FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Michele O. Penzer

Michele O. Penzer

Latham & Watkins LLP

New York, NY, USA

As Managing Partner of the New York office, Ms. Penzer focuses on strategic planning, client relations, recruitment and integration, and diversity. Ms. Penzer is charged with overseeing the firm’s commitment to the New York legal and business community and the firm's sophisticated client base. Ms. Penzer has held multiple leadership roles, including as a former global Co-chair of the Banking Practice, former member of the firm's Executive Committee and former Chair of the firm's Diversity Committee and Associates Committee.

Ms. Penzer’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of commercial and investment banks, as well as borrowers, in leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition financings, project financings, other senior secured lending transactions and restructurings. Ms. Penzer handles a variety of transactions for institutions such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, as well as companies such as Scientific Games and Eastman Kodak. Ms. Penzer is recognized as a leading attorney and is ranked for US banking and finance in Chambers Global 2016 and Chambers USA 2016.

Beyond the unwavering commitment to her clients, Ms. Penzer has dedicated her career to inspiring, mentoring and improving career prospects for other women. Ms. Penzer helped to found Women Enriching Business (WEB), a firm-wide initiative developed to help give women the tools to develop networks and business development skills, and also is actively engaged in Latham’s broader diversity efforts.

Ms. Penzer is a member of the State Bar of New York, the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Women's Foundation, a member of the Board of Advisors of the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law and a member of the Yale Law School Association Executive Committee.

Thought Leadership

  • Our Commitment to Community
  • IFLR - Cross Border Financing Report 2015, US
  • Structuring Holding Company Loans in the Energy Industry
  • Shari'ah-Compliant Financings: New Opportunities for the US Market
  • Islamic Finance in the United States
  • Special Issues for M&A Deals in the Energy Sector


JD, Yale Law School, 1993

AB, Harvard University, 1990

Bar Qualifications

New York

Recognition Highlights

Clients enthuse that "even though she is a senior partner, she gets involved in the details. She knows it all and she is very easy to work with." Chambers USA 2016

Sources depict her as "terrific and very commercial." Chambers USA 2015

Described as "responsible and commercial in decisions." Chambers Global 2014

Described as “having an impressive list of lenders and borrowers in leveraged finance transactions." Chambers USA 2012

Recommended for Commercial Lending: Advice To Borrowers by The Legal 500 US 2016

Recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US for Banking and Finance


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