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Index of tables

  1. Investment funds: Hedge funds
  2. Listed funds
  3. Private funds
  4. Real estate funds
  5. Retail funds
  6. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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Ranked law firms appear in alphabetical order, and may feature in one or more of the Hedge funds ranking tables, which cover specific fund types. The Private funds table covers non-listed private equity buyout, infrastructure and debt funds, but excludes Hedge funds and Real estate funds, which have their own dedicated tables. The Listed funds table reflects firms with the leading closed-end listed funds practices; and the Retail funds table addresses authorised funds. There is a separate section for Private equity: transactions within the Corporate and commercial chapter.

In addition to having real estate funds capabilities, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld deals with a wide range of private fund strategies, including buyout, infrastructure and debt. Its hedge funds practice, spearheaded by Ian Meade and Tim Pearce, is particularly strong; clients in the space include BlueCrest, Systematica Investments and Finisterre Capital. John Holton, Thiha Tun and Christopher Gorman-Evans are other key practitioners.

Allen & Overy LLP is particularly strong in closed-ended fund structures involving real estate, infrastructure and debt strategies. Its real estate funds client roster includes TH Real Estate, JPMorgan, Hines and Aviva Investors. Elsewhere, the firm undertakes a steady stream of hedge fund and listed fund mandates. Matt Huggett’s team includes recently promoted counsel Tamara Cizeika.

In the listed funds space, Ashurst’s Nicholas Holmes acted for Stifel Nicolaus and J.P. Morgan Cazenove as joint bookrunners of Foresight Solar Fund’s £36m placing. In real estate fund work, the firm advises on the formation and operation of listed and private structures. Jeremy Bell* and Alexander Cox are advising Tritax on launching its Tritax Property Income Fund. Piers Warburton was lead adviser to Intermediate Capital Group on the €3bn launch of ICG Europe Fund VI. *Jeremy Bell has joined Burges Salmon LLP.

Baker McKenzie LLP is primarily known for its private funds and real estate funds capabilities, handling every aspect of the funds lifecycle for clients such as Colony Capital, Invesco Real Estate and Employees Provident Fund (Malaysia). James Burdett heads the London investment funds practice.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s market-leading reputation in real estate sees it act for sponsors and investors in real estate funds matters. Justin Cornelius led the advice to Frogmore in its £580m successful fundraising for Frogmore Real Estate Partners III. The firm is also active in the listed funds area; Richard Werner and Nicola Hopkins are recommended.

Noted for its retail funds expertise, Burges Salmon LLP handles a full range of issues for clients such as St James’ Place, Argonaut Capital Partners and Premier Asset Management. Chris Godfrey jointly heads the practice with Tom Dunn, who assisted Smartfund Administration with restructuring its range of open-ended investment company funds. The team covers the full fund lifecycle and its regulatory expertise includes UCITS V, FATCA and MiFID II.

Clients describe CMS as ‘excellent without reservation’ across the funds spectrum. Recent retail funds work include Karagh Gilliatt advising Standard Life Investments on a large-scale fund rationalisation project. Aidan Campbell is another key name. Within listed funds, the firm won bank-led mandates from clients such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Cazenove; Cathy Pitt is a key contact. Elsewhere, private funds practice head Colin Lawrie handles fund formation and investment work. Melville Rodrigues is recommended for real estate funds.

Jointly led by Victoria Younghusband and Keir Gordon, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s team handles a variety of investment funds. David Hicks is particularly knowledgeable about closed-ended investment trusts. The firm also has strengths in funds focused on the charities and not-for-profit sector, as well as emerging markets funds. Younghusband assisted VinaCapital with launching Forum One VCG Partners Vietnam Fund, a Luxembourg-authorised UCITS fund investing in Vietnam. Jonathan Bayliss and Kate Troup are also recommended. Elizabeth Budd joined Pinsent Masons LLP.

Practice head Nigel Hatfield and Gerard Saviola are key contacts at Clifford Chance, which undertakes all aspects of private equity, real estate, infrastructure and debt funds for its broad client base. Highlights included acting for Permira in the formation of Permira Credit Solutions II, an €800m multi-strategy private credit fund focused on European investments. Hatfield and Saviola have particular experience of dealing with India and Africa focused investment funds, respectively; Saviola assisted African Capital Alliance with the formation of Capital Alliance Private Equity IV.

In addition to forming and structuring funds, Covington & Burling LLP’s team also deals with co-investments, secondary market transactions, fund restructurings and primary investments into funds, among other matters. Simon Goodworth, Hilary Prescott and Simon Currie are recommended.

DLA Piper provides ‘good bang for your buck’ with regard to private funds, where it focuses on acting for international cornerstone investors, such as DEG and Proparco. James O’Donnell and Roy Kelly advised Commonwealth Development Corporation in its cornerstone investment in Insitor Impact Asia Fund. Andrew Wylie joined in April 2016 from Nabarro LLP; he took on the role of head of alternative investment funds vacated by Gawain Hughes, who joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP in July 2015.

Noted for its strengths in private funds and real estate funds, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘excellent knowledge of the market and a commercial approach’. Its extensive expertise includes fund formation and structuring, secondaries market transactions, regulatory issues and investments into funds. In 2015, practice head Geoffrey Kittredge led the advice to Exponent on the successful launch of Exponent Private Equity Partners III, which closed on £1bn. Sally Gibson made partner in 2015.

A recognised leader in the funds business’, Dechert LLP’s London-based investment management practice operates within the firm’s wider global network to handle all fund types for clients worldwide. Its team includes practice head Peter Astleford, who has ‘been there and done it’ and hedge funds expert Abigail Bell, who ‘cuts through the rubbish and focuses on key points’. Christopher Gardner, who has a burgeoning reputation in hedge funds and private funds, is recommended along with Stuart Martin and Gus Black; Black is ‘without a doubt one of the top lawyers in the funds space’. For listed funds, Andrew Hougie is a go-to option for exchange-traded products, and Richard Frase is another key name in the area. In retail funds, Karen Anderberg assists UK and international fund managers with regulatory and compliance issues.

An acknowledged market leader in retail funds, Eversheds LLP’s strengths include property authorised investment funds and authorised contractual schemes; Pamela Thompson is lead adviser to London LGPS CIV on the launch and operation of an authorised contractual scheme and its sub-funds. The firm’s listed funds work in 2015 included the £250m IPO of UK Mortgages Limited on the Specialist Fund Market in London, and subsequent listing on the Global Exchange Market in Ireland. It handled the redomiciliation of fund-of-hedge-funds Hilltop Core Select Fund from Gibraltar to Ireland. Ronald Paterson, Andrew Henderson and Michaela Walker are also recommended.

Led by Kirstene Baillie, Fieldfisher’s team handles matters across a broad mix of fund types. Retail funds are a particular area of strength; in 2015, Baillie acted for both Columbia Threadneedle and Sovereign in the former’s acquisition of the latter’s Unit Trust Fund Range. The firm also advises Fidelity and Man GLG on UK authorised investment fund matters. Azad Ali joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Mark Watterson, David Rouch and Jonathan Baird are highly regarded at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, which assists sponsors with all aspects of their funds businesses. It also advises on institutional investments into funds. In addition to having a notable private funds capability, the practice also leverages its strong capital markets capabilities to undertake high-end listed fund mandates.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP’s private funds practice was significantly augmented by the arrivals of Mark Mifsud, Kate Downey and Alexandra Conroy from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP. Gregg Beechey joined from King & Wood Mallesons. The firm’s workload spans a broad range of asset classes, such as infrastructure, debt, energy and renewables, among others. Mifsud leads the team, which advised BlueBay on fundraising for Direct Lending Fund II SLP.

Goodwin primarily focuses on real estate funds, where David Evans’ team ‘knows its subject’. Samantha Lake Coghlan is acting for Ares Management in setting up Ares European Property Enhancement Partners II. Gregory Barclay and James Spence are also recommended. Elsewhere, the firm also deals with private equity and venture capital funds.

Gowling WLG had a strong 2015 in listed fund IPOs and secondary share issues. Oliver Riley acted for Winterflood Securities as the sponsor and placing agent in the £800m IPO of Woodford Patient Capital Trust. Nick Heather advised Liberum Capital on the £136m IPO of Ranger Direct Lending. Kristian Rogers and John Reed are other names to note.

Although Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is historically known for its market-leading listed funds capabilities, its funds practice covers matters involving alternative funds strategies, including: private equity buyout, hedge, real estate and infrastructure. In 2015, Tim West was lead adviser to HarbourVest on its migration from the Specialist Fund Market to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Nigel Farr and Scott Cochrane jointly lead the practice with West. Recently promoted partner Stephen Newby is also recommended.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s varied practice spans a wide range of fund types, including listed funds, real estate funds and private funds. In 2015, Nicholas Holman handled the formation of investment manager Atelier Capital and its Irish student accommodation fund Ziggurat ROI Seed Capital. Holman also advised Aberdeen Asset Management on the launch of its second multi-investment European infrastructure fund. Erik Jamieson, Philip Brown and James McDonald are recommended, along with recently promoted counsel Jeremy Pickles.

Private funds and real estate funds are bedrocks of Jones Day’s practice. Neil Seaton’s team includes John MacGarty, whose fund formation expertise is complemented by his experience of secondaries transactions. Alistair Grant, Anna Cartwright and Neil Ferguson are other names to note in the group, which acts for clients such as Greystar, The Riverside Company and CBRE.

In the hedge finds sphere, K&L Gates LLP’s Sean Donovan-Smith, Andrew Massey and Rodney Smyth have been advising PanAgora on AIFMD’s impact on its European marketing activities. Elsewhere, the firm’s retail funds practice sees it acts for clients such as Federated Investors, Eaton Vance and John Hancock.

Kaye Scholer LLP is particularly well regarded in the alternative investment funds space, and is ‘a pleasure to work with on complex deals’. UK practice head Simon Firth and Daniel Lewin worked with US-based team members on forming Highgate Capital Management’s inaugural $500m Highgate Capital Fund, which invests in undervalued listed companies in the natural resources sector. Other clients include RoboCap, MacKay Shields and Temporis Capital.

King & Wood Mallesons’ diverse practice spans a wide range of alternative investment funds. Global practice head Jonathan Blake advises on various private fund structures, including infrastructure, private equity buyout and debt. Blake, Michael Halford, Shawn d’Aguiar and Josayne Gold are ‘exceptionally knowledgeable, and safe partners in negotiations’. Patrick Deasy acts for clients investing in emerging markets, such as Asia and Africa. Steven Cowins, who heads the real estate funds practice, assisted Goodman with forming £1.2bn fund Goodman UK Logistics Partnership, which invests in logistics and industrial development opportunities. Ajay Pathak is a go-to lawyer for hedge funds. Elsewhere, the firm has a strong listed funds practice and acts for clients such as ICG Longbow and RIT Capital; Delphine Currie is a key contact. Adrian Brown joined from Nabarro LLP in 2015.

Richard Watkins leads Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s team, whose outstanding reputation in high-end flagship fundraising mandates makes it a go-to option for clients such as Vitruvian, TDR, Rhône Capital and Archer Capital. The group also advises on secondaries transactions. Jonathan Kandel and Justin Gardner joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Linklaters LLP, respectively, while Leith Moghli made partner and Paul Watt relocated from New York to the London office. In other developments, Mark Mifsud, Kate Downey and Alexandra Conroy joined Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP. Mateja Maher joined Campbell Lutyens.

Latham & Watkins’ ‘depth of experience and expertise is difficult to beat’. Tom Alabaster worked with the Washington DC office to advise Carlyle International Energy Partners on forming a fund targeting investments into US and Canada-based energy companies. Nick Benson and of counsel Nigel Campion-Smith are also recommended.

Linklaters LLP’s broad practice spans private, real estate, listed, hedge and retail funds. Jonathan de Lance-Holmes handled the spin-off of PW Real Assets from Perella Weinberg, and is advising the former on raising its first independent European real estate fund, PW Real Estate Fund III. Edward Smith handles a range of private and listed funds issues, with particular expertise in Asia-related matters. Rahul Manvatkar is particularly strong in real estate and hedge funds, and is a notable AIFMD expert. Matthew Keogh is the global head of the investment management group.

At MJ Hudson, which focuses on serving clients in the alternative assets industry, its team has ‘outstanding knowledge of fund formation issues’ and ‘an awareness of jurisdiction-specific regulatory and marketing nuances’. ‘Rising starBen Watford and Martin Cornish lead the hedge funds practice, while key private funds contacts include ‘excellent figureheadMatthew Hudson, Ted Craig and Eamon Devlin. Octopus Investments, Augusta and Gulf Investment Corporation are among its clients.

Stephen Robinson leads Macfarlanes LLP’s investment management group, which handles a range of structures for UK-based and international clients. Christopher Good assisted Alchemy with the £600m fundraising for its third special opportunities fund. In the real estate funds space, Alex Amos acted for Legal & General in its joint venture with PGGM, structured as a Jersey legal partnership, which will initially invest £600m into purpose-built private rental housing UK-wide. Simon Thomas heads the hedge funds practice, while Tim Cornick and Lora Froud are recommended for retail funds. Consultant Bridget Barker is ‘well versed in industry/market terms’.

In the private funds space, Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s David Young led the advice to Dalmore on its launch of a fund connected with its successful bid for the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project. Another key figure, Nick Rutter heads the retail funds practice, which acts for clients such as Thesis, Valu-Trac and Sturgeon Ventures. Listed funds expert Guy Norfolk is ‘pragmatic and has a wealth of knowledge’.

Nabarro LLP has a first-class reputation in real estate funds, handling some of the largest, most complex cross-border fund structurings and indirect real estate investments in the market. Amanda Howard, who ‘knows the industry like the back of her hand’, leads the team, which includes Christopher Luck and Jonathan Cantor. Darren Stolzenberg acted for Tristan Capital Partners in the launch of its €1.5bn fund European Property Investors Special Opportunities IV. Victoria Henry joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, while Deborah Lloyd has retired.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s impressive funds practice spans a full range of investment funds. Listed funds is a historical area of strength, and the firm is also well regarded in the real assets space, including: energy, real estate, technology and infrastructure. In 2015, Richard Sheen acted for PricewaterhouseCoopers as listing sponsor in the IPO of Commerzbank CCBI Investment Funds ICVC. Ian Fox advised Harbour Advisors Cayman on the launch of Harbour Fund III, which funds international arbitration, tribunal and litigation claims. Michael Newell and Mark Lloyd Williams are also recommended.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s private funds work for sponsors involves matters ranging from fund formation and capital raising to portfolio transactions, fund restructurings and secondaries transactions. It also assists institutional investors with investments into funds and co-investments. Key figures are global practice head John Daghlian, Daniel Quinn and recent hire Eve Ellis, who joined from Mishcon de Reya LLP. Solomon Wifa moved to Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Osborne Clarke’s practice is particularly active in real estate, private equity and venture capital funds. Tim Simmonds and associate director Alison Riddle handled the formation of Chenavari Real Estate Fund II for Chenavari; Riddle is a recent hire from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Paul Anning is assisting Notion Capital Managers with fundraising for Notion Capital III.

In 2015, Paul Hastings LLP hired Duncan Woollard from King & Wood Mallesons. Woollard recently handled the formation of Investindustrial Fund VI, which focuses on investments in mid-market companies in southern Europe. Real estate funds expert David Ryland is assisting Alpha with establishing a fund targeting investments into private residential rental properties in the UK. Garrett Hayes and Christian Parker are also recommended, as is new arrival Paul Severs, who joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP has particular sector specialisms in real estate, private equity, renewable energy and infrastructure, as well as debt, where it acts for financial institutions, asset managers and institutional investors. David Heffron, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard LLP in 2015, jointly leads the practice in London with Daniel Greenaway and Ian Warner. Elizabeth Budd joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, while Derek Stroud moved to Brodies LLP.

Proskauer Rose LLP assists with fund formation, primary investments and secondaries transactions for some of the most prominent players in the private funds market. Highlights included advising Montagu Private Equity on closing its fifth fund at €2.75bn. Practice head Nigel van Zyl, who has ‘an excellent industry reputation’, is recommended along with Oliver Rochman, Andrew Shore and Kate Simpson. In 2015, Bruno Bertrand-Delfau and John Verwey joined from Baker McKenzie LLP and Pinsent Masons LLP, respectively, and Catherine Sear was promoted to partner.

Reed Smith LLP’s group focuses on alternative investment funds, where it advises clients on matters such as fund finance, execution of investment strategies, regulatory issues, fund investments and investment manager transactions. Panos Katsambas, Winston Penhall, Oliver s’Jacob and Robert Porter are the key contacts.

Ropes & Gray LLP has a strong reputation in private funds, particularly in credit funds, and its integrated tax and regulatory expertise is another standout feature of the practice. Matthew Judd is ‘very smart’ and ‘doesn’t hesitate to stand his ground when needed’. Judd and Anand Damodaran are working with the New York office to advise CVC Capital Partners on three fund formation mandates concurrently. Michelle Moran is also recommended, as is Chris McGarry, who joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges in 2015.

Schulte Roth & Zabel International LLP has ‘by far the deepest team among all firms practising in hedge funds – which is reflected in the depth and breadth of its knowledge ‘. Christopher Hilditch, Nick Fagge, Steven Whittaker and senior associate Ron Feldman are among key names in the group, which provides ‘commercial, pragmatic solutions to very challenging questions’. In private funds, Josh Dambacher and Jim McNally handled the launch of a Cayman fund focused on credit opportunities for Chorus Capital. Senior associate Richard Cheadle and recently promoted partner Cathy Weist are also recommended.

In 2015, Shearman & Sterling LLP’s practice head John Adams advised US hedge fund manager Maverick Capital on the formation and management of a UCITS sub-fund offered via a Luxembourg UCITS platform. Adams also worked with the New York office to assist International Finance Corporation with launching private equity fund IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund. Of counsel William Murdie is another name to note.

Sidley Austin LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’ with its fund structuring and regulatory capabilities ranking as ‘among the best in the world’. Stephen Ross’ team includes James Oussedik and senior associate Nicole Suignard, who acted for Greenvale Capital in forming an investment management business and launching a global equities hedge fund. In addition to forming classic hedge funds, the group has expertise in UCITS structures and bespoke private funds, and also handles institutional investor mandates.

Simmons & Simmons’ heavyweight reputation in hedge funds sees it act for clients such as Och-Ziff and Brevan Howard. Richard Perry advised Henderson/AlphaGen Capital on the launch of The AlphaGen Volantis Catalyst Fund II. Dale Gabbert is handling the restructuring of the Sturgeon Capital Asia Fund, enabling it to be one of the first hedge funds to invest in Iran. Iain Cullen is a leading industry figure. Elsewhere, the firm acts for sponsors and investors in private funds matters; David Williams is assisting Iona Capital with forming funds to invest in various UK infrastructure assets. Williams is also recommended for listed funds work. Neil Simmonds and Mahrie Webb are key contacts for retail funds.

Led by Jason Glover, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘extraordinarily driven’ team acts for some of the largest and most active European sponsors in their flagship fundraising mandates. Highlights in 2015 included acting as sole counsel to EQT in the €6.75bn fundraising for EQT VII, and the fundraising for Coller Capital’s $7bn seventh secondaries fund. Seema Shah recently made partner. Gareth Earl has ‘technical acumen’.

Stephen Sims and James Anderson are the key partners at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP, whose private funds practice undertakes fund formation and managed accounts, as well as fund manager M&A and secondaries transactions, among other matters. Sims assisted LetterOne Technology with launching a $16bn fund investing in technology and telecoms businesses in Europe and the US.

Listed funds and private funds are cornerstones of Slaughter and May’s practice, which recently acted for Pollen Street Capital on the establishment and listing of Honeycomb Investment Trust, and is advising Allianz Global Investors on its acquisition of Rogge Global Partners. Robert Chaplin and Paul Dickson are the main contacts.

Illustrative of Stephenson Harwood’s first-rate reputation in listed funds, it acted on eight UK-listed fund launches for the manager/issuer in 2015. Highlights included Alex Haynes’ handling of Woodford Patient Capital Trust’s £800m IPO for Woodford Investment Management, and William Saunders assisting with the IPO of Schroder European Real Estate Investment Trust on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. Andrew Sutch and Elizabeth Field are also recommended. Another key individual, James Tinworth focuses on hedge funds matters.

Travers Smith LLP’s private funds highlights included Sam Kay advising Hermes Infrastructure on its £1.16bn fundraising for Hermes GPE Infrastructure Fund. On the listed funds side, Aaron Stocks acted for Investec Bank as the sponsor in the £101m IPO of Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust. The practice also handles private and listed real estate fund structures. Will Normand, who made partner in 2015, and Jeremy Elmore are other key names in the team, whose funds practice is complemented by its tax and regulatory capabilities.

Boutique firm Watson Brady LLP, which focuses on serving clients in the funds industry, is ‘a hidden gem’. Led by Mark Brady, who is ‘vastly experienced’ and ‘a safe pair of hands’, the team advises on fund formation, as well as fund operational, regulatory, and corporate matters.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ funds advisory practice deals with every aspect of global fund managers’ businesses and funds activities. Highlights for Ed Gander’s team included acting for Deutsche Bank Asset Management during the launch of its $1.5bn flagship open-ended Core Real Estate Fund in Asia Pacific. Other clients include Mercer Real Estate Partners, KKR and Abraaj Capital. Nigel Clark is also recommended. David Irvine and Stephen Fox made partner, while Jonathan Kandel moved to Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.

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