Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP at a Glance


  • “Great people”
  • “Caliber of the work”
  • “Lockstep compensation”


  • “Uncertain partnership outlook”
  • “The hours”
  • “Unpredictability of the workflow”

The Buzz

  • “Diverse”
  • “Great for international work”
  • “Nerdy”
  • “Hipster”

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. Most recently, the firm represented Actavis, a global pharmaceutical company, in its $66 billion acquisition of Allergan, which was the largest acquisition announced in 2014. The deal created a top 10 global growth pharmaceutical company with $23 billion in revenue. 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. The firm also successfully represents clients such as Travelocity and its parent Sabre Holdings, a global technology company, in defending litigation by US Airways challenging non-discrimination provisions in Sabre's agreement to distribute its flights and fares to travel agents through Sabre's computerized reservation systems.

Home and Away

Cleary Gottlieb advises on high-profile matters not only in the U.S. but around the world. The firm advised The Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation, the agency of the Mexican government in charge of overseeing the management, operations and development of Mexico's airports, in the first stage of the financing for the construction and development of the new Mexico City international airport. The new airport is expected to become the largest in Latin America and serve as a regional hub. 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. 

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.



Just Google It
Cleary Gottlieb is representing Google, an American multinational technology company, in an investigation before the European Commission into Google's alleged abuse of its dominant position in the online search market. The European Commission's investigation involves over two dozen different complaints and covers virtually all aspects of Google's business.

Chapter 11 Champs
Another ongoing matter is the firm's representation of Nortel, a former leading telecommunications company, on complex matters related to the company's landmark Chapter 11, following on the heels of four years during which teams of lawyers worked seamlessly together on record-breaking 363 asset sales. This includes an unprecedented cross-border trial in Toronto and Wilmington courts concerning a dispute with the Canadian and European estates regarding the allocation of $7.5 billion of sale proceeds and billions of dollars of intercompany claims.

May 2015

Bitcoins for All
Cleary Gottlieb attorneys advised itBit Trust Company in becoming the first U.S.-chartered and regulated virtual currency exchange. itBit, a commercial Bitcoin exchange, received its trust company charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on May 6, 2015, and opened for operations in New York for U.S. customers on May 7, 2015. itBit is an affiliate of itBit Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based Bitcoin exchange serving non-U.S. customers. Following hearings on virtual currency developments, in March 2014 NYDFS invited applications for creation of virtual currency exchanges under the New York Banking Law. itBit worked closely with Cleary Gottlieb to apply for a trust company charter to create a solid regulatory platform for a U.S. Bitcoin exchange. During the development and consideration of the trust company application, Cleary Gottlieb advised itBit on the many complex and novel regulatory issues involved in helping itBit obtain its trust company charter, including, but not limited to, the application of anti-money laundering, capital requirements, consumer protection, and cyber security standards in the context of virtual currency exchange activity.

January 2015

Debunking "Conversion Therapy"
In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, Cleary Gottlieb represented pro bono plaintiffs against New Jersey providers of "conversion therapy" for fraudulently claiming that their services can change clients from gay to straight. In January 2015, a New Jersey Superior Court judge granted partial summary judgment for our clients. The ruling marked the first time a court in the United States has found that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder. Soon after, President Obama called for an end to conversion therapy. The case is set for trial in 2015.

December 2014

Leading Global Leaders
Cleary Gottlieb represented Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, services and solutions, in the issuance of $17 billion in senior notes, the largest bond offering of 2014. Medtronic expects to use the proceeds from the offering of the notes, together with other financing, to fund the cash consideration payable for its acquisition of Covidien, the global healthcare products company. Cleary Gottlieb also represented Medtronic in the acquisition of Covidien and the arrangement of financing in connection with the acquisition.

September 2014

Very Well Caffeinated
In another victory, Cleary Gottlieb represented Keurig Green Mountain, a specialty coffee and coffeemaker company, in securing the denial of a competitor's motion for preliminary injunction in multidistrict antitrust litigation against Keurig Green Mountain seeking to block the sale of Keurig's newly introduced coffee brewer, the Keurig 2.0.

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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: Lisa Schweitzer (New York); Paul Marquardt (Washington, DC)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 1,110

  • 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
    79 out of 79 (New York); 16 out of 16 (Washington, DC) (2014)

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

Major Office Locations

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