Marissa Wesely is a partner and member of senior management at the global law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. She has over three decades of experience as a corporate lawyer in New York and London, advising companies, private equity funds and financial institutions on complex acquisition finance, recapitalization and restructuring transactions. Some of her recent representations include: Algeco Scotsman in connection with a multi-jurisdictional ABL facility as part of its global recapitalization; Affinia Group in the financing of the spin-off of its brake business; L-3 Communications in the financing of its spin-off of an independent, publicly-traded government services company; Peabody Energy Corporation in the financing of its acquisition of MacArthur Coal; Sealed Air Corporation in the financing of its acquisition of Diversey; and CB Richard Ellis in the financing of its acquisition of the real estate management business of ING Group N.V.
Marissa is regularly recognized as a leading lawyer in banking and finance by Chambers & Partners, The Best Lawyers in America, Euromoney's Leading Women in Business Law and PLC's Which Lawyer. In 2013, she was honored as the Finance Lawyer of the Year at Chambers' Women in Law Awards. Marissa speaks and writes regularly on issues relating to her practice, including at the Practicing Law Institute's annual Leveraged Finance Summit. Earlier in her career, she designed and taught courses on international trade and financing for the former Harvard Institute for International Development.
Marissa is the founder and a Steering Committee member of the Kate Stoneman Project, a leadership organization for women partners of 10 leading New York-based law firms. She is on the Executive Committee of DirectWomen, an ABA and Catalyst initiative to increase gender diversity on corporate boards, and on the Boards of Directors of Legal Momentum (The Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund) and The Global Fund for Women. She is also on the Board of Trustees of The Wenner-Gren Foundation, a private operating foundation devoted to the advancement of anthropology throughout the world.
Marissa frequently speaks on issues relating to women in the legal profession and women and leadership, including as the keynote speaker at Duke Law School conference on Women and the Law in 2012 and at Womensphere's Emerging Leaders Global Summits in 2011 and 2013. She is a 2010 recipient of the Diversity Champion Award from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and in 2009 received the Kay Crawford Murray Award from the New York State Bar Association in recognition of her efforts to mentor women and promote diversity in the legal profession.
Marissa graduated from Williams College, magna cum laude, in 1976 and received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1980.