Cleary Gottlieb hires WilmerHale's antitrust litigator for a new office
A workplace in San Francisco will follow the New York firm's launch
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has launched its new Bay Area venture in California. It hired a top antitrust litigator from WilmerHale, relocating some senior lawyers.
Cleary's first California office is located in Palo Alto. It plans to soon open a second office in San Francisco to complement the work of its new Silicon Valley outpost.
Led by Heather Nyong'o, who joins Cleary after nearly eight years at WilmerHale, the firm's West Coast team will build on Cleary's existing work with local leading tech companies. These include its longtime client Google and California-based private equity firms on transformative global antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, enforcement and capital market matters.
Cleary's managing partner Michael Gerstenzang remarked, "Shifting regulatory environment and evolving needs of businesses across sectors" proved "compelling reasons" to provide firm's clients with on-the-ground support in California, in addition to its existing ties in the Silicon Valley legal market.
Gerstenzang added that the firm intended to build on the foundation laid out by Nyong'o and the relocated partners by recruiting more legal talent to bolster its new offices in the coming months.
A trial lawyer by trade, Nyong'o has about two decades of antitrust and white-collar experience, including seven years of service in the antitrust division of the US Department of Justice. She served as partner-in-charge of WilmerHale's San Francisco office and led the DC-based firm's West Coast antitrust and competition team.
Nyong'o said, "I am thrilled to join Cleary's and shall help our clients to navigate their challenges in this increasingly complex and dynamic regulatory environment."
Two partners, mergers and acquisitions lawyer Benet O'Reilly and white-collar expert Jen Kennedy Park, will relocate to the Bay Area from Cleary's New York headquarters. George Cary, the firm's most senior US antitrust lawyer, will relocate from Washington DC, along with antitrust partner Brian Byrne, who also serves as a member of the firm's executive committee.
A team of six associates whose practices cover the same areas, as well as capital markets, corporate governance, privacy, and intellectual property and tech transactions will support the team.
O'Reilly stated that with mergers and acquisitions volumes at record levels and new and innovative deal structures being used to put capital to work, having related teams on the ground would provide the clients with seamless coverage for their complex needs.