Lucericia Messiah practices in the areas of compensation, employee benefits, healthcare and employment law. Ms. Messiah's practice includes work with both public and private companies in a wide range of industries, including the following: banking, insurance, energy, manufacturing, biotechnology and technology, telecommunications, real estate and private equity. She has broad transactional experience advising clients in connection with domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, lending transactions, bankruptcy and securities offerings. She also regularly assists clients with regard to day-to-day compliance and design matters involving the full range of executive compensation and benefits matters, including employment agreements, change in control agreements, deferred compensation, equity-based compensation, welfare plans and IRC Section 409A. Ms. Messiah has also represented both investment fund sponsors and tax-qualified pension funds in connection with ERISA Title I matters involving pension plan investments in alternative investment vehicles. She focuses her pro bono work in the field of immigration and also in advising nonprofits.
Ms. Messiah is a 2004 magna cum laude graduate of Howard University School of Law and a cum laude graduate of Pace University.
Areas of Practice
- Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Corporate Compliance
- Represented SchoolChapters, Inc. (an educational solutions provider dedicated to standards-based education quality management, accreditation services and community-based resources for educators and learners) in its sale to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company (a global learning company with the mission of changing people's lives by fostering passionate, curious learners).
- Represented Market Metrix, a California customer feedback-management firm, in its acquisition by Clarabridge.
- Represented WANDL, Inc., a software solutions company specializing in advanced network planning, management, design and the optimization of next-generation multi-layer networks, in its sale by reverse triangular merger to Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) for approximately $60 million.
- Represented Brace Industrial Group L.P., a Houston-based industrial services roll-up, in its acquisition of Basic Industries, LLC, an industrial services company, for approximately $33 million.
- Represented the management team and affiliates of American Energy Partners, LP in a private equity-backed equity investment of approximately $1.7 billion, including a subordinated debt investment of $450 million. The investment proceeds will be used to acquire and develop energy assets.
- Represented SJR Group LLC, a digital marketing and strategy company, in the sale of substantially all of its assets to a subsidiary of WPP plc, the world's largest communications services group.
- Advised Synopsys, Inc., a world leader in electronic design automation, in its acquisition of Magma Design Automation Inc., a publicly traded provider of chip design software, for more than $500 million.
- Advised Datalogic S.p.A., a leading international producer of bar code readers and other data collection technologies headquartered in Bologna, Italy, in connection with its acquisition of Accu-Sort systems, Inc. from affiliates of Danaher Corporation.
- Advised Dell, Inc. in its acquisition of Compellent Technologies, Inc., a leading storage provider.
- Advised Synopsys, Inc. in connection with a complex acquisition of Optical Research Associates, which was wholly-owned by a United States tax-qualified employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
- Advised JP Morgan and Anchorage Advisors in connection with their acquisition of a majority interest in Bally Total Fitness and the implementation of executive compensation arrangements as part of Bally’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
- New York
- Howard University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2004
- Pace University, B.A., cum laude, 2001
- Duane Morris LLP
- Associate, 2012-present
- Dewey & LeBoeuf
- Associate, 2007-2012
- Sullivan & Cromwell
- Associate, 2004-2007
- American Bar Association
- The Bar of the City of New York
- Member, Employee Benefits Committee
- Secretary, Young Lawyers Committee (2010-2011)
Honors and Awards
- Named in the Lawyers of Color's Second Annual Hot List, 2014
- Listed in New York Rising Stars - Metro Edition, 2011-2013
- Lisa Beth Deutsch Pro Bono Award (outstanding achievement relating to pro bono clients)
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Member, New York City Community Board 17 Education Committee
- Author, "2014 State Minimum Wage Increases," Duane Morris Alert, December 26, 2013
- Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Decisions on DOMA and Same-Sex Marriage Have Far-Reaching Implications for Employers," Duane Morris Alert, June 28, 2013
- Author, "Supreme Court Rules on Higher Causation Standard in Employer Retaliation Claims Under Title VII," Duane Morris Alert, June 26, 2013
- Co-author, "What Are the Implications for Employers of the Supreme Court Decision Upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?" Duane Morris Alert, June 28, 2012
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Independent Contractors vs. Employees," Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, 2013
- Speaker, "Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability, Recent Trends and Practical Considerations," New York City Bar Association, Employee Benefits Association