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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

People & Places


Clifford Chance US is a full-service law firm advising domestic and multinational clients in the US and around the world.

A highly rated US team backed by a large global network

Our clients include many of the world’s leading businesses. They rely on us for superior service, market-leading expertise and commercial counsel on their most important and challenging matters. We've built our US practices to meet these demands domestically – in fact, nearly three in four US partners were recommended in 2018 by The Legal 500 United States.

On cross-border matters, and for clients with a full range of multijurisdictional needs, our capabilities are unmatched in the US market. Our team of approximately 300 lawyers in New York and Washington, DC works closely with the Firm's network of international lawyers practicing from more than 30 offices worldwide. Uniquely, that network includes a team of US-qualified attorneys who practice on the ground in Asia, Europe and South America. In 2018, Clifford Chance received 210 Band 1 lawyer and practice area rankings from Chambers Global – more than any other US firm by a wide margin.

Similarly, our US Tech Group – part of the Firm's 400-lawyer-strong Global Tech Group – provides a new model in blending our technology expertise to deliver advice across transactional and litigation practices that addresses both opportunity and risk. We are making technology as pervasive in our Firm as it is in the business world.

Collaboration is a core value within our culture. It means that we work as a team to look at our clients' needs from their perspective and offer innovative solutions that are not tied to a particular office, practice area or attorney. It also means that when catastrophic events occur, such as a cyber breach, our partners can quickly mobilize a first-rate global team to work with regulators across all jurisdictions and help with the incident response.

Read on to learn about our US practices and why our lawyers are trusted by companies around the world on a broad range of corporate and financial transactions and high-level investigations.

Main Areas of Practice

Banking & Finance

Our US Banking & Finance group represents financial institutions and corporates in connection with all manner of financial products, including complex national and multinational insolvency and restructuring proceedings, acquisition finance, bank lending, asset finance, equipment leasing and debt trading. Our top-ranked Asset Finance team includes three Tier 1 partners in New York and is among the best and most active in the world in advising on large aircraft finance transactions.

We are also a recognized leader in Project Finance, with two Tier 1 partners. Our US-based attorneys represent lenders, sponsors and developers on financings for projects in the US and across Latin America, including in the renewables, oil and gas, infrastructure, telecoms and petrochemicals sectors. In Latin America, Clifford Chance has topped the project finance league tables two of the past three years, and we were named the 2018 Project Finance Law Firm of the Year by IFLR.

Our US Financial Services Regulatory Group comprises attorneys from transactional and litigation practices to create a single access point for advice on risks and regulatory obligations across international markets.

Contact: Zarrar Sehgal

Capital Markets

Our US Capital Markets practice has an outstanding reputation for developing innovative solutions in the expanding area of specialty finance, especially in relation to permanent capital vehicles and alternative REIT structures.

The Firm advises on the full range of capital-raising transactions in the US, representing issuers, underwriters, sponsors and selling stockholders. Our US REIT practice has been ranked Tier 1 for more than a decade and has led the way in exporting the product to Mexico, where we advised on the first FIBRA, and to Europe, where we advised on the first US REIT comprised of non-US real estate assets.

Product coverage includes IPOs (for both US and non-US companies listing on US exchanges), secondary equity, private placements, preferred equity, equity-linked products, debt and high-yield offerings. Our team also represents numerous investment banks as underwriters of securities issued by closed-end funds and is regularly engaged in fund creation work for US registered open-end and closed-end funds and hedge funds. We are frequently instructed on cross-border capital markets matters, with a principal focus on Latin America.

Our team has been at the forefront of developing structured products, representing clients across a broad spectrum of securitization and other structured capital markets products, and in derivative products, in the US and internationally.

Contacts: Kathleen Werner and Jonathan Zonis


We have long advised clients on high-end, business-critical mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures. Our clients include public and private companies, investment banks and financial institutions, and private equity firms. Our lawyers advise on the full spectrum of M&A products and services, and we regularly handle US inbound foreign direct investments for non-US clients. In Latin America, Clifford Chance topped Bloomberg's 2017 M&A league table, advising on the most deals in the region, and is recognized as Tier 1 by Legal 500 Latin America for Corporate/M&A.

Our US Insurance team is a leader in M&A transactions, innovative risk-transfer and capital-raising transactions, insurtech and strategic regulatory matters, and our lawyers have done pioneering work in the non-payment insurance space. We are also the market leader in forming alternative capital insurance and reinsurance companies, having advised on deals with an aggregate value of more than US$14 billion in the life insurance and P&C insurance space.

Our Funds & Investment Management team advises on an especially broad range of mandates, with notable strength in the US real estate and asset/structured finance sectors. We have extensive experience with private equity, real estate and debt funds, as well as large limited partner investments and secondaries transactions.

Contact: David Brinton

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our US Litigation & Dispute Resolution team represents many of the largest global financial institutions, leading companies, governments and international organizations, as well as individuals from the business community, in some of the market's largest and highest-profile US disputes.

We help clients resolve complex disputes in a manner that reflects their global business objectives, and we are frequently called upon to conduct critical domestic and cross-border investigations. Our team defends multifaceted and high-risk securities class actions and boasts a highly regarded white collar and enforcement capability.

Our trial expertise includes all types of civil and criminal cases before juries and judges in multiple jurisdictions, as well as appellate matters before national and international courts and tribunals. In addition to helping clients through the challenges of a trial, our US litigators offer in-depth guidance regarding the development of compliance programs to assist in minimizing future risks.

Contact: David DiBari

Real Estate

Our US Real Estate group focuses on the legal issues and commercial challenges involved in dealing with acquisitions and sales, preferred equity structures, joint ventures, limited partnerships, REITs and other co-investment arrangements, leasing, mortgage loans and credit facilities and mezzanine loans.

We are also a market leader for cross-border transactions and regularly represent investors in the acquisition of trophy-type properties and large portfolios that often require complex structuring and significant tax planning.

Contact: Ness Cohen

Tax, Pensions & Employment

Our Tax lawyers are often credited with devising solutions that are not only innovative, but in themselves pave the way for complex transactions to close – for example, the US$100 billion AB InBev / SABMiller merger. The group regularly advises on US and international taxation, covering corporate and commercial transactions, equity and debt offerings, real estate and private equity funds and investments, financing and securitization transactions, tax-efficient structured transactions, insurance taxation, charitable organizations and the resolution of tax disputes.

We offer an in-depth understanding of the rapidly changing US tax rules, and we combine that with easy access to the Firm's global network of tax attorneys with extensive knowledge of international tax systems and how they interlink. Our team is trusted by clients to ensure that deal structures fit with their broader business goals and risk tolerance.

The group is ranked Band 1 in the US for Tax: Financial Products and has a particularly strong reputation for its tax work in supporting REIT and insurance structures.

Our employee benefits and executive compensation lawyers regularly advise domestic and multinational companies on critical employment matters in the context of M&A transactions, including the treatment of equity compensation, negotiating employment agreements and pension plan terminations. We also advise on all aspects of Title I of ERISA, including fiduciary issues in connection with the investment of employee benefit plan assets as well as the fiduciary responsibility requirements that pension plan investment committees must comply with.

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

Capital Markets

  • Named RMBS Law Firm of the Year by GlobalCapital 
  • CFE's FIBRA-E IPO won Equity Deal of the Year by The Banker Editorial – Americas


  • Reactions:
    • Premia: Launch of the Year (2017)
    • Harrington Re: Best Capital Raising (2017) 
  • Intelligent Insurer: Premia: Start-Up of the Year (2017) 
  • Five New York M&A practitioners recognized in the IFLR1000 US Awards (2018)
  • Law Firm of the Year (2017) – Fund Formation in North America by PERE 
  • Law Firm of the Year, Latin America (2017) – Private Equity International Infrastructure 
  • Latin America M&A Deal of the Year – Power Finance and Risk 2018: Actis on its acquisition of SunEdison assets
  • Legal 500 Latin America 2018: Corporate/M&A (International Firms) – Tier 1 
  • No. 1 for deal volume in Latin America – Bloomberg's Global M&A Heat Map (2017) 

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

  • The American Lawyer Am Law Litigation Daily named Christopher Morvillo its Litigator of the Week on August 31, 2018 for winning a "precedent-setting ruling from the Second Circuit with major implications for FCPA prosecutions." Am Law's interview is available here: "Chris Morvillo Makes New FCPA Law (and Wins One for Dad)
  • Named "Export Controls Law Firm of the Year, USA" and "Export Controls/Sanctions Law Firm of the Year, Rest of the World" by World Export Controls Review (World ECR, 2017)
  • Recognized in the top 10 of Global Investigation Review's GIR 30

Project Finance

  • IFLR Project Finance Team of the Year 2018
  • Chambers Global 2018
    • Latin America-wide: Energy & Natural Resources – Band 1
    • Latin America-wide: Projects – Band 1
  • Legal 500: Latin America: Projects & Energy – Tier 1
  • LatinFinance 2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards:
    • International law firm of the year 2018 - Andes
    • Pacifico II project financing, Colombia – Best Loan 2018
    • Lima Metro project financing, ABS bond, Peru – Best Transport Financing 2018
    • Cerro Dominador project financing, Chile – Best Renewable Energy Financing 2018
    • Cerro Dominador project financing, Chile – Best Infrastructure Financing – Andes 2018
    • Norte III restructuring, Mexico – Best Power Financing 2018
    • PetroPerú US$2 billion bond, Peru – Best Oil & Gas Finance

Real Estate

  • No. 3 – New York law firms with the biggest real estate practices – The Real Deal (2018)

Recent assignments

Asset Finance

  • Advised Avolon Holdings Limited in its US$10.38 billion acquisition of the aircraft leasing business of CIT Group
  • Advised LATAM Airlines Group S.A. in its inaugural issuance of US$1 billion Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETCs)
  • Advised GECAS and its affiliates in the sale of 20 aircraft, with an appraised value of approximately US$1 million, to Labrador Aviation Finance Limited, in an aircraft ABS transaction involving Korean equity investors
  • Advised Milestone Aviation Group in connection with its US$1.775 billion sale to GECAS
  • Advised Global Jet Capital in the financing of a large portfolio of business jets, a deal that is valued at approximately US$2.5 billion of net assets and includes more than 300 aircraft across the US, Canada, Mexico and Latin America

Capital Markets

  • Advised the underwriters led by Goldman Sachs and Evercore on the groundbreaking IPO of CFE FIBRA E, a Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust
  • Advised PIMCO on the acquisition of more than US$15 billion in residential mortgage loans and the subsequent financings and securitizations of the portfolio
  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, HSBC, Itaú and JPMorgan in connection with a series of challenging transactions, including a US$350 million senior notes offering and related tender offer and consent solicitation for Frontera Energy Corporation
  • Advised the underwriters in connection with a US$1 billion secondary offering by China-based HNA Tourism Group of common stock of Park Hotels & Resorts, an NYSE-listed lodging REIT and a spin-off of Hilton
  • Advised LoanCore Capital for an actively managed CRE CLO fund valued at approximately US$1.05 billion, making it the largest CRE CLO transaction following the financial crisis

Corporate and M&A

  • Advised Mondelēz International on the US$23.1 billion merger of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE: DPS) and Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. to create Keurig Dr Pepper
  • Advised The Coca-Cola Company and its largest bottler, Coca-Cola FEMSA, on their US$575 million acquisition of AdeS, a soy-based beverage maker that was owned by Unilever
  • Advised Actis on the establishment of a Pan-Latin American renewable energy platform, Atlas Renewable Energy, and the acquisition of over 1,500 MW of solar PV assets from SunEdison in Latin America
  • Advised Informa on its US$1.56 billion acquisition of Penton Business Media from Wasserstein & Co. and MidOcean Partners LLP
  • Advised Cristal on the sale to Tronox Limited of its domestic and international titanium dioxide (Ti02) business
  • Advised Hearst on its US$2.8 billion acquisition of the remaining 20 percent of shares it did not already own in Fitch Group from Fimalac SA

Funds & Investment Management

  • Advising Madison International on the Madison International Real Estate Liquidity Fund VII, which is targeting US$1.3 billion
  • Advising Capital Dynamics on the formation of Global Secondaries V, a US$750 million global secondaries investment program, and the formation of Clean Energy Infrastructure VII and VII-A, a US$1.4 billion clean energy investment program focused on the US
  • Advising Berkshire Group on its US$1.25 billion debut debt fund, Berkshire Multifamily Debt Fund II, which will focus on investments in Freddie Mac-sponsored multifamily debt products and other debt investments secured by multifamily real estate
  • Advised GSO Capital Partners LP (“GSO”), the global credit investment platform of The Blackstone Group L.P., on the fundraising of a US$1 billion opportunistic credit fund, GSO Diamond Portfolio Fund
  • Advised TBG AG on its acquisition of Telvent DTN, LLC, a U.S.-based data-software business, from French power-equipment supplier Schneider Electric SA


  • Served as transaction counsel on the formation and capital raise of 11 large (re)insurance vehicles with more than US$14 billion raised in capital and investments. Companies formed include Watford Re, Premia Re, KaylaRe, Harrington Re, Fidelis, Armour and Ategrity Specialty
  • Advised China Minsheng Investment Corp., Ltd. on the US$2.6 billion acquisition of Sirius International Insurance Group Ltd from White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd
  • Advised leading Global Financial Institutions on their trade risk credit and mitigation with respect to Basel III
  • Advised Assurant on numerous acquisitions, including certain insurance agencies owned by Green Tree Credit Solutions, eMortgage Logic, LLC, BroadTech, Inc., StreetLinks LLC, Field Asset Services, Inc., and multiple WYO National Flood Insurance Program businesses and related assets
  • Advised leading insurers, brokers and agencies, such as Chubb, Euclid Transactional, LLC., Concord Specialty Risk, AIG, Everest Insurance, Berkshire Hathaway and Tokio Marine, with respect to reviewing transactions in connection with underwriting a representations and warranties insurance policy
  • Regulatory and compliance counsel to large insurers and financial investment groups
  • Advised Mastercard International on the restructuring of its worldwide insurance operations (100+ countries)
  • Advised Slice Insurance Technologies in several key corporate and regulatory matters and a joint venture with a large traditional insurer

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

  • Won a precedent-setting ruling from the Second Circuit with major implications for FCPA prosecutions. Recognized in The American Lawyer | Am Law Litigation Daily – Litigator of the Week (August 2018): "Chris Morvillo Makes New FCPA Law (and Wins One for Dad)" 
  • Won a crucial court case for Fokker Services B.V. that resulted in a new standard for deferred prosecution agreements in the US

Project Finance

  • Advised a syndicate of international lenders in respect of the multi-tranche, multi-currency financing to be provided to a subsidiary of EIG for the development of the US$1.6 billion Cerro Dominador solar project, which is comprised of a 110MW concentrated solar project and a 100MW photovoltaic project. Upon its completion, this will be the first CSP project in Latin America
  • Advised Goldman Sachs (as initial purchaser) and Bancolombia, FDN and the CAF-AM Ashmore Debt Fund (as senior lenders) in the approximately US$708 million multi-source and multi-currency financing for the Ruta al Mar toll road project in Colombia. Ruta al Mar is the first private initiative to be financed under Colombia's 4G program and is also the first toll road to be financed in Colombia based entirely on traffic revenues
  • Advised the IDB Group as guarantor of locally issued, local currency-denominated bonds issued for the financing of the design, construction, commissioning and operation of a cluster of 12 wind farms with an aggregate generating capacity of up to 207MW, as well as a 20.8-kilometer transmission line and other interconnection facilities to be developed in the region of Santa Vitória do Palmar in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This was IDB's first-ever issuance of a Reais-denominated guaranty of a Brazilian infrastructure bond
  • Advised Metro de Lima Linea 2 S.A on a US$1.15 billion securitization in connection with the Line 2 of the Lima and Callao Metro Project in Peru, one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever to be undertaken in Peru
  • Advised the IDB and IIC in connection with the financing of the Campo Palomas wind project Uruguay, and with the subsequent B Bond refinancing in August 2017 (this is the second B bond financing to be done by IDB, and the first for IIC)

Real Estate

  • Advised J. Safra Real Estate on its acquisitions of a number of US properties in excess of US$1 billion, including the retail condominium at the St. Regis Hotel, a three-property portfolio net leased to Prada and the office tower at 660 Madison Avenue
  • Advised Madison International Realty on its restructuring, capitalization and acquisition of Forest City's approximate 51 percent remaining interest in a portfolio of 14 retail properties in the New York City metropolitan area, valued at approximately US$1.3 billion. This will result in Madison International Realty being the largest retail landlord in New York City
  • Advised a subsidiary of China Science & Merchants Investment Management Group on its acquisition of several portfolios of single-family rental homes and the financing with a US$100 million credit facility, with Goldman Sachs USA, together with an ongoing acquisition program to acquire hundreds of additional homes
  • Advised Deutsche Finance Group ("DFG") on its investment in, and the acquisition of, the commercial condominium unit located at 685 Fifth Avenue. We also advised DFG on it joint venture with SHVO and BLG. This was DFG's first real estate investment in the US
  • Advised MEAG MUNICH ERGO Asset Management GmbH on its acquisition of an office building from a subsidiary of a Verizon pension fund

Tax, Pensions & Employment

  • Advised CPA 17, a publicly held non-traded REIT, in connection with its merger with W.P. Carey, a commercial-focused net-lease REIT
  • Advised Greystone on the establishment of its real estate funds program and the structuring and fund raise of its US$750 million inaugural real estate debt fund, the Greystone Senior Debt Opportunity Fund
  • Advised on the formation, structuring and launch of Ategrity Specialty Insurance Company, a specialty property and casualty insurance company with presence in the U.S. and Bermuda that will focus on the excess and surplus lines market

Directory listings and client comments

  • "Clifford Chance's New York-based REITs practice attracts clients through its excellent subject matter expertise, responsiveness and business acumen."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – REITs
  • "One source states: 'Clifford Chance has put together a really first-rate team that is highly regarded in the city… Clients praise the team as 'very globally joined up' and 'meticulous in terms of thoroughness and rigor of advice and analysis,' adding that it does an 'excellent job.'"
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – White Collar Crime & Government
  • "Clifford Chance’s clients value the firm’s ‘deep industry knowledge, prompt turnarounds, market-driven commercial advice and practical legal guidance.’"
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – Private Equity Funds
  • "Clifford Chance is recommended for ‘larger and international M&A deals’ and is praised for its ‘extraordinary level of service.’ The team is ‘very loyal and engaged’ and demonstrates real familiarity with clients’ businesses."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – M&A/Corporate and Commercial
  • "Capital Markets team members noted for being "incredibly commercial [with] an incredible ability to boil down complex issues into more easily understandable concepts," and for offering" ideas that are new and innovative."
    Chambers: USA, 2017 – Capital Markets: Derivatives, Capital Markets: Securitisations
  • "Clifford Chance's asset finance group "specializes in acting for investment banks, operating lessors and export credit agencies (ECAs) in matters ranging from aircraft securitisations to fleet acquisitions."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – Asset Finance and Leasing
  • "Insurance team noted for its "'very creative, entrepreneurial and commercial ' approach to deals, as well as 'encyclopedic knowledge of even the finest points and pragmatic solutions to seemingly complex problems.'"
    Chambers: USA, 2017 – Insurance: Transactional & Regulatory
  • "The team at Clifford Chance is noted for its "depth of knowledge" and for being "extremely good at problem solving" and "tireless and unflappable during difficult assignments."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – Tax: Financial Products

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