James Westra Heads to Advent International

Advent International, the Boston-based private equity firm, will add James Westra as a managing director and chief legal officer, advising Advent’s investment teams globally on deal structuring and general legal matters. Previously, Westra was member of the management committee and co-head of the private equity practice group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. At Weil, Joseph J. Basile was named managing partner to replace Westra.


Advent International names James Westra Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer

James Westra will bring more than three decades of private equity legal experience to Advent’s investment teams worldwide
Boston, September 7, 2011 – Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that James Westra will join the firm as Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer, effective October 3, 2011. He will be advising Advent’s investment teams globally on deal structuring and general legal matters.
Prior to Advent, Mr. Westra was a partner, member of the management committee and co-head of the private equity practice group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. While at Weil, Mr. Westra was instrumental in advising the firm’s private equity clients, including Advent, Berkshire Partners, and THL Partners. He also led the opening of Weil’s Boston office in 2002 and since then has served as the office’s Managing Partner. While at Weil, Mr. Westra has represented numerous public companies on general corporate matters, financing and merger and acquisition transactions, and has provided counsel to boards of directors and board committees on corporate governance matters. Prior to joining Weil in 2002, Mr. Westra was a partner at Hutchins Wheeler Dittmar, helping to grow and diversify the Boston-based law firm’s corporate practice.
“After years of working together, we are thrilled that Jim is joining our team at Advent as our organization continues to develop and grow,” said Advent International Managing Partner David Mussafer. “He has been a tremendous asset to us and other top private equity firms over the past 30 years, and we know that he will help us immensely in deal structuring and bringing best practices to support our global team. Jim has the requisite skills, experience and personality to thrive at Advent, and we are looking forward to his contributions in the months and years ahead.”
Over the years, Mr. Westra has become recognized as one of the nation’s top attorneys, as evident from the numerous professional awards he has received for his expertise. He has been named one of America’s “Top 25 Pre-Eminent Private Equity Lawyers” by The Best of the Best USA 2011 and for many years has been recognized by Chambers as a leader in the fields of private equity and mergers and acquisitions. In 2011 Mr. Westra was one of three attorneys in the United States to receive the Legal Achievement Award by Chambers recognizing his outstanding contribution to the legal profession.
“The team at Advent continues to focus on some of the most complex investment opportunities in private equity globally, and I am looking forward to be working with such a highly talented and collegial group of professionals,” said Mr. Westra. “During my legal career, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of successful private equity firms, and Advent has always impressed me for its unique culture, great collaborative skills and emphasis on adding value in its investments. These qualities will help Advent continue to distinguish itself, and I am excited to take this next step with them.”
Weil has provided legal counsel to Advent on a number of transactions globally, including some of Advent’s largest and most complex deals, such as Boart Longyear, Vantiv (formerly Fifth Third Processing Solutions), and WorldPay, and will continue to do so. Weil Executive Partner Barry Wolf said: “While we look back on Jim’s time with us with great respect and appreciation, we congratulate him on his well-deserved appointment at Advent. We look forward to assisting him in his new role and further strengthening our long-standing relationship with Advent.”
Mr. Westra earned his J.D. from Boston University and his B.A. from Harvard University. He has been involved in a number of charitable and non-profit activities, and is currently an overseer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a director of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and chairman of the board of the Boston Rescue Mission, an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the homeless.