Davis Polk lands Cleary Gottlieb's former foreign investments and national security head

Partner Paul Marquardt joins firm's financial institutions group in Washington

Wall Street firm Davis Polk & Wardwell has hired international trade and national security lawyer Paul Marquardt from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton to bolster its financial institutions group.

Marquardt joins as a partner in the firm’s Washington DC office, bringing with him more than two decades of experience helping clients with the application of US sanctions laws and export control matters. His practice also focuses on anti-money laundering and anti-corruption matters, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, advising state-owned entities, sovereign wealth funds, tech and defence companies and private equity firms.

Neil Barr, Davis Polk’s managing partner, said: “Paul is an exceptionally talented practitioner and a fantastic addition to our distinguished regulatory team in Washington. His extensive experience in sanctions and national security reviews is a strong complement to our practice, and is increasingly important to our clients as they continue to navigate these issues in pursuing complex, cross-border transactions.”

Marquardt spent just over a quarter of a century at Cleary, most recently heading its foreign investments and national security practice.

John Reynolds, head of Davis Polk’s economic sanctions and national security practice, said: “Paul not only brings to the table a rare and valuable combination of experience in both sanctions and CFIUS work, but he is also deeply conversant in transactional matters.”

Those transactional matters have included private equity and financial sector deals such as M&A and joint ventures.

Marquardt said: “Davis Polk’s reputation in the regulatory space is unparalleled and I have had the pleasure of working alongside many of the firm’s lawyers throughout my career. I am grateful for my time at Cleary, but the opportunity to join this team and collaborate in advising our clients on their most complex international trade issues is truly exciting.”

Last year Davis Polk scrapped its pure lockstep pay structure where pay is based on seniority in favour of a more flexible model that would enable the firm to be able to better compete in the lateral hire market. Only a handful of top US firms still maintain a lockstep structure, including Marquardt’s former employer Cleary.

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