Press Release
June 1, 2021

Goodwin Expands West Coast Executive Compensation Offering with Partners Cisco Palao-Ricketts and Heather Brookfield

Global law firm Goodwin announced today that Cisco Palao-Ricketts and Heather Brookfield joined the firm’s ERISA and Executive Compensation practice as a partners, resident in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices, respectively.


“Our clients’ transaction activity at the intersection of capital and innovation continues to accelerate, increasing demand for our executive compensation offering,” said Lynda Galligan, co-chair of Goodwin’s ERISA and Executive Compensation practice. “We are thrilled to welcome Cisco and Heather to our team. Their collective experience advising public and private technology, life sciences, and private equity companies on M&A and capital markets transactions is a perfect match for the needs of our client base.” 


Palao-Ricketts handles the full range of executive compensation and benefits matters, with a particular focus on the executive compensation and benefits aspects of M&A, IPOs, and SPAC transactions. He is experienced in advising startup, emerging growth, and public companies regarding compensation and employee benefit issues. In his prior role, Palao-Ricketts co-led a global law firm’s U.S. Executive Compensation and Benefits practice. 


Brookfield focuses her practice on the design and maintenance of executive compensation plans and the executive compensation issues that often accompany IPOs, M&A, and other corporate transactions. She counsels public and private companies of all sizes regarding equity and incentive compensation plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, employment agreements, tax-qualified retirement plans, and severance programs. Prior to joining Goodwin, Brookfield acted as an in-house compensation and benefits counsel at Uber Technologies, Inc. during a 22-month secondment from her prior law firm. 


Goodwin is recognized by the Legal 500 for excellence in Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation. Refinitiv named Goodwin the number one legal advisor (by deal count) for global and U.S. M&A in Q1 2021, and Mergermarket’s Deal Drivers FY 20 reports named Goodwin a top three firm (by deal count) for the life sciences and technology sectors. Goodwin’s Capital Markets practice was ranked in Chambers USA 2021, which also recognized the firm’s status as the law firm at the intersection of capital and innovation around the world.