Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is a "fixer" lawyer; one who cleans up the messy lawsuits on behalf of his rich, corporate clients for the firm Kenner, Bach, & Ledeen in New York. While successful at what he does, Michael is unsatisfied. He also is suffering from many outside problems, such as debt, divorce, gambling addiction, and failed business investing. This leaves him with no choice but to continue to ply his trade as a fixer. Michael's lawyer friend Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) has also been working on tough cases, including one that has spanned the last eight years. Arthur has uncovered some damaging info about a corporation and Michael is called upon to fix the problem. When Arthur dies under mysterious circumstance, Michael digs deep into the case and finds the corporate corruption rampaging unchecked. Sinister forces behind the scenes begin to make Michael a target, and Michael must somehow stay alive and bring down the firm's treachery.