CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON

Comment: This recommended arbitration and litigation practice counts among the best internationally networked outfits. Accordingly, it focuses in part on complex cross-border instructions, often arbitration proceedings. On behalf of Greece and Argentina, for example, the firm is playing an important role in precedent proceedings looking at whether or not government bonds are protected by investment protection agreements. This work automatically makes Cleary much less present in the German market than many competitors, despite the fact that reputable arbitration expert Kreindler is involved in one of the largest proceedings currently being held before the German Institution of Arbitration. Furthermore, the firm is often active in disputes over damages, which stem from the strong ?antitrust practice; renowned counsel Harms acts as a go-between to the litigation practice here and the arrival of a renowned antitrust lawyer from Linklaters ought to bring further impetus.
Strengths: Complex international proceedings following government debt restructuring.
Development potential: The firm could make more of its expertise in defending against cartel damages if it strengthened personnel in the litigation practice beyond Harms. Market observers see a weakness in the practice’s rather lean setup; among other things, Cleary recently lost prominent instructions in the aviation and truck cartel to Clifford and Freshfields.
Recommended: Prof. Dr. Richard Kreindler (“first choice for international arbitration proceedings”, client), Rüdiger Harms (“smart, pragmatic, global approach”, client).
Practice: Focus on complex international arbitration proceedings, often with regulatory elements; interface with ?antitrust. Also investment disputes, mostly on behalf of the state. Increasingly in-house investigations involving close cooperation with the ?banking law practice. (5 partners, 1 counsel, 14 associates, 2 of counsel)
Clients: ?? Agfa-Gevaert in various ICC proceedings; EdF in ICC proceedings against Baden-Württemberg on EnBW share deal (with Paris office and Shearman & Sterling); Kia on grievance from Gesamtverband Autoteilehandel concerning access to raw data (higher regional court); Otis on defense against damages in lift cartel; Greece and Argentina in litigation concerning government bonds.
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