Michèle Penzer is the Managing Partner of the New York office of Latham & Watkins and is a member of the firm’s Finance Department and the Banking and Project Finance Practices. She has built a successful finance practice, navigating clients through some of the most volatile market conditions over the past two decades.
As Managing Partner of the New York office, Ms. Penzer focuses on strategic planning, client relations, recruitment and integration, and diversity. Ms. Penzer is charged with overseeing the firm’s commitment to the New York legal and business community and the firm's sophisticated client base. Ms. Penzer has held multiple leadership roles, including as a 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.
Ms. Penzer’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of commercial and investment banks, as well as borrowers, in leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition financings, project financings, other senior secured lending transactions, and restructurings. Ms. Penzer handles a variety of transactions for institutions such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase, as well as companies such as Scientific Games and Eastman Kodak. 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 City by Crain’s New York Business.
Beyond the unwavering commitment to her clients, Ms. Penzer has dedicated her career to inspiring, mentoring, and improving career prospects for other women. Ms. Penzer 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, and also is actively engaged in Latham’s broader diversity efforts. 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 a member of 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 Yale Law School Association Executive Committee.