Debevoise Names Seven New Counsel and International Counsel

2 January 2018

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is pleased to announce that James B. Amler, Cate H. Bae, Alison E. Buckley-Serfass and Zahra J. Khosrovi Sowder have been named counsel to the firm, and Allison A. Lee, Ceinwen Rees and Mai T. Shapiro have been named international counsel to the firm. Their promotions became effective on January 1.

James B. Amler, based in the firm’s New York office, is a member of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group and Investment Management Litigation Group. Mr. Amler’s practice focuses on securities-related enforcement matters, internal investigations and regulatory compliance issues. He has significant experience advising SEC-registered investment advisers to mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and other asset managers, investment banks and insurance companies. Mr. Amler also has broad experience in complex commercial litigation, representing financial services companies in federal and state courts, including in securities litigation, shareholder actions and class actions. Mr. Amler joined the firm in 2007 and received his J.D. cum laude from University of Michigan Law School, where he was a Clarence Darrow Scholar and served as Executive Articles Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Amler worked at Insight Venture Partners in New York in financial analysis and investor relations. He received his B.A. in international studies from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a minor in chemistry.

Cate H. Bae, resident in the New York office, is a member of the Corporate Department and the Investment Management Group. Her practice focuses on advising sponsors of private investment funds, co-investment vehicles and separately managed accounts, covering numerous sectors and strategies, including buyout, infrastructure, banking and financial services, credit, growth capital and emerging markets funds. She also advises sponsors and investors in connection with complex secondary transactions, including direct sales and purchases of fund interests. Ms. Bae joined the firm in 2009. She received a J.D. from Columbia Law School where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She received a B.A. from Ewha Womans University and an M.A. from Hunter College in Art History.

Alison E. Buckley-Serfass, resident in the New York office, is a member of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group. Ms. Buckley’s practice focuses on a broad range of executive compensation and employee benefits matters, including the design and negotiation of equity and cash-based compensation arrangements, employment, severance, change in control, deferred compensation and other compensation-related agreements and arrangements. She regularly counsels clients on compensation-related securities law matters, including SEC reporting and disclosure requirements and corporate governance issues, and on the benefits and tax issues that arise in mergers and acquisitions. Before joining the firm in 2009, Ms. Buckley clerked for the Hon. Paul V. Niemeyer, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Ms. Buckley received a J.D. magna cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law in 2008, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review.

Allison A. Lee is based in the firm’s Hong Kong office and is a member of the Corporate Department. Her practice covers a broad range of cross-border transactional matters for private equity and insurance investors, as well as corporate clients, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, minority and control investments, and co-investments. She also regularly advises on bancassurance transactions across markets in Asia. Ms. Lee’s recent experience includes acting for clients such as AIA Group, Prudential Financial, American International Group, HarbourVest Partners and Clearwater Capital Partners. Ms. Lee received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2008, and her B.A. cum laude from Princeton University in 2005. She is admitted to practice as an attorney in New York and as a solicitor in Hong Kong, and is fluent in Mandarin.

Ceinwen Rees is a member of the firm’s Tax Department in London. She is a general corporate and transactional tax practitioner with experience advising a wide range of clients, including private equity funds, multi-national groups, and financial institutions. Her practice covers advising on private equity fund formation and operation, carried interest planning, transaction structuring and other tax aspects of public and private acquisitions and joint ventures; corporate finance transactions; tax consultancy and VAT. Mrs. Rees graduated with an M.A. in law from Downing College, Cambridge (2004), she obtained her LPC from BPP Law School, London in 2007. Mrs. Rees also holds a GDip in finance from the London School of Economics (2008).

Mai Shapiro is a member of the firm’s Tax Department in Hong Kong. Ms. Shapiro has significant experience advising private fund sponsors on fund formation tax and structuring matters, and on the tax aspects of a fund’s downstream investment activities. She advises a range of sponsors in forming different types of funds, from pan-Asian equity buyout funds to sector- or country-specific funds, as well as separate account programs and foreign-sponsored, RMB-denominated private equity funds. Ms. Shapiro joined the firm in 2006 and was resident in the London office before joining the Hong Kong office in 2008. Ms. Shapiro received a J.D. from the University of Virginia in 2003 and a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1997. Ms. Shapiro is admitted to practice as an attorney in New York and a solicitor in Hong Kong.

Zahra J. Khosrovi Sowder, resident in the New York office, is a member of the firm’s Finance Group. Her practice focuses on complex financing transactions, including leveraged acquisitions, recapitalizations and restructurings. Ms. Sowder regularly advises the firm’s private investor and corporate clients in connection with syndicated institutional credit facilities, high-yield debt offerings, mezzanine debt investments and fund financings, and has extensive experience with asset-based loan facilities. Ms. Sowder joined the firm in 2008. She received a J.D. in 2008 from UCLA School of Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Women’s Law Journal, and her B.A. in Classics from Vassar College in 2002.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.