Firms To Watch: Hedge funds

K&L Gates LLP made a notable hire for its London asset management and investment funds team in June 2023 with the hire of Fieldfisher hedge funds leader Ron Feldman.

Hedge funds in London

Schulte Roth & Zabel International LLP

Described as ‘exceptional for hedge fund formation matters,’ Schulte Roth & Zabel International LLP‘s London team works alongside the firm’s New York and Washington offices to advise on complex cross-border funds matters. The practice assists both established players and new entrants to the hedge fund space on the creation of novel investment vehicles targetting a range of asset classes, including fintech, cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. Jointly heading the team are Josh Dambacher, whose practice encompasses the structuring of seed capital investments and funds themselves, and Christopher Hilditch, who advises on the structuring of funds, fund transactions and investor issues. Lee Smith also advises on the structuring of funds, with particular strength in launching European funds in addition to assisting funds going through restructuring. Special counsel Amy MacDonagh advises on the launch, operation and restructuring of hedge funds, while fellow special counsel Drew Miller focuses on compliance, advising on US and European securities law.

Practice head(s):

Josh Dambacher; Christopher Hilditch

Other key lawyers:

Lee Smith; Amy MacDonagh; Drew Miller


‘Exceptional for hedge fund formation matters, market-leading practice for hedge fund start-up work.’

‘Josh Dambacher – Schulte’s rainmaker, has exceptional client management skills and a very strong understanding of the commercial requirements of hedge fund clients.’

‘Lee Smith offers deep knowledge of hedge fund matters and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Outstanding team at all levels of seniority, led by an outstanding leadership, Josh Dambacher in particular. The team has strength and depth and is undoubtedly the very best in the market for hedge funds, and anything innovative or complicated.’

‘There is no other firm that compares. It is the one-stop shop, and the Rolls-Royce for hedge funds.’

‘Josh Dambacher stands out as the brightest, most solution-oriented, creative and best technical lawyer I know. He is commercial and immensely responsive. He is super knowledgeable in UK and US law issues.’

‘Solid understanding of fund formation and the regulatory space.’

‘Christopher Hilditch always finds time.’

Key clients

Alpha Wave Global LP

Credit Suisse Insurance Linked Strategies Ltd.

Decagon Asset Management LLP

Florin Court Capital LLP

Marshall Wace LLP

Pelham Capital Ltd

Qube Research & Technologies Limited

RWC Partners Limited

SEO Management AG

Squarepoint Capital LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Alberto Gallo and Aditya Aney on the establishment of Andromeda Capital Management Ltd., an emerging global credit manager spinning out of Algebris, an established credit manager.
  • Advised Florin Court Capital LLP on the launch of a new systematic macro fund structure.
  • Advised Benjamin Durham on the establishment of Decagon Asset Management LLP, a UK-based investment manager with a risk-arbitrate focus.

Simmons & Simmons

Being ‘well plugged in to the hedge fund industry’ allows Simmons & Simmons to support fund managers looking to structure and launch complex new products, with a focus on bespoke structures and fee arrangements in addition to expertise in emerging asset classes such as fintech and digital assets. Devarshi Saksena leads the team, providing support across the life cycle of hedge funds, including structuring, regulation and marketing. Lucian Firth assists with the structuring of hedge funds and managed accounts, while also spearheading the practice group’s ESG work. Sarah Crabb specialises in the structuring of open-ended fund structures, with particular expertise in the fintech and digital asset sectors. Described as ‘the doyen of UK hedge fund lawyers,’ Iain Cullen is noted for handling the launch of several of the UK’s largest hedge fund structures, while managing associates Tom Pointer and Kate Tracey both advise on a range of regulatory regimes, including AIFMD and MiFID II, with the latter also assisting on ESG matters.

Practice head(s):

Devarshi Saksena

Other key lawyers:

Lucian Firth; Sarah Crabb; Iain Cullen; Tom Pointer; Kate Tracey; Charlotte Thomas


‘Lucian Firth is pragmatic, commercial, logical.’

‘The firm effectively established hedge funds as a legal practice area in its own right. There continues to be a deep bench with a good scope of knowledge and experience across most alternative asset management sectors.’

‘The firm is also very well plugged in to the hedge fund industry, which can often provide insight and efficiencies when working with new counterparties and service providers.’

Key clients

Brevan Howard Capital Management LP

Man Group

GSA Capital Partners LLP

PGIM Wadhwani LLP

Fosse Capital

Kite Lake Capital Management (UK) LLP

LMR Partners LLP

East X LLP

Theleme Partners LLP

Lansdowne Partners

Aaro Capital


Both established players and new entrants to the hedge fund manager market come to Akin for support with the launching of new funds, and the firm is also able to advise on regulatory and tax regimes in the UK, EU and US. The practice advises fund managers on seed capital arrangements, hybrid fund structures and the drafting of key documentation. Leading the team are private equity specialist Daniel Quinn, Ian Meade and Tim Pearce, who assist hedge fund managers with the foundation and structuring of funds in addition to regulatory obligations. Hamish Annandale, made partner in January 2023, and counsel Melissa Kinsmore-Ward advises on the establishment of alternative investment structures.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Quinn; Ian Meade; Tim Pearce

Other key lawyers:

Hamish Annandale; Melissa Kinsmore-Ward


‘Very little in the legal world is unique – Akin are just very, very good!’

‘We recently launched a Cayman fund with US and Cayman feeders plus a few extra complications. The process was smooth, turnaround quick and advice was always sound.’

‘I think what may set Akin apart is the preparedness to express a clear view on issues – and the strong commerciality they have.’

‘The partners at Akin are super smart with strong commercial acumen.’

‘A great source of advice on legal and non-legal issues.’

‘Hamish Annandale is one of London’s most talented hedge fund lawyers.’

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP provides ‘clear and direct guidance to clients’ including multi-billion dollar managers and smaller industry players. The practice is well versed in advising hedge funds on cross-border operations, advising on the start-up of new funds and related seed funding deals, while supporting existing funds with regulatory, tax and corporate matters. Leading the team is Gus Black, head of the firm’s financial services group. Abigail Bell advises both hedge and hybrid fund structures on investing in a range of asset classes, assisting with a range of corporate documentation, seed funding transactions and regulatory compliance. Craig Borthwick specialises in large-scale fund launches, with particular expertise in managed accounts and co-investment agreements, while Mikhaelle Schiappacasse, head of the firm’s European ESG group, assists hedge funds across a variety of domiciles on complying with sustainability regimes, including Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

Practice head(s):

Gus Black

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Bell; Craig Borthwick; Mikhaelle Schiappacasse


‘Highly knowledgeable, alert to streamlining opportunities for shared clients, clear and direct guidance to clients.’

‘Craig Borthwick is a particular industry expert in the hedge fund structuring and launch space.’

‘Abigail Bell is the main partner we deal with. She is very commercially minded, she knows the different pressures we have and how best to tackle problems in an efficient manner for our business size. She is a pretty big player in our industry in London.’

‘The staff are focused on understanding your particular situation and concerns, and problem-solving from there. Not quoting from the statute or regulations on why you can’t take this or that approach.’

‘Craig Borthwick has supported us from a start-up, providing us with industry contacts across differing service providers in the UK and offshore. This was vital on launching and later the restructuring of our fund.’

‘The Dechert team has strong experience in fund formation, across a range of different fund structures and in a range of jurisdictions, and is well staffed at all experience levels to provide ongoing management company and regulatory advice that can be relied upon.’

‘Craig Borthwick’s strong understanding of all aspects of fund and management company structuring makes him the go-to advisor, and he always makes himself available to clients. Quick to get to the root of the matter, he offers commercially workable and pragmatic advice, and is willing to draw on his colleague’s experience when needed.’

‘Craig Borthwick played a crucial role in launching a fund under tight time constraints, while providing valuable advice and guidance throughout the process.’

Key clients

All Africa Partners LLP

Almace Asset Management LLP

AlphaMiner Capital

Amundsen Investment Management

Adelio Partner

ARP Capital Partners Limited

Aster Capital Management Limited

Bayforest Capital Limited

BlueBell Partners Limited

BlueCove Limited

Cheyne Capital Management (UK) LLP

EFG Asset Management/New Capital

Eleva Capital LLP

EMFI Capital Limited

EOF Partners


Eques Partners


Gemcorp Capital LLP

Genavest Capital Limited

Greentrail Capital


Kryger Capital

LeCap Asset Management

Lynx Asset Management

Machina Capital

Maven Securities Limited

Mile End Capital

Nekton Capital

New Wave

Numen Capital

Nyhavn Capital

Odyssean Capital LLP

OxFORD Asset Management Company

Palmerston Capital Management

Palm Lane Capital

SGCM Capital LLP

Soloda Investment Advisors LLP

Sparta Capital Management

System 2 Capital LLP

TT International

Tico Capital

Tresidor Investment Management LLP

Westbeck Capital Management LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised FIFTHDELTA on its $1.3bn raise.
  • Advised Nekton Capital Limited on the successful launch of their flagship fund.
  • Advised Exor on the successful launch of the new Exor Special Opportunities master and feeder sub-funds.

A&O Shearman

A&O Shearman‘s hedge funds practice centres on the launch, restructuring and re-domiciliation of funds with assets under management between $3-10bn, acting predominantly for fund managers but also investors. Practice head John Adams advises on the drafting of fund documentations and subsequent launches, and is also well versed in UK and EU regulatory regimes. Associate Jessica Brown assists both funds and investors with M&A transactions in addition to supporting the formation and ongoing operation of funds.

Practice head(s):

John Adams

Other key lawyers:

Jessica Brown

Key clients

Prosperity Capital Management

TT International

Attestor Limited

TRG Management LP

Maverick Capital LP

Steadfast Management LP

Red Kite Management

Orbimed Advisors LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Prosperity Capital Management on the potential restructuring and re-domiciliation of multiple hedge funds.
  • Advised Attestor Limited on multiple matters relating to its flagship hedge fund, as well as its various investing entities and downstream deals.
  • Advised Orbimed Advisors LLC in relation to its two UK-listed funds, Worldwide Healthcare Trust PLC, and the Biotech Growth Trust PLC.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter acts for hedge fund managers on matters of fund formation and structuring, assisting with the drafting of investor agreements and seed investment terms. The firm also supports fund managers in complying with regulatory obligations, including those laid out under Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and SFDR. Simon Firth heads the practice, advising on the establishment, operation and regulation of hedge funds, with a growing focus on crypto asset funds.

Practice head(s):

Simon Firth

Key clients

Blockstone Capital

Cultural Capital Fund

RoboCap Partners

S&W Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Blockstone Capital (a trading name for Meliora Capital LLP) as onshore counsel on the formation of a Cayman Islands fund, Blockstone Digital Assets Multi-Strategy Fund.
  • Advised Cultural Capital Fund on a restructuring whereby it moved its assets to a new UK company.
  • Acted as UK counsel to S&W Capital Limited on the formation of three Cayman Islands litigation funding funds investing in UK litigation: VWM Capital Litigation Fund LP, VWMCAP Litigation Fund LP and VWMCAP Litigation Fund 2 LP.

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP launched its London funds team in May 2022, spearheaded by the arrival of practice head Ben Watford from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. The practice focuses primarily on advising small and start-up hedge fund managers investing in emerging asset classes, advising on both the formation of new funds and updating the documentation of existing funds. Newly promoted partner James Tinworth joined from Fieldfisher in September 2022, specialising in alternative funds and related regulatory matters. Associate Christopher Orford advises fund managers on the creation of cross-border fund structures and fund transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ben Watford

Other key lawyers:

James Tinworth; Christopher Orford


‘I have worked with HB for two different mutual clients and have been consistently impressed with the quality of their service. Wishing them well as they develop their London practice.’

‘Ben Watford, James Tinworth and Christopher Orford have all displayed excellent legal expertise, fast responsiveness, a strong client service ethic and are good guys to work with.’

‘The team is on hand almost 24 hours a day. Able to turnaround work quickly and with expertise.’

‘Ben Watford and Christopher Orford work well as a team, available round the clock and were able to bring in expertise from around the firm when required.’

‘The team at Haynes and Boone provide timely and commercially astute advice, in particular in guiding new managers on the launch of their maiden fund.’

‘Ben Watford has a profound understanding of the requirements of new asset managers.’

‘James Tinworth possesses an in-depth knowledge of the UK regulatory environment and the ability to clearly convey these concepts to clients.’

‘Ben Watford really does live and breathe the hedge fund industry, from the start-up ecosystem to hosting charity balls for the great and good of the industry.’

Key clients

Conductor Capital Asset Management LLP

Jenga Investment Partners Limited/Jenga Global Offshore Fund Ltd and Jenga Global Master Fund Ltd

ACM Capital Management Ltd

Velox Capital Partners

Lundy Investors Limited

Qbera Trade Finance Master Fund

Emona Capital LLP

GreenLake Asset Management LLC

Shikuma Master Fund

Kimura Performance Limited

Dhow Kimura African Commodity Trade Finance Fund Ltd

Berry Street Capital Management

Kimura Capital LLP

Frontier Road Limited

Westbeck Capital Management LLP

Tico Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Conductor Capital Asset Management LLP on the launch of an energy commodities-focused fund.
  • Advised Jenga Investment Partners Limited on the establishment and launch of Jenga Global Offshore Fund Ltd and Jenga Global Master Fund Ltd, a Cayman master-feeder fund.
  • Assisted ACM Capital Management Ltd on the drafting of a private placement memorandum, subscription agreement and reviewing management documents ahead of fund launch.