Advent Hires Ropes & Gray Private Equity Co-Leader for Key Role

Advent International Corp., one of the world’s largest private equity firms, announced Thursday its hiring of hired Ropes & Gray partner Amanda McGrady Morrison as its new general counsel and chief legal officer.

Morrison, a co-leader of the private equity practice at Ropes & Gray in Boston, will succeed Advent’s longtime legal chief James Westra when he retires at the end of this year. Westra joined Advent as its top lawyer in 2011 after serving as co-head of private equity at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

David Mussafer, chairman and managing partner at Advent, said in a statement that Westra’s “positive contributions” to the firm during the past decade are “too many to list.” He added that Westra will work closely with Morrison to ensure a “smooth transition” in Advent’s legal leadership.

“Amanda is a talented lawyer and leader who has been a trusted adviser to our firm for many years,” Mussafer said. “Her guidance, expertise, and experience will be invaluable to Advent’s continued growth and innovation.”

Morrison said in a statement that she’s “thrilled” to join Boston-based Advent, which she and Ropes & Gray have advised on numerous transactions over the years.

“From my work alongside Jim and the Advent leadership team, I have seen firsthand how they lead with vision, passion, and collegiality in everything they do,” she said. “I look forward to contributing to the firm’s continued success.”

Morrison also served as co-chair of Ropes & Gray’s Women’s Forum and a member of its diversity committee.

“Amanda is an exceptional lawyer and a leader in private equity who brings deep expertise to Advent,” said Ropes & Gray chair Julie Jones, a private equity dealmaker who became head of the firm in 2019. “She is a valued colleague and friend. “

Ropes & Gray said in a statement that it expects to continue working with Advent. David Blittner, a former Weil partner who joined Ropes & Gray in 2016, will now be the sole head of its private equity practice. He had shared the role with Morrison.

Goodwin Procter advised Advent earlier this year when the firm raised $25 billion for the second-largest private equity fund on record. Advent specializes in leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments, and corporate carve-outs, mostly for deals in Europe and North America.

Heather Zuzenak, a former Goodwin partner, has spent nearly the past decade as Advent’s chief compliance officer. Andrew Dodge, a former Goodwin associate, is a deputy general counsel at Advent.

In May, Advent recruited former Ropes & Gray associate Spencer Haught in Boston as a transactions counsel. Advent also hired former Kirkland & Ellis corporate partner Helena Drury in London last year to be its first-ever European legal counsel.

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