Boon for Clearys in biggest ever deal by HSBC

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is the main legal victor in HSBC's billion-pound purchase of the Safra empire.

Clearys' New York and London offices are HSBC's main lawyers in the $10.3bn buyout of US banks Republic New York Corporation and its sister company Safra Republic Holdings.

The deal is HSBC's largest ever and will prove a bonanza for lawyers in bank regulatory work, as Safra has subsidiaries in several European countries. Further foreign offices of Clearys may be used in the future.

The amount of legal work involved is well contained after only three weeks with only group legal adviser Richard Bennett overseeing the deal. After going through US regulatory authorities, closure is expected in around five months.

In New York, Clearys partners Jim Munsell and Victor Lewcow are responsible for drawing up the deal, while partner in London Ed Greene is advising on regulatory issues.

Sullivan & Cromwell in New York is acting for the Republic New York Corporation and Safra.