NEW YORK – 9 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Leading international law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that it has elected Mark Walker to become the next managing partner of the firm, effective immediately. Mr. Walker will succeed Peter Karasz, who had been managing partner since 2000. Mr. Karasz passed away on April 30 following a four-year battle with cancer.
“Peter was a great friend and a wonderful lawyer,” said Mr. Walker. “He led Cleary Gottlieb with courage, energy and vision, and we shall miss him deeply. During my nearly 40 years at the firm I worked closely with him, and I shall personally miss his guidance and support in my new role.
“During Peter’s almost six-year tenure as managing partner, the firm grew from approximately 600 to 850 lawyers and opened offices in Milan and Cologne. Peter excelled at guiding the expansion and evolution of Cleary Gottlieb while maintaining at all times its 60-year traditions of legal excellence and innovation,” Mr. Walker continued.
“As managing partner, I shall work with all of our partners to explore new opportunities to further our global practice and to continue to offer our clients not only the best legal services throughout the world but also the unique benefits of our truly integrated international practice.”
Mr. Walker, 63, joined the firm in 1966 and became a partner in 1975. Throughout his career, he has been a key figure in expanding Cleary Gottlieb’s global presence, particularly in Latin America and Asia. Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading lawyers in the area of sovereign debt restructuring, Mr. Walker has advised the Mexican, Korean and Indonesian governments on debt management and has counseled the governments of Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Peru, the Philippines, and Slovenia in external debt matters. He has assisted in the formulation, negotiation and documentation of arrangements with international organizations, commercial banks and creditor governments that have become models for the management of international debt crises.
Before coming to the New York office in 1970, Mr. Walker was resident in the Paris and Brussels offices of the firm. He received a LL.B degree in 1966 from Yale Law School, where he served as Articles and Book Review Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He received an undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1963. Following his graduation from law school, Mr. Walker did research in Paris on French economic planning. He is a member of the Bar in New York.
Mr. Karasz, 63, was elected managing partner in 2000. In addition to his many accomplishments, he was a courageous leader in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center when approximately 1,000 employees from the firm’s office at One Liberty Plaza were displaced and forced to work from multiple locations throughout the city for about three months.
After joining Cleary Gottlieb’s New York office in 1967, Mr. Karasz was elected partner in 1975. From 1968 to 1973 he was resident in the Paris office. Always having a passionate interest in the international arena, Mr. Karasz pursued a global law practice, working on transactions involving the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America, with a particular focus on petroleum exploration and development projects.
You can contact Mr. Walker at +1 212 225 2240 (New York). You can also contact Amy Fantini, Media Relations Manager, at +1 212 225 3775 (New York) or Joy Frascinella, Senior Communications Manager, at +44 20 7847 6721 (London).
About Cleary Gottlieb
Founded in 1946 by lawyers committed to legal excellence, internationalism and diversity, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a leading international law firm with almost 850 lawyers around the world. The firm was named Western Europe Competition/Antitrust Law Firm of the Year 2004 by legal publisher Chambers and Partners, which also named it U.S. Tax Law Firm of the Year 2003 and selected it for the inaugural “International Law Firm of the Year” award. LatinFinance rated Cleary Gottlieb Best International Financial Law Firm in 2004 and Top Latin American Legal Advisor for a 15-year period (1988 – 2002). The firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Paris, Brussels, London, Moscow, Frankfurt, Cologne, Rome, Milan, Hong Kong and Tokyo.