Who We Are

We help our foreign clients achieve their U.S. business objectives efficiently and economically.

Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC is a New York law firm, focusing on the creation, acquisition and representation of American subsidiaries of foreign companies. We counsel our clients regarding day to day corporate governance issues, and prepare and help negotiate all necessary contracts and leases. We draft all routine employment agreements, as well as employee handbooks. We also have extensive experience with copyright and trademark, including the protection of famous marks.

Most of our clients are French or French-speaking. Our employees are fluent in French. With our years of experience, we are accustomed to assisting foreign clients navigate U.S. business issues and advising our clients regarding legal and cultural differences. Foreign clients sometimes use our office as a U.S. satellite office until they are able to launch their own U.S. business.

We pride ourselves on our prompt and efficient service. Our small size allows us to offer personal attention at more competitive pricing than larger U.S. law firms. After 30 years of practice, we have developed a faithful and diverse clientele, ranging from individual business owners to large multinationals. If we do not handle a matter, we are usually able to refer the client to a correspondent attorney having the required expertise and experience.

All of our attorneys hold three year graduate (Juris Doctor) degrees from U.S. law schools and are members of the following organizations: New York State Bar Association, NYSBA Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section, NYSBA Intellectual Property Law Section, NYSBA Business Law section, New York City Bar Association, French American Bar Association, French American Chamber of Commerce, International Trademark Association, Association des Praticiens du Droit des Marques et des Modèles, British American Business, French Founders and Union Internationale des Avocats.

Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC is located in the heart of Manhattan, next to Grand Central Terminal.

  • Deborah Ann Nilson

    Founding Partner

    Deborah Nilson is a graduate of Syracuse University (1981, B.S. in Finance, Magna Cum Laude, Beta Gamma Sigma) and New York Law School (1984, Juris Doctor). She is a member of the New York State Bar, the Bars of the United States District Courts of the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Deborah began her career at the law firm of Richard K. Bernstein Associates, where she practiced mainly corporate law, and polished her French while working with a French-speaking clientele. In 1989, she co-founded the law firm Rozan & Nilson LLP, where she expanded her client base. In 2006, Deborah formed her own firm, Deborah A. Nilson, PLLC.

  • Emily Ayoob


    Emily Ayoob is a graduate of Macalester College (2007, B.A. in Philosophy, Cum Laude, with minors in French and Linguistics) and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2010, J.D. with a concentration in Corporate Law). She has gained extensive experience studying and working abroad, including in Paris, Oxford, and India. Emily was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2011.

    Emily began her career with internships in French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel’s Paris and New York offices, where she worked on a variety of corporate and financial regulatory matters. She has in addition completed internships with the New York State Supreme Court and the Federal Trade Commission. She is fluent in both oral and written French. Emily joined Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC as an Associate in May of 2011.

    Publications :
    Withdrawing from Contract Negotiations under French Law: An Increased Risk, ABA Section of International Law, International M&A & Joint Ventures Committee Newsletter (Apr. 5, 2011).
    Recent Development : The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, 28 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 175 (2010).

  • Stephanie Messas

    Senior Associate

    Originally from Marseille, France, Stephanie moved to the U.S. to complete her post-high school studies. She is a graduate of Brandeis University (2001, B.A. in Sociology, Legal Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies) and Northeastern School of Law (2005, Juris Doctor). She had the opportunity to live, study, and work abroad including in Tel Aviv, Israel, Paris, France, and throughout the Southeast U.S. Stephanie was admitted to the New York bar in 2006.

    During law School, Stephanie interned for various firms including at Coudert Frères in its international arbitration department. She began her career as a judicial clerk to Justice Charles Ramos at the New York Supreme Court’s Commercial Division. In addition, Stephanie focused her general commercial practice at two New York law firms focusing on art transactions and employment law. Most recently, Stephanie was in-house counsel for a business management startup where she played an integral role in the set-up of the company’s legal structure. Stephanie joined Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC as an Associate in August 2012.

  • Caitlin Delaney


    Caitlin Delaney is a graduate of the University of Scranton (2010, B.A., Double Major in French and Political Science, Cum Laude) and Brooklyn Law School (2016, J.D.). While in law school, she served as the Executive Notes and Comments Editor on Brooklyn Law School’s Journal of Law and Policy. Caitlin also completed internships in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the New York City Law Department.

    Before law school, Caitlin lived, studied, and taught English in Paris and Thionville, France, where she polished her language skills. Caitlin joined Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC as an intern in May of 2015, and then as an Associate in September of 2016.

    Fortifying the Rights of Unauthorized Immigrant Workers: Why Employee-Focused Incentives Under the NLRA Would Help End the Cycle of Labor Rights Abuse, 24 J. L. & Pol’y (2016).

  • Nathalie Gast

    Office Manager

    Nathalie Gast is a graduate of Mercy College (2003, A.A.S. in Information Technology, Cum Laude) and Lycée Acajou  and has a Baccalaureate in Philosophy and Literature.  She also attended courses at the Katherine Gibbs School (2000, Certificate in Administrative Studies with an Information Technology Focus, Dean’s List).  Born and raised in Martinique, Nathalie’s native tongue is French.

    Nathalie has over ten years of administrative and technology related experience.  She started her career in database management and has since run offices and moderated websites.  Most recently, Nathalie spent four years as a Trademark Researcher at a well-known, large intellectual property law firm, where she played an integral role with the maintenance of international trademark portfolios and brand enforcement, translated trademark descriptions and legal documents, as well as served as an interpreter.  Nathalie joined Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC in April 2011.

Contact Us

10 East 40th Street
Suite 3310
New York, NY 10016

Phone: (212) 687-1155

Facsimile: (212) 687-1118