Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is an international white shoe law firm headquartered in New York. Cleary is one of most well-rounded firms in the US, with strong debt capital markets, equity capital markets, derivatives, financial services regulatory, M&A, private equity and private equity funds practices.
Clifford Chance is a powerhouse across the financial and corporate sphere with highly rated partners and a deep bench in almost all areas. One of the world’s pre-eminent law firms, the firm has a significant depth and range of resources across five continents.
Herbert Smith Freehills has long been regarded as one of London’s leading litigation firms – and ferocious litigators at that. However, in the 1990s it made efforts to be seen as more than that, electing a series of senior partners from its corporate practice including Edward Walker-Arnott, a City grandee well known for transactional work, and then Richard Bond. On the corporate side the firm handled a lot of the big demutualisations of huge building societies and worked on the Time Warner deal alongside Cravath, with which it had a referral relationship.
The litigators remain at the top of the tree today, however. Herbert Smith has a big practice acting for banks and has been very evident on the Libor cases and general financial crisis litigation.
The firm had a number of prominent female partners in the 1990s, notably corporate rainmaker Marian Pell and Margaret Mountford of Apprentice fame; however, that hasn’t really translated into a female partnership pipeline.
Herbert Smith launched in Hong Kong early but was very late to the table in Europe, apart from a small Paris office. An alliance with Germany’s Gleiss Lutz and Belgium’s Stibbe began in 2001 and for a long time they tried to brand the firms together – the business cards showed them together and the firms also persuaded the M&A tables to count all their deals together, but it was never close to a verein structure. The alliance came to an end in 2011 after the continental firms rejected Herbert Smith offer of a full merger. After that Herbert Smith pushed on in Europe with a series of raids on firms including Gleiss.
White & Case is a truly global law firm, uniquely positioned to help our clients achieve their ambitions in today's G20 world. As a pioneering international law firm, our cross-border experience and diverse team of local, US and English-qualified lawyers consistently deliver results for our clients. n both established and emerging markets, our lawyers are integral, long-standing members of the community, giving our clients insights into the local business environment alongside our experience in multiple jurisdictions. We work with some of the world's most respected and well-established banks and businesses, as well as start-up visionaries, governments and state-owned entities.