Debevoise & Plimpton LLP announces that Colleen Bernaiche, Jennifer Cestaro, Tigist Kassahun, Melissa Runsten and Aaron West have been named counsel to the firm, and that Tom Berry has been named international counsel to the firm. Their promotions became effective on January 1.
Colleen Bernaiche is based in the New York office and a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group. Her practice focuses on advising sponsors of private investment funds, including buyout, debt, distressed, fund of funds, real estate and venture capital funds. Ms. Bernaiche received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2014, her M.A. from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in 2014 and her B.A. magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2011.
Jennifer Cestaro is based in the New York office and a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group and Private Funds Transaction Group. Her practice focuses on sponsors of private equity funds, co-investment vehicles and separately managed accounts, covering numerous sectors and strategies including buyout, distressed, infrastructure, energy and mezzanine as well as secondary transactions, including traditional acquisitions and dispositions of fund interests, leveraged and syndicated acquisitions and fund restructurings. Ms. Cestaro received her J.D. magna cum laude from St. John's University School of Law in 2014 and her B.A. magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2011.
Tigist Kassahun is based in the Washington D.C. office and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions Group. Additionally, she frequently collaborates with the firm’s Data Strategy & Security practice. Her practice focuses on the IP, technology and data aspects of corporate transactions and advising clients on standalone transactions involving IP, technology, data or artificial intelligence assets; regularly representing a broad range of clients across the technology, financial services, media and telecommunications, arts, healthcare, private equity and insurance industries. Ms. Kassahun received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2015 and her B.A. from Pomona College in 2010. She is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar and New York Bar.
Melissa Runsten is based in the Washington D.C. office and a member of the firm’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Group. Her practice focuses on FDA/FTC regulatory matters and includes the representation of drug, device, food, cosmetic and other consumer product companies and investors in a variety of issues ranging from strategic regulatory counseling to complex compliance and enforcement matters. Ms. Runsten received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2015 and her B.A. with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 2010.
Aaron West is based in the New York office and a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group. His practice focuses on advising sponsors of private investment funds, including buyout, energy, as well as representing institutional investors in connection with their primary private equity investments and secondary purchases. Mr. West received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2014 and his B.A. cum laude from Rollins College in 2009.
Tom Berry is based in the London office and a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group and Private Fund Transactions Group. Mr. Berry advises fund sponsors across a broad range of strategies (including buyout, debt, infrastructure and secondaries) on the formation, raising and operation of their investment funds, and on related carried interest and co-investment arrangements; additionally he advises on investments in GPs and secondary transactions, including sponsor-led restructurings and other liquidity solutions. Mr. Berry received his LPC in 2007 and GDL in 2006, both from BPP Law School and his B.A. (Hons) from the University of Oxford (St Hugh’s College) in 2005.