Erica Berthou is the leader of the firm's Global Investment Management/Funds Group and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Her practice focuses on advising sponsors of open- and closed-ended private investment funds, co-investment funds, fund of funds and separately managed accounts, covering numerous sectors and strategies, including buyout, infrastructure, energy and power, real estate, debt, distressed and credit opportunities. In addition to U.S.- and European-focused funds, Ms. Berthou has significant experience with emerging markets fund formation, covering all major emerging markets, and the establishment of offices and other firm infrastructure in such markets. Ms. Berthou has also advised both sponsors and institutional buyers in connection with strategic investments in private investment firms, and has advised on structuring aspects in preparation of liquidity events for a firm’s owners. Ms. Berthou frequently also advises on strategic joint venture arrangements in the fund formation space.
Ms. Berthou represents numerous private equity clients, including Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, Brookfield Asset Management, The Carlyle Group, EQT Partners, FFL Partners, Global Infrastructure Partners, GSO Capital Partners, International Finance Corporation and AMC, Oaktree Capital Management, OEP Capital Advisors, Prudential Capital Group and Vinci Partners.
Ms. Berthou is recognized as a top practitioner and was recently named a “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer for her role in advising GSO Capital Partners, the credit division of Blackstone, in connection with the formation of its third mezzanine fund, one of the world’s largest funds of its type. In Lawdragon Insights: Private Funds (2014), clients say that “Erica is a force of nature. In baseball they talk about the five-tool athlete and she’s the five-tool athlete – all the skills in abundance that it takes to be a leading private equity fund formation lawyer.” Ms. Berthou is also recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA (2017), where peers note that she is “talented, smart and very highly regarded,” and clients praise her for going “above and beyond to satisfy client needs and demands,” and one client comments “I’m told she has other clients but I find it hard to believe because she’s so dedicated to us! It’s like we’re her only client.” Ms. Berthou is recognized in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s “Women Worth Watching” issue (2014), and she has also received recognition from IFLR1000 (2014) and The Legal 500 US (2017), which describes Ms. Berthou as “a real star – incredibly hardworking and a strong negotiator,” and she has been singled out by Chambers Global (2015) as a “Foreign Expert” for fund formation in Latin America. She was named to Crain’s “40 Under 40,” which recognizes people under the age of 40 who have achieved success in their respective fields, and to Investment Dealers’ Digest’s “40 Under 40,” which recognizes top up-and-coming financial services professionals under the age of 40. Ms. Berthou was named a “2016 MVP” in asset management and a “Rising Star” in private equity by Law360 in 2014, as well as a “Rising Star” by both the New York Law Journal and by Euromoney’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards in 2013. Euromoney went on to name her “Best in Investment Funds” as part of its 2015 Americas Women in Business Law Awards. Ms. Berthou also led the firm’s work representing The Carlyle Group in its emerging markets expansion, which was recognized by Financial Times’ “US Innovative Lawyers” (2011).
Ms. Berthou is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Private Investment Funds and is a frequent author and speaker on private equity topics. She joined Debevoise in 2003 after practicing in Europe for several years. Ms. Berthou graduated with an LL.M. from Uppsala University School of Law and received her M. Sc. from Stockholm University. Ms. Berthou also received an LL.M. from New York University School of Law, where she was honored as a Graduate Merit Scholar.