Essence McGill Arzu, Esq.
Aaron A. Arzu, Esq.
Essence McGill Arzu is a highly-skilled, creative, and forward–thinking business lawyer and leader with extensive experience in financing transactions, nonprofit organizational issues and advising early stage and emerging businesses. She has superb transactional and organizational skills with a proven record of achieving key strategic client objectives. Ms. Arzu has expertise in developing effective legal and business strategies, building strong alliances with and among diverse constituencies, leading and managing complex projects and teams, and advising on risk management and corporate governance issues in both national and international arenas. She is known for outstanding leadership, writing, drafting, and analytical abilities, with exceptional interpersonal and negotiation skills. She is committed to mentoring and applies her skills toward community and mission-driven goals.
Ms. Arzu has extensive experience with debt financing
transactions (both lender- and borrower-side), including multi-million dollar
bank and syndicated credit facilities, mezzanine financings, convertible debt
transactions, corporate restructurings, public and private debt offerings and
secured and unsecured loans (both term and revolving credit facilities) for
public and private companies, non-profit micro-lenders, investment companies
and banks, as well as domestic and international experience in mergers &
acquisitions and compliance matters. In addition, for over a decade Ms. Arzu
has advised nonprofit and social venture organizations, providing guidance in a
wide range of general operational matters, including governance, financing,
fundraising, mergers and strategic alliances. Furthermore, she has broad
experience advising early stage and emerging businesses on governance,
financing, and contract matters. A representative transaction list is available
upon request. Ms. Arzu is admitted to the bars of Massachusetts, New York and
Prior to co-founding The Arzu Law Group LLC, Ms. Arzu was a
Partner in the Business Department at Boston law firm Foley Hoag LLP. Her
practice focused on advising public and private company clients on numerous
transactional and organizational issues in the areas of corporate finance (such
as secured and unsecured debt financings and venture capital financings),
business combinations (including domestic and cross-border mergers,
acquisitions, asset purchases and joint ventures), and nonprofit governance
matters (including formation and general operational issues, mergers and
acquisitions, and maintaining tax-exempt status). Ms. Arzu also served as
co-chair of Foley Hoag’s nonprofit & social venture practice.
Before joining Foley Hoag LLP in 2004, Essence worked in the
corporate practice of international law firm Salans (now known as Dentons) in
its New York, N.Y. and Moscow, Russia offices. While there she concentrated on
domestic and international mergers & acquisitions, banking and bank
regulatory matters, and securities regulation and compliance. She also advised
on the formation of investment funds (including off-shore entities), and
advised both offshore entities and not-for-profit organizations on
transactional and general corporate matters.
Essence received her B.A. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges in
1994, her M.A. from Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Davis
Center for Russian Studies in 1997 and her J.D. from Columbia University School
of Law in 2000. She has been active in a number of legal, business and civic
organizations and has served on numerous nonprofit boards including the Big
Sister Association of Greater Boston, Boston Dance Alliance, The Partnership,
Inc., Boston Bar Foundation, Harvard Club of Boston, Greater Boston Chamber of
Commerce Women’s Network Advisory Board, Celebrity Series of Boston, Boston
Children’s Museum and Boston Education Development Foundation. Essence was
selected as a Boston Business Journal "40 Under 40" honoree, as a
member of Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program, to The
Partnership, Inc.’s Fellows and Next Generation Executive Programs and to the
Women’s Bar Association Leadership Initiative. Essence is a member of the
Boston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and lives in
Somerville, Massachusetts with her husband (an excellent chef!) and their golf
Aaron A. Arzu is a creative problem solver and trusted adviser. As a small business owner, Mr. Arzu is well-versed in the pressures facing clients as they navigate the complications of running a business in the modern regulatory environment. Mr. Arzu’s criminal defense practice engages clients in counseling on how to minimize liability and avoid running afoul of complex statutes and regulations, while successfully pursuing their business goals. He has broad experience in conducting internal investigations, engaging in negotiations with government regulators and prosecutorial agencies, and counseling and defending individual clients from criminal prosecution in both state and federal courts. Mr. Arzu has developed an expertise in preparing witnesses for testimony before administrative agencies and criminal grand juries. Additionally, he counsels clients on administrative law and regulatory practices, as well as maintaining internal compliance and good corporate governance practices.
Prior to co-founding The Arzu Law Group LLC , Mr. Arzu was a senior litigation associate in the Boston office of Duane Morris LLP, a large international law firm. Mr. Arzu defended clients in state and federal court, conducted internal investigations on behalf of large institutional clients, and provided counsel to individuals facing both criminal charges and collateral administrative sanctions stemming from their prosecution. Mr. Arzu also represented lawyers facing ethical sanctions before the BBO and the Office of Bar Counsel.
Mr. Arzu began his legal career as an assistant district attorney for the Office of the District Attorney, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York. During his time in the office, Mr. Arzu investigated and prosecuted serious felony level offenses, and conducted hundreds of grand jury investigations.
Mr. Arzu is a member of the American and New York State bar associations, the Massachusetts and Boston bar associations. He is a former member of the National Black Prosecutors Association and the New York State District Attorneys Association. Mr. Arzu graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a winner of the Greenfield Trial Practice Award, and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University.
In addition, Mr. Arzu is a Cordon Bleu-trained professional chef and instructor, and is the Resident Chef at Sur La Table, Boston Copley Place location where he manages the store's culinary program, including classes and private cooking events. Prior to Sur La Table, Mr. Arzu owned and operated Creative Culinary Innovations, a private chef and restaurant consultancy.