Freshfields expands partnership with leading employee benefits lawyer Nicole F. Foster
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP announced today that Nicole F. Foster has joined the firm as a partner in its US employee benefits & executive compensation practice, resident in the New York office. Ms. Foster’s practice focuses on compensation and benefits aspects of M&A transactions and corporate governance matters. She will co-lead this practice with partners Lori D. Goodman and Maj Vaseghi, who are based in New York and Silicon Valley, respectively.
“We are delighted to welcome Nicole, who is one of the nation’s leading executive compensation attorneys,” said Freshfields’ US managing partner and co-head of US capital markets Sarah K. Solum. “Sophisticated compensation and benefits advice is critical to our clients in the execution of their human capital management strategies. This is true whether they are emerging growth-stage companies or large multinationals with employees all over the world. Nicole will be an invaluable resource to our clients, guiding them on a day-to-day basis and on their IPO, deSPAC and M&A transactions.”
Ms. Foster advises corporate, financial and individual clients and compensation committees on the negotiation of employment and compensation arrangements, including equity incentive plans, and their securities and tax implications. Ms. Foster also advises on compensation disclosure and board executive compensation oversight. Her M&A experience ranges from public company mergers to private company acquisitions involving private-equity backed and founder-owned targets.
“The compensation and benefits bar consists of a small number of excellent lawyers. Having Nicole, along with Lori Goodman in New York and Maj Vaseghi in Silicon Valley — three women who have known each other for years as leaders of this area that is critical for both transactions and day-to-day governance — lead this premier practice is a dream come true for clients in need of deep experience, responsiveness, creativity and confident direction,” observed Ethan Klingsberg, co-head of the firm’s US corporate & M&A practice.
Damien Zoubek, who also co-heads the firm’s US corporate & M&A practice and had practiced alongside Ms. Foster for over 15 years before joining Freshfields last year, commented, “Nicole is a very talented lawyer who provides thoughtful, trusted advice on the compensation and benefits aspects of complex M&A deals. Clients and colleagues consistently find Nicole’s energy and insights to be exemplary.”
Ms. Foster has handled the benefits and compensation issues and negotiations for some of the world’s most significant M&A deals, including The Walt Disney Company in its $85 billion acquisition of Twenty‑First Century Fox, rebuffing an interloper bid by Comcast to its original $66 billion agreement, as well as in several divestitures of legacy Fox businesses; Pinnacle Foods in its $10.9 billion acquisition by Conagra Brands; British American Tobacco in its $97 billion merger with Reynolds American; and IBM in numerous acquisitions.
Before joining Freshfields, Ms. Foster had practiced at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP since 2003.
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global elite law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on groundbreaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800-plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multinational expertise, and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most.
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