CMS works for a variety of retail fund managers and investors on fund formation, structuring and management issues, with a particular specialism in fund governance relating to contemporary issues including ESG, Brexit and sustainable investments. The team advises funds engaged in a variety of asset classes and in all key fund jurisdictions, offering global regulatory and transactional expertise. The team is jointly led in London and Edinburgh by Karagh Gilliatt, who assists a number of major investment managers and depositaries, including Aberdeen Standard Investments, with day-to-day considerations and strategic projects; and Laura Houët, who has an extensive portfolio of authorised fund clients and specialises in ESG-related advice. Aidan Campbell is also recommended for his fund formation, structuring and regulatory advice, which he provides to fund managers and major financial institutions.
Retail funds in London
‘It is clear that the group at CMS work as a team and deliver a seamless service. Collectively they are bright, easy to work with, ever practical and are aware of commercial realities.’
‘Laura Houët – Provides an excellent insight into current regulator thinking and can call upon a deep knowledge of the market when giving advice. Her advice is always practical and commercial, but without trepidation of advising a client to change tact when necessary.’
‘Karagh Gilliatt – always makes herself and her team available to her clients and displays a can do attitude and a willingness to help with all manner of issues. Karagh provides a high standard of service at a keen price. Karagh also uses her internal CMS network to introduce the client to another team promptly where an issue is outside her sphere.’
‘Approachable, pragmatic and responsive.’
‘Karagh Gilliat is knowledgeable and always available. James Marshall is very capable and straight talking.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
AXA Investment Management
BMO Global Asset Management
Close Asset Management
Lazard Asset Management
Smith & Williamson
Zurich Investment Services (UK)
T Bailey Fund Services
- Advised Aberdeen Standard Investments on the requirements for compliance with the FCA’s PS19/4 and implemented the changes across the entire UK fund range.
- Advised Zurich Investment Services UK on the requirements of terminating sub-funds and winding-up a UCITS umbrella OEIC. Implementing all the changes, including drafting client communications and obtaining FCA approval.
- Advised BMO on the requirements for compliance with the FCA’s new rules on value assessment, undertaking an in-depth review of its business.
Macfarlanes LLP advises many high-profile fund managers on the establishment and maintenance of retail products including internal policy issues, restructurings and financial services regulatory compliance advice. The team recently added Morgan Stanley Investment Management as a key client, and has also been active in advising private equity houses on the creation of new retail products, a notable development in the market. Lora Froud leads the team and is highly active within the space, advising clients on a variety of issues with particular expertise in UK and EU regulatory regimes. Alexandra Cochrane is now senior counsel, and works for major investment funds and managers on regulated and unregulated products.
‘The team are approachable, responsive and offer commercial advice. They take a proactive approach and will personally reach out to clients to ensure that they are informed of all relevant legal and regulatory developments.’
‘It has been a pleasure working with Lora Froud (partner) and Sandeesh Shah (associate). They have provided us with clear and concise advice and are solution-orientated. The team is extremely dedicated and very responsive and were of enormous help in ensuring that the deadline for our most recent project was met. They continuously demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of our business and industry.’
‘Lora Froud is the lead partner and excellent – really pragmatic and clear.’
‘The depth of knowledge of the team is without equal, in our opinion. However, importantly, it is the manner in which the advice is delivered which is another key aspect for us. The team are great people to work with. Some of us have worked with the team for more than twenty years.’
‘Lora Froud (partner) – I have known Lora for a number of years, and she has both a broad and deep knowledge of fund regulation, and is an excellent problem solver, yet is extremely approachable and able to explain complex legal concepts in a straightforward and comprehensible manner. The quality of her and her team’s work is very high, and they go out of their way to deliver within required deadlines.’
Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Goldman Sachs International
Jupiter Asset Management
Legal & General Investment Management
Aberdeen Standard Investments
- Advising Goldman Sachs International on the appointment of Amundi as management company and investment manager of Goldman Sachs International’s Luxembourg open-ended fund platforms.
- Acting as sole UK counsel for Jupiter’s authorised UK fund range, assisting with numerous legal and regulatory aspects in relation to its UK funds.
- Assisting Legal & General Investment Management with various legal and regulatory matters for its UK authorised fund range.
Burges Salmon LLP acts for a variety of institutional asset managers and is a trusted adviser on regulatory and structuring matters for high-value funds, with particular expertise in authorised investment and pension funds. Notable clients include a significant number of authorised investors and pension funds, and major managers including St James' Place and Marlborough. The team has extensive in-house experience through secondments and previous roles, and can call upon additional expertise in fintech, tax, employment and data protection matters. The practice is led by Tom Dunn, who has a strong market profile in high-value transactional work, as well as fund structuring and regulatory compliance matters.
St. James’s Place
Marlborough Fund Managers
Investment Fund Services
Premier Asset Management
Investment Funds Direct (t/a Ascentric)
All Wales LGPS Pool
Local Pensions Partnership
WAY Fund Managers
- Advising St Jame’s Place on all legal work relating to its UK retail funds, including the ongoing operation of and changes to a highly bespoke fund investing in alternative investment funds.
- Advising All Wales LGPS Pool on the pooling of pension scheme assets into a £17bn FCA authorised fund structure.
- Advised Premier Asset Management on its £98m all-share merger with Miton Group.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises funds, managers and a growing portfolio of institutional investors on open-ended fund listings, structurings and regulatory compliance work, regularly working with funds on issues relating to Brexit, non-resident CGT and EMIR. The team also has notable expertise in fund tax work. Pamela Thompson is a key name in the area, advising on product structuring, investment distribution and regulatory issues, with a particular niche in acting for local government pension funds. Senior associate Phil Spyropoulos is also noted for his industry experience and work with a number of bespoke fund types, including charity and corporate funds.
Other key lawyers:
Fieldfisher combines fund formation and restructuring advice with expertise in regulatory compliance issues and new fund initiatives and projects, working for a number of major institutional fund managers alongside new start-up funds. In addition, the team has been active in some high-profile issues relating to investor responsibilities and the suspension of trading in open-ended authorised funds, providing complex regulatory advice to depositaries. The practice is led by authorised fund specialist Kirstene Baillie, who has substantial experience acting for asset managers on a range of international regulatory issues and products, as well as advising domestic regulators on statutory and legal frameworks. Nick Noble specialises in tax advice for new fund products.
Other key lawyers:
‘Kirstene Baillie stands out as leader of the team and has a combination of skills, network and experience which few of her competitors can rival. She also works well with her tax colleagues enabling them to provide joined up advice.’
‘Kirstene Baillie provides a highly focused service which makes it both cost efficient and sensitive to our specific requirements.’
‘Good command over technical aspects.’
‘Responsive, pragmatic and precise in the approach and responses.’
Northern Trust Global Services SE
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management
NCM Fund Services Limited
Guardian Media Group
Drax Power Group of the ESPS and EA Technology Group of the ESPS
AB Consolidated Investments
- Advising Northern Trust in relation to its responsibilities as depositary of the Woodford Funds.
- Advising a major Japanese asset manager on its UK regulatory issues including its SM&CR project and its post-Brexit restructuring.
- Advising the trust behind the Guardian Media Group on its private fund investments.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP excels at fund formation work and provides regulatory and strategic advice to a number of established asset managers, encompassing issues spanning regulatory reforms, Brexit considerations, and fund restructurings. The team has strong cross-border capabilities and has recently handled US, Ireland and Luxembourg-based mandates. Practice head Michelle Moran is a well-regarded adviser on regulatory issues, often working with key relationship clients in the retail and alternative investments space on sensitive matters relating to Brexit, fund strategies and structuring mandates. Andrew Massey remains a key name for institutional investors and fund managers on investment management issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent understanding of the investment management industry. Hands-on solution-driven approach.’
‘Michelle Moran: very proactive, on top of latest regulatory developments, a strategic thinker.’
‘I have always valued Michelle Moran’s thoughtful input. The fact that she has done a senior in-house role in the past gives her precious insights into clients’ needs. She also stays in touch with regulatory bodies, including in the EU, in a way which generates a valuable forward-looking perspective.’
‘Great knowledge of European funds regimes and how to structure fund ranges.’
‘Michelle Moran is one of Europe’s leading legal advisers on investment funds, great insight and decades of experience.’
Nordea Asset Management
- Advised Federated Hermes Investors on EU money market fund reform, which created a separate regulatory regime for money market funds marketed in Europe.
- Advising various Nordea Group companies on financial services regulation across Europe, to support its strategy for maintaining business operations in the context of Brexit.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons supports fund managers and investors across the full spectrum of considerations relating to open-ended retail funds, combining fund formation and management expertise with strong regulatory compliance and governance capabilities. The team has advised on SCMR and Brexit-related matters, employment and compensation issues, and derivatives regulations. Neil Simmonds is an established expert in the funds space, advising clients on management and regulatory matters pertaining to funds in all key jurisdictions, both onshore and offshore. Mahrie Webb specialises in regulated retail funds work including related financial services regulations, while Catherine Weeks works with institutional managers on fund launches, management issues and governance matters. Managing associate Andrew Desmond is noted for his work for high-profile managers on fund formations in the UK.
‘Strong UK practice for retail regulated funds. Good experience and feel for the market and regulatory issues.’
‘Neil Simmonds – very experienced and knowledgeable practitioner. Responsive and results driven. John Dooley (associate) – very knowledgeable and responsive. Good technical grasp.’
Man Fund Management UK Limited (and the Man Group)
Legg Mason Investment Funds
Marlborough Fund Managers
Investment Fund Services
- Advised Legg Mason on the re-structuring of its Legg Mason IF Martin Currie North American Fund.
- Advised Investment Fund Services on a significant project involving the cross border merger of seven non-UCITS Retail Schemes with a range of Irish domiciled RIAIF sub-funds.
- Advised an asset management subsidiary of major bank on one of the few UK regulated funds with access to Chinese securities via the RQFII – a UCITS that is a money market fund and one of the few UK-based ETFs.
Farrer & Co has considerable expertise in regulated funds work, supporting fund clients with structuring, management and regulatory compliance issues, particularly FCA compliance work, advice on the role of ACDs, and asset liquidity matters. The team also has notable expertise in alternative retail fund types, including charity and local authority funds, supported by established practices elsewhere in the firm. The team is led by Grania Baird, who advises fund managers on structuring and compliance issues, as well as complex reorganisations and mergers. Senior associate Jessica Reed is a dedicated retail funds lawyer with cross-border and in-house experience.
Other key lawyers:
The Charities Property Fund
CCLA Investment Management/ CCLA Fund Managers
Oxford University Endowment Management
Rathbone Unit Trust Management
Thesis Unit Trust Management
Aubrey Capital Management
Savills Investment Management
- Counsel to The Oxford Funds, an unauthorised fund that manages and invests the very substantial endowments and gifts given to Oxford University for the purposes of education and research, as well as money invested by Oxford colleges and charitable associations .
- Advising Rathbone Unit Trust Management in relation to its range of funds and acted on a number of large projects, such as the implementation of a number of changes to its fund range as a result of the Asset Management Market Study.
- Acted for Thesis Unit Trust Management Limited and TUTMAN LLP on a wide range of matters in relation to a number of new fund applications, as well as in connection with fund mergers and a number of other changes to funds.