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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Is Expanding To California

 |  November 17, 2021

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is moving into Northern California, tapping the partner-in-charge of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s San Francisco office to spearhead its Bay Area launch, reported Reuters.

Antitrust litigator Heather Nyong’o is leaving WilmerHale to launch the office alongside Cleary antitrust partners Brian Byrne and George Cary, white collar defense partner Jennifer Kennedy Park, M&A partner Benet O’Reilly, and six associates, who are relocating from the firm’s New York and Washington, D.C., offices, the firm said Wednesday.

Cleary managing partner Michael Gerstenzang said the move is driven by the New York firm’s decades-long work for clients in the region, adding he expects to expand the firm’s Bay Area presence with more talent “in the coming months.”

“The shifting regulatory environment and evolving needs of businesses across sectors adds compelling reasons to provide these clients with on-the-ground support,” Gerstenzang said in a statement.

The firm has already secured office space in Palo Alto and will soon announce the location of its San Francisco location, Nyong’o said.

Nyong’o joined WilmerHale from the Justice Department’s antitrust division in 2014 and previously led the firm’s antitrust and competition practice on the West Coast. Cleary cited her experience as first-chair trial lawyer for Citigroup currency trader Rohan Ramchandani, who was acquitted by a U.S. jury of charges that he colluded to influence daily benchmark euro-dollar rates.

“The ability to leverage Cleary’s global antitrust practice with boots on the ground in the Bay Area will allow us to deliver not only the highest caliber client service but also put us in a position to be physically closer to the dynamic regulatory litigation environment in California,” she said.

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