Geoffrey Burgess is a corporate partner with a broad international practice in Europe (including Russia), Africa and India, with particular focus in the private equity, TMT, health care and aviation industries.

Mr. Burgess joined the firm in 1997 and has been resident in the London office since 1999. Mr. Burgess co-leads the India and Africa practice groups at Debevoise and is also a leader in the firms Alternative Asset and Secondary Investments Group, with a focus on GP replacement projects. He currently serves as Co-Chair of The African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) Legal and Regulatory Committee. Mr. Burgess is a member of the London office’s pro bono committee and is a volunteer at law clinics for social entrepreneurship at unLtd and for disability benefits in Hammersmith & Fulham.

Mr. Burgess graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill B.Sc., with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, Morehead Scholar; and in 1993 received his J.D. from Columbia, where he was a Stone Scholar, received a Parker School Certificate in International Law and served on the Journal of Transnational Law as head notes editor, Parker School Journal of East European Law as founding managing editor and Survey of East European Law as managing editor. He was a Ford Foundation Fellow, Institute of State and Law (Moscow) in 1994.

Mr. Burgess is recommended for Private Equity and M&A by IFLR1000 (2020), and Chambers UK (2020) and The Legal 500 US (2019) list him as a leading lawyer for Aviation. India Business Law Journal, which recognises the top India focussed lawyers at international firms, also mentions that he is “highly regarded by Indian clients.” He is further recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020) and Chambers Global (2020) for his work in India. The guide describes him as “highly accomplished and very innovative.” He is recommended by The Legal 500 UK (2020) for work in emerging markets. The 2017 edition of the guide praised him for being “an exceptional transactional lawyer with pragmatic business sense.” He was further noted as having “vast experience of Russian inbound and outbound transactions as well as India-related deals.” The guide has stated that he is known for a “broad-ranging Russia, CIS and India Practice.” It has also described him as “excellent and responsive” and “particularly distinguished by his ability to strategically navigate complex negotiations.” Mr. Burgess has been ranked as a leading individual in Chambers Europe (2012, 2013 & 2014) and described as having “considerable experience in advising Russian clients from his London base.” Sources add that he enjoys a “huge amount of respect” and “stands out for his aviation experience”, though “his practice ranges from private equity and international mergers & acquisitions, to financings and joint ventures.”

Mr. Burgess is the author of various articles in trade publications on European private equity and Russian transactional issues. Recent publications include “Governance in Emerging Market Private Capital,” Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (April, 2019); “AVCA Legal & Regulatory Bulletin: The OECD BEPS Action Plan and Tax Considerations for Investors,” AVCA Legal & Regulatory Bulletin (February, 2019); “Africa Insurance M&A: Global Insurers’ Next Frontier,” Legal & Regulatory Bulletin (Fall Edition, 2017); “Opportunities and Trends in Healthcare—How to Achieve Scalable Impact,” Sustainable Investing in Emerging Markets (October, 2017); and “M&A In Russia: Opportunities And Risks In The Current Environment,” India Unleashed (June, 2017). Publications on India-related matters Mr. Burgess is a regular speaker at the Fundraising Masterclasses held by the Emerging Market Private Equity Association, including delivering sessions in Mumbai and London. Other recent speaking engagements include “Using Dispute Resolution Strategies to Protect and Enhance Investment Value in Nigeria,” AELEX & Debevoise Joint Seminar (December, 2019); “M&A in Emerging Markets,” EMPEA Masterclass – London (October, 2019); “Deep Dive Case Study Workshop – Healthcare,” EMPEA Sustainable Investing in Emerging Markets Summit (October, 2019); “A Look at the Healthcare Industry,” IFLR India M&A Forum (September, 2019); “Global Trends and Challenges in Healthcare M&A,” Networking and Discussions on Healthcare M&A (September, 2019); “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall... Can Arbitration Best Reflect the Complexity of the M&A Transaction?,” Dispute Resolution in M&A Transactions Conference, 5th Edition (May, 2019); and “A Good Company Always Attracts a Buyer: Examining Pathways to Liquidity via Trade Sales, Secondaries and IPOs,” 16th Annual AVCA Conference (April, 2019).

Education

  • Columbia Law School, 1993, J.D.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1990, B.S.

Bar Admissions

  • New York