Michèle O. Penzer

  • Partner
  • Emichele.penzer@lw.com
  • 885 Third Avenue
  • New York, NY 10022-4834
  • USA
  • T +1.212.906.1245


Michèle Penzer is the Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins’ New York office and is a member of the firm’s Finance Department and the Banking Practice. Ms. Penzer has built a robust finance practice, navigating clients through some of the most volatile market conditions over the past two decades.

Ms. Penzer’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of a wide range of banks and alternative lenders, as well as borrowers, in leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition financings, project financings, other senior secured lending transactions, and restructurings in a broad range of industries, including energy, communications, retail, technology, and industrials. She has significant experience in the structuring, negotiation, and documentation of secured and unsecured credit facilities, offering clients seasoned guidance at every turn.

Ms. Penzer is recognized as a leading attorney and is ranked for US banking and finance in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and The Legal 500 US. In 2017, Ms. Penzer was named to the inaugural list of Leading Women Lawyers in New York by Crain’s New York Business.

Beyond the unwavering commitment to her clients, Ms. Penzer is charged with overseeing the firm’s commitment to the New York legal and business community and its sophisticated client base. Ms. Penzer has held multiple leadership roles, including as former Global Co-Chair of the Banking Practice, former member of the firm’s Executive Committee and former Chair of the firm's Diversity Committee and Associates Committee. She also helped to found Women Enriching Business (WEB), a firm-wide initiative developed to help give women the tools to develop networks and business development skills.

Ms. Penzer is a member of the State Bar of New York, the New York State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. She is on the Board of Directors of the New York Women's Foundation, a member of the Board of Advisors of the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law and a member of the Advisory Council of the Hastings Center.


Ms. Penzer maintains an active finance practice and handles a variety of innovative, market-leading transactions for financial institutions, including:

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Barclays
  • Citibank
  • Credit Suisse
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JP Morgan Chase

As well as companies, including:

  • Eastman Kodak
  • General Nutrition Centers
  • Scientific Games

Thought Leadership

  • Final Section 956 Regulations Open the Door to Foreign Credit Support for US Corporate Borrowers -  June 03, 2019
  • Our Commitment to Community -  February 11, 2016
  • IFLR - Cross Border Financing Report 2015, US -  November 05, 2015
  • Structuring Holding Company Loans in the Energy Industry -  March 04, 2013
  • Shari'ah-Compliant Financings: New Opportunities for the US Market -  January 2009
“She provides leadership, an excellent legal and commercial background, an understanding of client needs and objectives, and provides top advice and assistance.”Chambers USA 2018
Bar Qualification
  • New York
  • JD, Yale Law School, 1993
  • AB, Harvard University, 1990
  • Communications
  • Oil & Gas
  • Power
  • Banking
  • Project Development & Finance
  • Islamic Finance