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 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 25 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.
Our attorneys are members of the following organizations: American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York County Lawyers’ Association, New York City Bar Association, French American Bar Association, French American Chamber of Commerce, and International Trademark Association.
Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC is located in the heart of Manhattan, next to Grand Central Terminal.
Deborah Ann Nilson
Attorney at Law
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.
William Peter Forni
William Forni is a graduate of Boston University (2002, B.A. in International Relations with a French minor) and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2010, Juris Doctor with Concentrations in Corporate and Intellectual Property Law). He has lived, worked, and studied abroad many times, including in Paris, London, Hong Kong, Beijing and Buenos Aires. William was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2011.
Prior to law school William worked in the fashion industry in various capacities for Barneys New York, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana. He began his legal career as the 2009 Summer Associate and 2009 Fall Intern in LVMH : Moet-Hennesey Louis Vuitton’s Intellectual Property Department, where he worked on a variety of IP matters for the fashion brands and polished his professional French. William was then the 2010 Spring Extern in Calvin Klein’s Legal Department, diversifying his experience with the legal issues facing global corporations. William joined Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC as an Associate in October 2010.
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.
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).
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.
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.
10 East 40th Street
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 687-1155
Facsimile: (212) 687-1118