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.
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.
Sullivan & Cromwell provides the highest quality legal advice and representation to clients around the world. The results the Firm achieves have set it apart for more than 140 years and have become a model for the modern practice of law. Today, S&C is a leader in each of its core practice areas and in each of its geographic markets.
Clients of the Firm are nearly evenly divided between U.S. and non-U.S. entities. They include industrial and commercial companies; financial institutions; private funds; governments; educational, charitable and cultural institutions; and individuals, estates and trusts. S&C’s client base is exceptionally diverse, a result of the Firm’s extraordinary capacity to tailor work to specific client needs.
S&C comprises more than 875 lawyers who serve clients around the world through a network of 13 offices, located in leading financial centers in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States. The Firm is headquartered in New York.
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.