Robert L. Tortoriello

Robert L. Tortoriello

Research Interest


Robert Tortoriello is Senior Counsel to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, located in New York. He joined the firm in 1974, was a partner from 1982 through 2015, and became Senior Counsel in 2016.

Mr. Tortoriello's practice focused on domestic and foreign bank expansion into all types of non-bank services and securities-related businesses, and on cross-border transactions and initiatives. It included extensive counseling with respect to judicial, statutory, regulatory, and administrative compliance issues, financial institution mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances and restructurings, private equity, derivative product and capital markets activities, and domestic and international securities offerings.

Mr. Tortoriello counseled major financial institutions with respect to Congressional inquiries related to a range of banking practices, and with respect to administrative, regulatory, and related enforcement proceedings and investigations by the banking regulators, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and federal and state enforcement agencies.

Mr. Tortoriello lectured and is widely published on judicial, legal, and regulatory developments. He is the author of numerous publications, including the Guide to Bank Underwriting, Dealing and Brokerage Activities (Thomson Reuters), now in its 21st edition.

Mr. Tortoriello was selected as a member of the New York City Financial Services Advisory Committee, which had been created to monitor and discuss developments within the financial services industry and track the ongoing value and effectiveness of initiatives to promote the support and growth of New York’s financial services sector. He served on the Banking Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and has lectured on judicial, statutory, regulatory, administrative, and historical developments before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Financial Markets Association (FMA), the Institute of International Bankers (IIB), the New York County Lawyers Association, the Practicing Law Institute, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

Mr. Tortoriello has been recognized and honored for his expertise in the regulation of financial institutions, as well as with respect to banking and finance, corporate, M&A and derivatives practices, and financial services compliance, enforcement and investigations.

In addition to his teaching political science at Columbia, he is a trustee of St. Peter’s University and other educational, community, and charitable organizations.

Mr. Tortoriello took his undergraduate degree from St. Peter’s University in history and economics within the honors program, summa cum laude and valedictorian. He received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Courses Taught