Listed funds in London
Gowling WLG's listed investment funds practice, which is led by Nick Heather, represents both listed vehicles and major intermediaries such as investment banks and brokers, often with support from the firm's tax and regulatory departments. The team has particular expertise in closed-ended listed investment funds, and is one of the busiest firms in this area in terms of deal volumes. The 'exceptional' Oliver Riley focuses on the launch, structuring and reconstruction of onshore and offshore closed-ended funds, while other recommended members of the team include Kristian Rogers, who specialises in capital raisings, John Reed and senior associate Kate Seabourne.
‘The key strength of this team lies in the expertise, experience and commitment to client delivery by its partners and, in particular, Oliver Riley.
‘Oliver Riley stands out as an exceptional legal adviser who exceeds all expectations as regards client availability, expertise in investment fund law and his ability to create a very pleasant working environment for all involved in a transaction‘.
M&G Credit Income Investment Trust plc
CEIBA Investment Limited
BlackRock Investment Management
J.P. Morgan Cazenove
Odyssean Investment Trust plc
Tufton Oceanic Assets Limited
Investec Bank plc
Draper Esprit plc
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited
Stockdale Securities Limited
Peel Hunt LLP
RM Secured Direct Lending plc
Urban Logistics REIT plc
Empiric Student Property plc
GCP Student Living plc
Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT plc
AEW UK REIT PLC
AEW UK Long Lease REIT PLC
Triple Point Social Housing REIT plc
Jefferies International Limited
GCP Asset Backed Income Fund Limited
- Acted for Investec Bank plc as sole sponsor and broker to Smithson Investment Trust plc, which raised £822.5m on IPO.
- Advised on the initial public offering of M&G Credit, a new investment trust managed by M&G, the asset management arm of Prudential.
- Acted on the London listing of CEIBA on the Specialist Fund Segment of the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange in conjunction with an initial issue (by way of placing and offer for subscription) that raised £30m.
- Advised AIM quoted venture capital fund Draper Esprit on its £100mfundraising by way of a conditional placing new ordinary shares.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's investment funds team is 'knowledgeable, experienced, commercial and responsive'. The firm has built a reputation for developing innovative capital structures which often straddle the line between closed-ended and open-ended funds, especially with regards to regulatory and tax aspects and voting structures. IPOs, fundraisings and placing programmes are the firm's core areas of operation, supplemented by a number of regulatory mandates relating to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFD), Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and Brexit. In a standout highlight, team head Nigel Farr, Sarah Pollock and others assisted with the fundraising of SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust, one of the first UK listed investment funds to invest exclusively in the energy efficiency sector. Nish Dissanayake is the name to note for listed fund formation and funds-related regulatory advice. Tim West is also highly recommended.
‘In terms of technical capability they are probably among the best in the market place. As well as being extremely diligent and hard working, the team went beyond the documents and provided thoughtful, commercial and timely advice to guide us through the disrupted equity markets‘.
‘You often hear the term ‘a lawyer’s lawyer’, but I think the HSF team go beyond that and are ‘a client’s lawyer”.
‘One of the leading teams in listed funds. They offer the deepest bench of experienced partners and senior associates. Very diligent, commercial and thorough in their approach to execution‘
‘HSF provides a true one stop shop, commercial solutions to unexpected developments and, most importantly, really felt like an extension of our own team‘.
US Solar Fund plc
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust plc
Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited
Cambridge Innovation Capital plc
Pershing Square Holdings
BioPharma Credit plc
Man Group plc
Polar Capital Partners
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Aberdeen Standard Asset Management
Third Point Offshore Investors Limited
Marble Point Loan Financing Limited
- Advised BioPharma Credit on its placing programme prospectus, involving two placings of a total circa $470m.
- Advised SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust plc on its £100m fundraising via a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange, and its acquisition of 12 energy and energy efficiency projects, which formed the seed assets for this IPO.
- Advised US Solar Fund plc on the publication of a prospectus in connection with its proposed initial public offering of 250m shares at US$1 each.
- Advised Phaunos Timber Fund Limited on the defence of an unsolicited cash offer by Stafford Capital Partners Limited (via a bidco) under the Takeover Code.
- Advised Third Point Offshore Investors Limited on the transfer of the listing category of its ordinary shares from a Standard Listing to a Premium Listing (Closed Ended Investment Fund) of the official list of the UKLA.
William Saunders heads up the investment funds practice at Stephenson Harwood, which is acclaimed for its 'depth of experience across the team and first-class client accessibility'. The firm boasts a constantly growing client roster of both listed funds and brokers, with instructions from a total of eleven new clients in the past year. Regulatory assistance is an area of regular workflow, with the firm supporting clients through the implementation of Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) Regulation and MiFID II. On the IPO side, Alex Haynes and others acted for N+1 Singer in their role as financial adviser and placing agent on the IPO of Hipgnosis Songs Fund. This is the first listed investment company to deliver returns to investors through investment in songs and associated musical intellectual property rights. Senior associate Kate Longman and Alexa Whitehead both garner praise from the firm's competitors.
‘Excellent team culture: no prima donnas, the partners don’t distance themselves from more junior colleagues and there is a clear collaborative approach within the team‘.
‘What makes this firm unique is the expertise of Alex Haynes and the partner-led approach to transactions.
‘Very knowledgeable regarding all aspects of listed funds and listed fund transactions‘.
‘Partners are accessible and delegate effectively but remain up to speed on the status of delegated matters. You can be confident that Stephenson Harwood has the resources to meet your requirements and will provide a high quality service‘.
‘An exceedingly well balanced team with partners who range from specialising in the detailed technical nuances to being commercial street fighters‘.
‘A highly professional and skilled team who are able to act on a variety of asset classes and listing markets‘.
Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust
Acorn Income Fund Limited
Allianz Global Investors GmbH
Allianz Technology Trust PLC
Alternative Asset Opportunities PCC Limited
Aseana Properties Limited
Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust plc
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund Limited
Augmentum Capital LLP
Augmentum Fintech plc
BlackRock Income & Growth Investment Trust plc
BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc
Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Limited
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe
CC Japan Income & Growth Trust plc
Cenkos Securities plc
City of London Investment Trust plc
Coupland Cardiff Asset Management
Dragon Capital Limited
Draper Esprit VCT plc
Eighteen East Capital Limited
European Real Estate Investment Trust Limited
GCP Infrastructure Investments Limited
GLI Finance Limited
Gore Street Capital Limited
Gore Street Energy Storage Fund plc
Gravis Capital Management Limited
Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited
Henderson Global Trust plc
Henderson International Income Trust Fund
Henderson Value Trust
Impax Asset Management Group plc
Invesco Fund Managers Limited
Jupiter Emerging & Frontier Trust plc
Jupiter European Opportunities Trust plc
Jupiter UK Growth Investment Trust PLC
Jupiter Green Investment Trust plc
Lazard World Trust Fund
Lowland Investment Company plc
LXI REIT plc
Manchester & London Investment Trust plc
Miton Group plc
Mobius Capital Partners LLP
Mobius Investment Trust plc
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited
Premier Global Infrastructure Trust plc
Qatar Investment Fund plc
Schroder Real Estate Investment Management Limited
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited
Stockdale Securities Limited
Strand Hanson Limited
Strategic Equity Capital plc
Sturgeon Capital Limited
The Bauhaus Investment Trust plc
The Bankers Trust
The Brunner Investment Trust PLC
The Diverse Income Trust plc
The Establishment Trust plc
The Merchants Trust PLC
Victory Park Capital Advisors
Vietnam Enterprise Investments Limited
Whiteoak Capital Group
Winterflood Securities Limited
Woodford Investment Management LLP
Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc
- Acted for Mobius Capital Partners LLP (a newly formed investment management business launched by Mark Mobius, Carlos Hardenberg and Greg Konieczny) on the IPO of their first investment trust, Mobius Investment Trust plc.
- Advised venture capital firm Augmentum Capital on the successful IPO of its first listed investment fund.
- Acted on the IPO of Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust plc, a new investment trust established to invest primarily in listed Indian securities.
- Acted for N+1 Singer in their role as financial adviser and placing agent to the IPO of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited.
CMS's sector-focused structure allows practitioners in the listed funds department to call upon experts with knowledge in the relevant underlying asset classes. The funds team frequently works with the infrastructure and real estate sectors. Listed funds (including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)) and investment banks feature heavily in the team's client list, with one matter highlight seeing Kirsty Duane advising longstanding client John Laing Infrastructure Fund on its £1.45bn sale to Jura Acquisitions. Practice head Cathy Pitt is 'highly experienced and takes a thorough yet commercial stance'.
‘Deep expertise in listed funds and the ability to tap into the firm’s broader sector capabilities. Competitive costing given the service delivered‘.
‘Cathy Pitt is highly experienced and takes a thorough yet commercial stance‘.
JP Morgan Cazenove
John Laing Infrastructure Fund Limited
- Advised FTSE 250 listed infrastructure fund John Laing Infrastructure Fund Limited on its £1.45bn sale to Jura Acquisitions Limited.
- Advised FTSE 250 listed fund Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Limited on its over-subscribed placing, open offer and offer for subscription.
- Acted for JP Morgan Cazenove on the proposed IPO and admission to the premium segment of the Official List of The Global Sustainability Trust PLC.
- Acted for JP Morgan Cazenove as sole bookrunner on the proposed IPO of Blue Ocean Maritime Income Fund PLC, a shipping credit fund to be admitted to trading on the Specialist Fund Segment.
- Advised healthcare sector real estate investment trust Primary Health Properties plc on its £392m merger with MedicX Fund Limited.
While Hogan Lovells International LLP represents the full spectrum of players in the funds space including sponsors, investors and activists, it has a penchant for issuer-side work. Recent expansion into representing more investment banking clients is also evident. The firm's experience in listing funds on London's equity capital markets spans the London Stock Exchange's Main Market, the Specialist Fund Market and AIM. Besides this, the group also handles primary and secondary capital raisings. The firm's Washington office often supports the London team with securities advice relevant to US-based investors. Erik Jamieson is practice head; Jeremy Pickles is recommended for his expertise in the infrastructure, reinsurance and real estate asset classes.
Other key lawyers:
Acheron Portfolio Company
BBGI Global Infrastructure Ltd
Canaccord Genuity Limited
CATCo Reinsurance Opportunities Fund
Clipstone Logistics REIT Plc
HICL Infrastructure Company Limited
International Public Partnerships Limited
IRF European Finance Investments Ltd
John Laing Capital Management
John Laing Environmental Assets Group
John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd
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.
- Represented Jefferies International Limited acted as Sponsor, Global Co-ordinator, Bookrunner and Financial Adviser on the IPO of Mobius Investment Trust plc.
- Acted fro Life Settlement Assets plc on its IPOon the Specialist Fund Segment following the restructuring of its predecessor fund, Acheron Portfolio Corporation SA.
- Acted as legal advisor to Liberum Capital in relation to major listings in 2018.
- Represented Numis Securities on the introduction of Stenprop Limited to the Specialist Fund Segment.
With a reputation for 'strong investment fund knowledge built up over many years', Norton Rose Fulbright's asset and wealth management team sits within the firm's broader corporate, M&A and securities practice. The group has a strong history advising on IPOs, with mattes including its representation of Trian Investors 1 in the client's £270m offering. 'Reliable, experienced and committed' partner Ian Fox led on this mandate. The firm is also noted for adopting and maintaining close relationships with major regulatory and trade bodies. Senior associate Margaret Simcock boasts both international experience (having spent six months at the firm's Bahrain office) and in-house experience (through a secondment at Fenchurch Advisory Partners). Head of team Richard Sheen is a key contact.
‘One of the leading firms in listed funds‘.
‘The high quality of work is a given with this firm, as are the range of resources it can offer. The big bonus is that the team is pleasure to deal with‘.
‘Ian Fox is highly valued for his deep expertise in listed funds‘.
‘Ian Fox and Richard Sheen both bring high energy and expertise of the highest order. They are a pleasure to deal with‘.
Civitas Social Housing PLC
JP Morgan Cazenove Limited
Starwood European Real Estate Finance Limited
Schroder Real Estate Investment Management
JPMorgan Income & Growth Investment Trust plc and JPMorgan Elect plc
Numis Securities Limited
The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited (TRIG)
Macau Property Opportunities Fund
Trian Investors 1 Limited
- Acting for Trian Investors 1 Limited, a newly incorporated Guernsey company, on its IPO and application for admission of its shares to the Specialist Fund Segment of the London Stock Exchange.
- Acting in relation to the redomiciliation of Utilico Emerging Markets Limited from Bermuda to the UK and the establishment of its successor vehicle Utilico Emerging Markets Trust plc.
- Acting for JPMorgan Cazenove, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, as joint bookrunners, on an initial placing and offer for subscription of C Shares by BioPharma Credit plc and the establishment of a subsequent placing programme of New Ordinary Shares and C Shares.
- Acting in relation to the proposed IPO of a newly incorporated investment company and its application for admission of its securities to the premium segment of the Official List and the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
- Acting for Canaccord Genuity Limited, as sponsor and placing agent, in connection with the IPO of Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust plc.
'Niche expertise in specific areas balanced by sound commercial advice' is a unique feature of the investment funds group at Travers Smith LLP, according to one client. The team is led by Sam Kay, with core practitioners Aaron Stocks and Will Normand highlighted as being 'highly engaged and motivated partners'. Besides working for high-profile funds on the London market, the firm also represents managers with global investor bases and leading investment banks. Recent years have been marked by an increase in the number of US-based managers who choose to instruct the firm, in part due to the ancillary expertise of the firm's in-house US securities law group led by Dan McNamee. Advising Smithson Investment Trust on what was at the time the UK's largest ever investment trust launch was a major recent highlight.
‘I find the whole of the Travers team to be highly engaging, commercial and pragmatic. They are highly knowledgeable and are always on hand to help find solutions. They are extremely well connected in the market and I would not hesitate to recommend them‘.
‘They managed the process extremely well, combining their knowledge of the client with their product expertise to deliver very sound advice. They combine attention to detail with the ability to consider the big picture‘.
‘Both Aaron Stocks and Will Normand have a great breadth of knowledge on the listed market and are the go-to lawyers for me in this sector‘.
‘Senior associate Leigh Stockey is highly skilled and knowledgeable. She will always go the extra mile for her clients‘.
‘Will Normand offers excellence in technical aspects and client management. Aaron Stocks is particularly strong in anticipating roadblocks and delivering sound advice‘.
‘Will Normand combines excellent technical knowledge with insightful commercial input to provide clear and pragmatic advice‘.
‘Professional, personable and very patient; they went above and beyond to help get us to market‘.
Smithson Investment Trust Plc
Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited
Sir Martin Sorrell and S4 Capital Plc
Literacy Capital plc
Impact Healthcare REIT
Ranger Direct Lending Fund plc
Neuberger Berman Europe Limited
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited
Liberum Capital Limited
Numis Securities Limited
Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited
- Advising Smithson Investment Trust plc on its IPO and admission to the official list and to trading on the premium segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in the UK’s largest ever investment trust launch.
- Advised Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, which is advised by Merian Global Investors Limited, on its initial public offering and listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised new client Sir Martin Sorrell and his investment vehicle, S4 Capital Limited, on S4 Capital’s establishment, accelerated £51m private placement and share-for-share reverse acquisition by S4 Capital plc.
- Acting for the issuer, Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited, on the proposed IPO of up to 300 million shares of €1 each in a Luxembourg SICAV and applications for admission to trading on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of London Stock Exchange plc and the Regulated Spot Market of the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
- Advised new client debt fund Blue Ocean Maritime Income plc in connection with its proposed US$250 million IPO and admission to trading on the Specialist Funds Segment of the London Stock Exchange.
'Always available, pleasant to deal with and clear at communicating' is how one client describes Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's investment funds department, which is jointly led by Jonathan Bayliss and Keir Gordon. The group was strengthened by the addition of real estate funds expert Melville Rodrigues, who joined from CMS in April 2018. A varied client list is a key feature of the practice, which regularly assists both major institutional fund management groups and smaller boutique managers. The firm's charity-sector group works hand-in-hand with the funds practice, attracting a number of charity fund managers. Victoria Younghusband is recommended for her 'extremely responsive manner'.
Jonathan Bayliss; Keir Gordon
‘A very capable practice boasting reasonable fees and competent, helpful staff‘.
‘Melville Rodrigues has exceptional market knowledge and is always keen to help‘.
‘Victoria fully understands our expectations, provides valuable insights into the industry, and helps solves legal issues pragmatically and efficiently‘.
Vistra (UK) Limited
Mithras Investment Trust Plc
Alecta Investment Management
The Biotech Growth Trust Plc
Liberum Capital Limited
Chelverton UK Dividend Trust plc
Fidelity Asian Values PLC, Fidelity China Special Situations PLC, Fidelity European Values PLC, Fidelity Japan Trust PLC
Ocean Dial Investment Funds plc
- Advised Resonance Limited on its current and proposed social impact real estate funds: providing accommodation for the homeless and persons with disability.
- Advised Vistra Limited in relation in several fund establishment projects for clients of Vistra.
- Advised PropertyMatch (a joint venture between CBRE and GFI) in relation to secondary trades of closed and open-ended real estate fund units, including associated regulatory issues.
- Conducted legal due diligence for Alecta Investment Management in relation to commitments in institutional real estate funds, as well as secondary trade in fund units.
Reed Smith LLP
The 'very calm and assured' Delphine Currie heads up the investment funds practice group at Reed Smith LLP. Currie specialises in listed funds and REITs, while fellow partner Daniel Winterfeldt is the name to note for US securities advice in the context of matters involving the London Stock Exchange or Link Asset Services. Winterfeldt is one of several dual-qualified practitioners who give the team a transatlantic edge. The practice advises across much of the fund life cycle from fund formation and structuring to regulatory compliance and downstream transactions. Bookrunners, REITs and listed infrastructure vehicles all feature on the firm's varied client roster.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have found the team to be very responsive and able to offer pragmatic advice, not just theoretical options. They know our business well and continue to invest time into the relationship outside of simply providing legal advice‘.
‘Delphine Currie gives well thought-out views on any topic. Nicola Delaney is very responsive and produces high quality work‘.
At Slaughter and May, Roland Turnill and others are advising Prudential on the demerger of its UK & Europe business; this transaction will form two separate listed companies. The firm has developed a reputation for advising financial institutions on the impact of Brexit, including potential restructuring options for the asset management and investment fund arms of these entities. Cross-jurisdictional fund mandates are a core area of work, with pan-European structures being a particular favourite for the corporate team. Robert Chaplin, Paul Dickson and Jan Putnis together lead the practice and are key contacts.
Robert Chaplin; Paul Dickson; Jan Putnis
Honeycomb Investment Trust
Legal & General
Pollen Street Capital
Standard Life Aberdeen
- Acting for Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) on the sale of its capital-intensive insurance business to Phoenix Group.
- Acting for Prudential plc on the demerger of its UK & Europe business (M&G Prudential).
- Acting for Honeycomb Investment Trust plc on the establishment of a new placing programme.
- Acting for 3i Investments plc (a wholly owned subsidiary of 3i Group) on a new investment management agreement with 3i Infrastructure.
- Acting for a number of global, UK and EU asset managers on their Brexit-related planning work.