its successful defense of Iraq's sovereign immunity in relation to a $35 million claim by a Saddam era creditor.

Feeling Perk-y

Cleary is all about benefits. The firm not only meets the market when it comes to parental leave, but it also offers flexible work arrangements and formally permits associates to telecommute two days a month (those working at the firm less than one year may choose to work from home one day per month). Tangible non-hours related perks include an office of professional development career counseling program; Cleary Core Curriculum: a formal soft skills training series, which consists of management, negotiation, business development, communication, feedback, a hands-on mini MBA program designed to give associates basic fluency on a range of business and financial topics, regular practice group training sessions and mentoring courses; and free lunch once a week.



Republic of Argentina
On April 21, 2014, Cleary Gottlieb argued, on behalf of the Republic of Argentina, before the U.S. Supreme Court in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital Ltd., et al. In that case, the Supreme Court addressed whether discovery in aid of execution on property of a foreign state under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act should be limited to property used for commercial activity in the United States, which is the only property subject to execution under the statute, or can extend to non-commercial assets such as a diplomatic or military property.

Cleary is serving as counsel to the U.S. Nortel estate in a groundbreaking cross-border trial in Toronto, Canada and Wilmington, Delaware courts concerning a dispute with Canadian and European estates regarding the allocation of sale proceeds and intercompany claims.

February 2014

Pro Bono Litigation
Cleary and The Bronx Defenders won a decisive victory from the Bronx Criminal Court for a pro bono client who had been charged with marijuana possession following a stop and frisk. The Bronx Criminal Court ordered suppression of the evidence and dismissed the criminal case in its entirety. This case is one of 54 misdemeanor marijuana possession cases arising from New York City's stop-and-frisk program, and highlighted in a New York Times expose, that Cleary and the Bronx Defenders have litigated in an effort to highlight the consequences of the unconstitutional searches that led to the underlying arrests.

Coca-Cola/Green Mountain Coffee Antitrust
Cleary advised The Coca-Cola Company on the antitrust aspects of its $1.2 billion acquisition of a 10% equity stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the maker of the Keurig coffee platform. Over the past several years, Cleary has advised The Coca-Cola Company on a number of transactions, including its $12.3 billion acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprises and several subsequent bottler acquisitions.

January 2014

Cleary acted as counsel to Suntory Holdings Limited in its approximately $16 billion acquisition of Beam Inc. The transaction is Suntory's largest acquisition and is one of the largest-ever overseas acquisitions by a Japanese company. The transaction creates the world's #3 premium spirits player, which includes brands such as Jim Beam, Makers Mark and Skinnygirl Cocktails. One of the lead lawyers was chosen as a "Dealmaker of the Week" by The American Lawyer.

May 2013

Cleary advised Petrobras in its SEC-registered offering of $11 billion of guaranteed senior notes. According to media reports, this was the largest-ever debt offering by an emerging market company and the second-largest corporate bond offering in the world in 2013. The notes were issued in six tranches by Petrobras' Dutch finance subsidiary. The deal opened on Friday and closed the following Monday- three days later. The offering was recognized as "highly commended" in the Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers Survey, and the lead lawyer was recognized as a "Dealmaker of the Year" by The American Lawyer.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

One Liberty Plaza
New York, NY 10006-1470
Phone: (212) 225-2000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Mark Leddy
  • Hiring Partners: Breon S. Peace (New York); Paul Marquardt (Washington, DC)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 1,241

  • Employment Contact
    New York
    Donna M. Harris
    Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (212) 225-3170
    Fax: (212) 225-3159
    E-mail: Washington
    Georgia Emery Gray
    Director of Legal Personnel & Recruiting
    Phone: (202) 974-1804
    Fax: (202) 974-1999

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $ 160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    Summer associate: $3,077/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    98 out of 98 (New York); 23 out of 23 (Washington, DC) (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust and Competition
    Banking & Financial Institutions
    Bankruptcy & Restructuring
    Capital Markets
    Corporate Governance
    Environmental Law
    Executive Compensation & ERISA
    Intellectual Property
    International Trade & Investment
    Leveraged & Acquisition Finance
    Litigation & Arbitration
    Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures
    Private Clients & Charitable Organizations
    Private Equity
    Project Finance & Infrastructure
    Public International Law
    Real Estate
    Sovereign Governments & International Institutions
    Structured Finance
    White-Collar Defense, Securities Enforcement & Internal Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY
  • Washington, DC
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • Buenos Aires
  • Cologne
  • Frankfurt
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Milan
  • Moscow
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • São Paulo
  • Seoul
- Show Less + Show More

Career Update Newsletter

Tips and tools to help you manage your ideal career.