Gowling WLG advises investment managers and financial institutions on the life cycle of closed-ended listed funds with work encompassing fund formations, IPOs and secondary raises, reorganisations and liquidations. The team acts for new and existing fund managers on a continuous basis, with a strong share of the domestic IPO market; it also leverages the firm's wider regulatory and tax expertise. Practice head Nick Heather has longstanding relationships with major fund and investment managers, and is recognised for his commercial advice, while Oliver Riley focuses on the launch, structuring and reconstruction of onshore and offshore funds, working with a number of investment banks. Other key names include Kristian Rogers, who specialises in capital raisings and restructurings; and principal associate Kate Seabourne, who wins praise for her equity capital markets and corporate financing work.
Listed funds in London
‘High level of partner involvement. Very good specialist knowledge of the sector. Commercial approach.’
‘Nick Heather – very good alignment with clients’ business interests; good source of business ideas; good oversight of the team. John Reed – consistently diligent and knowledgeable.’
Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust PLC
M&G Credit Income Investment Trust
BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust
J.P. Morgan Cazenove
Odyssean Investment Trust
Tufton Oceanic Assets
Mercia Asset Management
Stifel Nicolaus Europe
RM Secured Direct Lending
Urban Logistics REIT
Empiric Student Property
GCP Student Living
Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT
AEW UK REIT
AEW UK Long Lease REIT
Triple Point Social Housing REIT
GCP Asset Backed Income Fund
Bricklane Residential REIT
Bricklane London REIT
Shore Capital and Corporate Limited
- Advised Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust on its heavily oversubscribed IPO on the premium segment of the Official List and the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income PLC on the publication of a prospectus relating to the implementation of a 12 month share issuance programme and an initial placing, open offer and offer for subscription which raised £46.4m.
- Advised Draper Esprit on its oversubscribed £100m fundraise by way of a conditional placing of new shares.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP remains active in the space, advising on several prominent and high-value fund IPOs, fund launches for several major investment houses, and regulatory compliance and structuring mandates including innovative capital and voting structures. The team also advises new fund managers on formation, listing and governance matters. The team is led by Nigel Farr, who is an expert in closed-ended funds and acts for managers and investment banks on specialist fund launches. Tim West specialises in fund launches, secondary capital raisings and reconstructions, acting for several of the firm's most high-profile clients. Also recommended is Nish Dissanayake, who works with both institutional fund managers and new managers on fund formation and regulatory compliance issues.
‘The team provides very proactive, pragmatic and experience-backed advice and is always prepared to go the extra mile.’
‘Nish Dissanayake stands out as a consummate legal services provider – bright, efficient, pragmatic and having the human touch, which is very much to his credit. Nigel Farr is always on hand when necessary and clearly brings a wealth of experience and credibility. An impressive bunch!’
‘They are responsive and provide good advice and guidance when required.’
‘Unparalleled team depth.’
‘Nigel Farr – the sector’s leading practitioner.’
‘Leading firm for depth of resource and specialist experience. Well-resourced both at partner level and below partner level.’
‘Nigel Farr – leading profile and lengthy experience. Tim West – dedicated, thoughtful and helpful approach.’
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust
US Solar Fund
The Schiehallion Fund
RTW Venture Fund
Hipgnosis Songs Fund
Cabot Square Alternatives
Boussard & Gavaudan Holding
Highbridge Tactical Credit Fund
Real Estate Credit Investments
Funding Circle SME Income Fund
Cambridge Innovation Capital
Pershing Square Holdings
Polar Capital Partners
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Aberdeen Standard Asset Management
Third Point Offshore Investors
Marble Point Loan Financing
- Advised The Schiehallion Fund on the IPO of a new $477m Baillie Gifford managed investment company.
- Advised JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets Limited on its IPO and admission on the premium segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised US Solar Fund plc on the publication of a prospectus in connection with its successful $250m IPO on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities and the FCA’s Official List.
Stephenson Harwood advises a wide array of closed-end listed funds, investment trusts and managers; alongside its longstanding fund clients, the group also recently won new instructions from major players including Investec and JP Morgan. The experienced team, led by the well-established William Saunders, has remained active, handling launches and IPOs, fund management M&A and an array of corporate governance and restructuring mandates; in a recent highlight, Alex Haynes advised on the high-profile change of management at Woodford Capital Trust, which became Schroders Capital Trust. Elizabeth Field is noted for her work on fund establishments and raisings, as well as corporate transactions and sponsor-side work. Senior associates Kate Longman and Alexa Whitehead are praised for their key roles in major matters, including high-value fund raisings and IPOs for a variety of open and closed-ended funds.
‘Strength, depth, knowledge. experience and accurate drafting. The strength and depth of the listed funds team makes SH a “go to” firm.’
‘William Saunders- partner in charge of the team with no nonsense approach , cuts to the chase and great ability to eliminate the otiose and prolix drafting. Carolyn Hall – associate; Intelligent, considered and assiduous. Kate Longman – senior associate; High quality operator, This is a high calibre team.’
‘Strong closed end funds team led by experienced and commercial William Saunders.’
‘William Saunders and Kate Longman – efficient, commercial and personable. Good to work with.’
‘Cohesive, well-balanced and knowledgeable team that clearly enjoys working together, which makes it a joy to work with them.’
‘William Saunders is one of the best lawyers I’ve worked with over the last 30+ years. He is very knowledgeable, pragmatic and not afraid to give advice that he knows isn’t what the client wants to hear.’
Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust
Acorn Income Fund
Allianz Global Investors GmbH
Allianz Technology Trust PLC
Alternative Asset Opportunities PCC
Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund
BlackRock Income & Growth Investment Trust
BlackRock Throgmorton Trust
Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe
CC Japan Income & Growth Trust
City of London Investment Trust
Coupland Cardiff Asset Management
Draper Esprit VCT
Eighteen East Capital
European Opportunities Trust
European Real Estate Investment Trust
GCP Infrastructure Investments
Gore Street Capital
Gore Street Energy Storage Fund
Gravis Capital Management
- Advised Milton Group on the merger with Premier Asset Management Group PLC.
- Acted for Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc (now known as Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc) in connection with the process of selecting and agreeing terms with a new portfolio manager after the high-profile resignation of Woodford Investment Management Limited.
- Advised European Opportunities Trust in relation to the termination of its investment management agreement with Jupiter Asset Management and its move to newly set up investment manager, Devon Equity Management Limited.
Travers Smith LLP handles complex fund life cycle matters for a variety of major investment funds, managers and financial sponsors, with work including fund launches and IPOs, secondary issues, restructurings and fund governance issues. The practice also works with clients on regulatory mandates including Brexit considerations and cross-jurisdictional compliance work. Of particular note is the team's relationships with institutional bank sponsors, and its growing portfolio of US-based fund managers seeking to launch in the UK. Practice head Aaron Stocks is an established authority on listed funds, advising major clients on the full spectrum of issues, with a particular specialism in IPOs and high-value placings. Will Normand focuses on closed-ended funds, advising funds and their sponsors on fundraisings, placings and secondary transactions.
Other key lawyers:
‘In depth knowledge of this specialist area, The advice has always been pragmatic, practical and timely.’
‘Aaron Stocks provides a highly pragmatic approach and practical advice, whilst clearly having an excellent understanding of the law relating to the Funds sector and drawing on a depth of experience.’
‘Very strong on technical insight and client management.’
‘Travers Smith has a vast amount of experience in the listed funds space – they work extraordinarily hard to get the deal done. They are also thought leaders putting put a lot of content and engaging with stakeholders more than some other firms.’
‘Will Normand – dynamic, no nonsense, commercial and refreshingly honest.’
‘Aaron Stocks – very commercial, knows the rules inside-out and builds strong relationships with clients.’
Smithson Investment Trust
Fundsmith Emerging Equities Trust
Merian Chrysalis Investment Company
Irish National Treasury Management Agency
Impact Healthcare REIT
Alternative Income REIT
- Advised Numis Securities on a unique combination of a partial tender offer and subscription to effect a partial takeover.
- Advised Smithson on one of the largest and most frequent tap issues ever conducted by a UK investment trust. It involved weekly market announcements and monitoring and a complex framework of rule analysis.
- Advised Merian Chrysalis Investments on acquisitions following a new placing. The company raised gross proceeds of £175m and has announced follow-on investments in each of Starling Bank, TransferWise and The Hut Group.
CMS provides a full service offering to investment companies including fund managers, banks and financial service providers active in the closed-ended listed funds space. The team increasingly acts for issuers on fund formations, IPOs and secondary placings, as well as advising on tax and regulatory matters and corporate governance issues including management changes and shareholder disputes. The team is led by consultant Cathy Pitt, who is highly-regarded in the industry and added Aquila European Renewables to her client list of fund managers and investment banks in 2019. Also of note are equity capital markets head Alasdair Steele, who specialises in equity raises; and Jack Shepherd, who works with investment banks and fund managers on placings and raisings alongside advisory work.
Aquila European Renewables Income Fund
JP Morgan Global Convertibles Income Fund
Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Fund
Winterflood Investment Trusts
JP Morgan Cazenove
Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust
- Acted for Aquila European Renewables Income Fund on its $150m IPO.
- Acted for Stifel Nicolaus Europe as bookrunner on a fundraising by way of a placing and offer for subscription of Supermarket Income REIT.
- Acted for Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Limited (SEQI) as English legal counsel in connection with a number of secondary fundraisings, including a share issuance, open offer, placing and offer for subscription in June 2019, and share issuance in September 2019 following a placing by SEQI.
Dentons provides a full-service offering to its listed funds clients, which include longstanding institutional managers including Aberdeen Standard, and several major REITs; the group advises on fund formations, launches, IPOs and a variety of corporate governance advisory matters. The team is divided between the firm's London and Edinburgh offices, with expertise in the Scottish market alongside strong cross-border capabilities. The team is jointly led by Guy Norfolk, who has notable relationships with Aberdeen Standard and Bailie Gifford; and Edinburgh-based Claire Armstrong, who advises funds on all aspects of formations and operations, with a particular specialism in closed-ended funds.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides prompt, thoughtful, pragmatic and user-friendly advice. Guy Norfolk (Partner) in particular stands out and he is well aided and supported by Claire Armstrong (Partner).’
‘The team has always provided what we need in a timely and accessible manner and we have always been satisfied with their contributions.’
‘I found our team at Dentons (London and Edinburgh) to be very knowledgeable and very willing to go beyond the ‘extra mile’ to see our project across the line. Eternally grateful!’
‘We really valued the customer-centric approach coupled with deep knowledge and expertise during a recent listed funds transaction. This took place over a period of months and not only were the team proactive and responsive throughout but they were clearly communicated well at their end and no balls were dropped. The proactive nature of the interactions and suggestions of where we had options or where there was only one legally allowable route was much appreciated. As you would expect the standard extensive contract work was completed efficiently.’
‘Guy Norfolk (Partner) and Jenna Lalji in particular. Guy – deep experience in our market; highly approachable and proactive; collaborative. Jenna – specialist knowledge on this subject matter; responsive.’
Baillie Gifford & Co
Aberdeen Standard Investments
The PRS REIT
The Edinburgh Investment Trust
Jupiter US Smaller Companies
Jupiter Asset Management
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust
Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust
CQS New City High Yield Fund
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust
Aberdeen Asian Income Fund
Aberdeen Japan Income Trust
Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus
Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust
Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust
CQS Natural Resources Growth and Income
- Advised the board of Hansa Trust PLC on redomiciling the closed-ended investment fund to Bermuda.
- Advising Scottish Mortgage on the change of trustee on its various long-term debenture stock, with Bank of Scotland resigning and Apex replacing it.
- Providing continuous BAU advice to the Baillie Gifford stable of investment trusts.
Hogan Lovells International LLP has strong fund listing capabilities and has listed funds across key domiciles including Luxembourg, the Channel Islands and Bermuda, as well as launching funds on key UK stock exchanges. The team benefits from the firm's US presence, advising clients on US regulatory and securities issues. The team advises a number of major fund managers and institutional investors on the launch and operation of funds active across a variety of alternative asset classes, including private equity, infrastructure, and renewable energy funds. Erik Jamieson leads the team, and advises issuers and underwriters on a variety of listings across international stock exchanges. Jonathan Baird is dual-qualified in the US and the UK, and provides non-US issuers with US securities and regulatory advice. Jeremy Pickles works on fund structurings and listings across a range of domiciles and asset classes.
‘The team is highly skilled and a pleasure to work with. They are great problem solvers, but also combine excellent client care and commercial flair. You know that they are on your side and will strive to deliver the best results.’
‘The partners, notably Erik Jamieson and Nicholas Holman, provide pragmatic and insightful legal advice. They know the listed funds market extremely well and are able to provide strategic and cost effective advice. Erik is very commercial in his approach to client projects and getting deals done. Jeremy Pickles is a great addition to the partner team.’
Acheron Portfolio Company
BBGI Global Infrastructure
CATCo Reinsurance Opportunities Fund
Clipstone Logistics REIT
HICL Infrastructure Company
International Public Partnerships Limited
IRF European Finance Investments Ltd
John Laing Capital Management
John Laing Environmental Assets Group
John Laing Infrastructure Fund
Life Settlement Assets
Macquarie Capital Partners (Europe) Ltd
- Advised HICL Infrastructure Company Limited on moving the domicile of its investment business to the United Kingdom and its subsequent winding up.
- Advised CATco Reinsurance Opportunities Fund Limited on a run-off phase during which its assets would be sold off.
- Advised Numis on the floating of a European renewables company (Aquila Renewables Income Fund PLC) managed by Aquila Capital on the London Stock Exchange.
Norton Rose Fulbright advises institutional investors and a growing portfolio of fund and asset managers on the full spectrum of issues relating to closed-ended listed funds encompassing fund formations, IPOs, secondary raisings and regulatory compliance issues. The team has particular expertise in working with infrastructure and renewable energy-related funds, and is led by Richard Sheen - a highly experienced practitioner who advises JP Morgan Elect and Starwood on fund launches, structurings and fund raising matters. Ian Fox is highly active in launch, structuring, and management work for a number of asset managers and investors, while Mark Lloyd-Williams has a notable focus on fund acquisitions and transactions. Senior associate Margaret Simcock advises on a variety of structuring, establishment and restructuring matters for asset managers, investors and funds.
‘Great access to partners at all times and the best fee earners allocated to the job. They are an absolute pleasure to deal with.’
‘The consistency of the team and the quality of the individuals is a constant. What’s not to like? Ian Fox and Richard Sheen in particular are a cut above.’
‘Ian Fox always provides hands on advice, fully committed and dedicated to his clients. A background of many years in the sector and technically very strong.’
‘Highly experienced at partner level with clients directly benefiting.’
‘Ian Fox – accomplished funds practitioner. Richard Sheen – combines deep funds experience with broader corporate insight.’
JP Morgan Cazenove
Starwood European Real Estate Finance
Schroder Real Estate Investment Management
JPMorgan Income & Growth Investment Trust
The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited (TRIG)
Macau Property Opportunities Fund
Crystal Amber Fund
- Advised Lightspeed Solar Partners PLC on its proposed IPO on the Specialist Fund Segment.
- Advising Voyager Air, a new Guernsey incorporated closed ended investment company, on its proposed IPO and listing on the Specialist Fund Segment of the London Stock Exchange.
- Advising The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) on the establishment of a 12 month share issuance programme of new Ordinary Shares and/or C Shares.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises fund managers and investment trusts on a variety of matters including fund formations and listings, investment strategies, financings and regulatory compliance work, with expertise across key fund domiciles including Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Singapore and Ireland. Ronald Paterson leads the team and has extensive experience advising fund managers on strategy and management issues, regulatory regimes and considerations, and the establishment of alternative fund types and structures across various asset classes. Principal associate Sarah Burnside heads up the Edinburgh financial services team, specialising in investment fund launches and restructurings for asset managers and institutional investors.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has been with us since we started the fund so knows the business inside and out which makes them a really valuable resource. The team will take the time to get to know your business but will not actively try to cross sell services which we appreciate.’
‘There is good depth across the team and across the various levels of experience.’
‘Sarah Burnside is technically very strong and is very knowledgeable of the regulation specific to investment funds. Sarah also demonstrates good commercial awareness which is highly beneficial when drafting regulatory documentation. Sarah is also very strong in front of Boards and is able to respond to questions in a clear and concise manner. Sarah is a great asset on a transaction!’
TwentyFour Income Fund
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust
- Advised on TwentyFour’s 2019 realisation opportunity, comprising a placing, offer for subscription and open offer and placing programme and involving a change to TFIF’s investment policy and associated changes to its articles of incorporation.
- Advised UK Mortgages Limited on a change to its investment policy and providing UKML’s shareholders with a realisation opportunity, by making amendments to UKML’s share buyback policy.
- Advised Finsbury Growth Trust on its placing programme of new ordinary shares, involving the publication of a prospectus, preceded by a circular convening a general meeting in order to increase FGT’s ability to issue shares on a non-pre-emptive basis.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP advises bookrunners and issuing funds on a range of matters including fund placements and raisings, structurings, operational issues and cross-border investments and transactions, with a number of US/UK dual-qualified lawyers able to advise on securities and regulatory issues in both jurisdictions. The firm's global reach and broader capabilities allows it to provide expertise in cross-border transactions and wider corporate, tax and employment matters. Practice head Delphine Curry specialises in closed-ended listed funds work, advising several institutional managers and bookrunners on listings and secondary fund raisings.
Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May advises investment trusts and asset managers on complex fund structures for investments in various industry sectors, as well as notably acting for the UK Government as a trusted adviser on sector investments. The team sits in the firm's corporate department, allowing it to advise across cross-border transactions, financings and asset manager M&A, as well as providing standalone regulatory advice. The team is led by Paul Dickson, who advises a variety of asset managers on bespoke fund structures, with a particular specialism in limited partnership arrangements. Nick Pacheco focuses on the financial institutions sector.
Other key lawyers:
Arrow Global Group
Honeycomb Investment Trust
HM Government (including the Cabinet Office, BEIS, and HM Treasury)
Legal & General (including Legal & General Investment Management)
Neptune Investment Management
Standard Life Aberdeen (including Aberdeen Standard Investments)
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
- Advised HM Treasury on the establishment of Zouk Charging Infrastructure LP, a £400m investment fund relating to the funding of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
- Advised Sumitomo Mitsui on its acquisition of TT International, a UK-based specialist asset manager.
- Advised Neptune Investment Management on its sale to Liontrust Asset Management.