Zila R. Acosta-Grimes is a member of the firm’s Financial Institutions Group based in the New York office. Ms. Acosta-Grimes’ practice focuses on banking regulatory, transactional and compliance matters. Before joining Debevoise Ms. Acosta-Grimes worked at Goldman Sachs.

Ms. Acosta-Grimes is especially active in the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Economic Sanctions practices. Ms. Acosta-Grimes also has experience assisting financial institutions in identifying and addressing legal, supervisory and reputational issues in connection with transactions, government inquiries and internal investigations.

Ms. Acosta-Grimes is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, teaching a course in anti-money laundering. She is also a member of the Líderes Board of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a national not-for-profit Latino civil rights legal defense fund, and a deputy president for Region II of the Hispanic National Bar Association. In 2022 Ms. Acosta-Grimes was named as a Top Lawyer Under 40 by the Hispanic National Bar Association and received the Private Sector Award from Columbia Law School’s Latinx Law Student Association. In 2018 Ms. Acosta-Grimes received Debevoise’s Pro Bono Service Award for her work representing the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance’s Puerto Rico Fund for Growth. In 2017 Ms. Acosta-Grimes received the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s Flor De Maga award as a rising legal star.

Ms. Acosta-Grimes joined Debevoise in 2015. Ms. Acosta-Grimes received a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2015. She was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an article editor for the Columbia Law Review. She received a B.A. from Columbia College at Columbia University in 2011. She is fluent in Spanish.


  • Columbia Law School, 2015, J.D.
  • Columbia University, 2011, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York