Retail funds in London
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's track record serving clients in the fund management industry dates back to the 1960s. It has a particularly dominant presence in the retail funds market, where it acts for many of the largest and most active asset managers, insurance companies and pension funds. It is also increasingly sought out to act for banks and institutional investors. Team head Michaela Walker has an excellent record establishing unit trusts and open-ended investment companies, and handling mergers of authorised unit trusts, among other matters. Phil Spyropoulos is a go-to adviser for advice on charity authorised investment funds. Camilla Spielman is an expert in funds taxation. Richard Batchelor is another name to note. Pamela Thompson is chair of the firm and joint head of the UK financial services team. .
Other key lawyers:
Aberdeen Standard Investments
BMO Real Estate Partners
M&G Real Estate
AEW UK Investment Management LLP
Local Pensions Partnership
Aon Hewitt Limited
- Advised AEW UK on the establishment and marketing of a new closed-ended opportunistic fund, structured as a limited partnership with an exempt unauthorised unit trust feeder. The team advised on all fund structuring, regulatory and tax aspects of the launch.
- Acting for Aberdeen Standard Investments on the merger of the PAIFs of Standard Life and Aberdeen.
Macfarlanes LLP's practice is led by Lora Froud, whose heavyweight reputation has seen the firm win a number of new clients recently, including Jupiter Asset Management and Carne Global Financial Services. In a notable mandate for the firm, Froud, senior solicitor Alexandra Cochrane and others have been acting for Quilter Investors on the high-profile separation of Old Mutual Global Investors from its parent Old Mutual Wealth. Elsewhere, the firm excels in advising private equity managers on accessing the retail market through open-ended funds.
Stephen Robinson; Lora Froud (lead partner – retail funds)
Other key lawyers:
‘Macfarlanes’ investment management team is still the best in the market for regulated funds.’
‘Excellent technical lawyers, who are personable and have the commercial understanding to advise on complex and strategic matters, rather than just following instructions and delivering documents within deadlines‘
‘Lora Froud is fantastic. She solves problems with a very commercial approach, while not ignoring the regulated nature of the products. Super- responsive and always cheerful‘
‘The team has its finger on the pulse of market trends and FCA sentiment. It has an excellent relationship with the regulator, which means we can gauge their feelings on matters in the very early stages of product development‘
‘Alexandra Cochrane is responsive, proactive and diligent‘
Quilter Investors (formerly Old Mutual)
Legal & General
Jupiter Asset Management
Dimensional Fund Advisors
Carne Global Financial Services
Merian Global Investors (formerly Old Mutual Global Investors)
Vanguard Asset Management
Link Asset Services (formerly Capita Asset Services)
- Advises Legal & General Investment Management Limited on numerous legal and regulatory issues affecting its UK authorised fund range. Recent work includes a review of the documentation relating to over 60 funds, rewriting the prospectuses for these funds, rationalising share classes and assisting with a number of applications to the FCA for the whole fund range and specific funds.
- Advises Jupiter Asset Management on numerous legal and regulatory issues affecting its UK authorised fund range. Recent work includes: a review of the documentation relating to over 40 funds, assisting with specific fund changes, terminations, review of marketing and platform agreements and providing general regulatory advice, including on Brexit. The firm also advised on the change of depositary and administrator of the entire fund range.
- Advises Dimensional on numerous legal, governance and regulatory aspects of its UK funds.
- Assisted Vanguard with the renewal of its credit facility with JP Morgan in respect of its UK fund range, including providing a legal opinion on this. Alongside this the firm advised Vanguard on a variety of regulatory matters relating to its UK authorised funds; including the establishment of a UK money market fund.
- Acted for Link Asset Services on the establishment of a new charities authorised investment fund (CAIF).
CMS has a sizeable presence in the UK, fielding specialist authorised funds teams in London and Edinburgh. Its high quality offering was bolstered in July 2018 by the arrival in London of Laura Houët from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. Houët's wide-ranging experience includes the structuring and authorisation of funds, as well as their reorganisation and rationalisation. Houët works closely with Edinburgh-based Karagh Gilliatt , who has more than 15 years' experience of authorised funds, and Aidan Campbell in Glasgow. Recent work saw Gilliatt and others acting for Aberdeen Standard Investments on the harmonisation of the retail authorised funds of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments following their merger. Another matter involved acting for Baillie Gifford & Co on the creation of a master-feeder arrangement between one of its UK OEIC sub-funds and a newly established Irish-domiciled feeder fund.
Karagh Gilliatt (authorised funds); Laura Houet (authorised funds); Amanda Howard (head of funds group)
‘Karagh Gilliatt shows excellent technical ability, which is combined with insightful knowledge of the funds industry.‘
‘Partner engagement and availability is excellent. Billing is transparent and the delivery of work is very efficient‘
‘Laura Houet is personable, commercial, always gets the point straight away and asks the right questions. She is an exceptional funds lawyer.‘
‘Laura Houet is a commercially aware, highly organised and pragmatic adviser. She also has a wide range of contacts within the industry allowing her to give meaningful market insight, as well as excellent working relationships with the regulator.’
‘Karagh Gilliatt is always keen to make herself available, and is a pleasure to deal with‘
Lloyds Banking Group
Standard Life Aberdeen Group
Smith & Williamson
T. Bailey Fund Services
Kames Capital plc
Citibank Europe plc
Close Brothers Asset Management
Trustees of the University of Glasgow Pension Scheme
- Advised T. Bailey Fund Services Limited (“TBFS”) on the soft closure of the successful Evenlode Fund
- Acted for Citibank Europe on its replacement of NatWest Trustee & Depositary Services Limited as depositary of Kames Capital Investment Portfolios ICVC.
- Advised Close Brothers Asset Management on the removal of its then-current performance fee and on alternative structures/arrangements in its place.
- Advising BMO on the implementation of the FCA’s asset management market study across its entire fund ranges.
Fieldfisher has a well-established reputation for regulated funds, but its broad funds practice encompasses a wide range of vehicles, including more bespoke and innovative structures. Beyond fund formation work, the firm provides an end-to-end service on a full spectrum of issues. Practice head Kirstene Baillie advises longstanding client Fidelity Investments on an ongoing basis on its UK authorised fund range. Another highlight involved Baillie and Nicholas Noble advising UK wealth manager Veritas on establishing its own fund range, which caters for clients who would usually fall below its typical threshold for taking on a discretionary management mandate.
Other key lawyers:
Fidelity Investment Management Limited
Veritas Investment Management LLP
7im and Invesco
STANLIB Fund Managers Jersey Limited
Truffle Invest Limited
Guardian Media Group Plc
Drax Power Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme
Other Groups of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme
Ingenious Capital Management Limited
- Advised 7IM and Invesco on their GDPR-related revised privacy policies
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP's ability to work across offices are a value-add for US and European clients seeking advice on a full range of strategically and legally complex cross-border issues associated with retail funds. The London team advises clients on a standalone basis, and also works closely with practitioners in the US and Germany. Past mandates have seen the group act for Federated Investors on its £246m acquisition of Hermes Investment Management; Andrew Massey was the lead partner in this highlight. Practice head Michelle Moran meanwhile is part of a cross-practice team advising various companies in the Nordea group on their Brexit strategy. This work has included acting on the establishment of a UK-regulated MiFID entity for the distribution of their Luxembourg UCITS.
Other key lawyers:
‘Michelle Moran has an encyclopedic knowledge of funds law, and, as a former GC of a major funds house, a shrewd understanding of the challenges internal counsel face‘
‘The practice is led by a very commercial lawyer, who has spent the larger part of her career as EU GC of a global asset manger. This helps the whole team to focus better on what an in-house counsel is looking for in terms of practical advice and, therefore, trusted advisers‘
‘Michelle Moran is very pragmatic. She looks for solutions, rather than just stating the law.’
- The firm is advising Federated Investors on EU money market fund reform. Its team is advising on the conversion of Federated’s UK fund range, which are UCITS (retail) funds, including liaising with the FCA and obtaining FCA approval. It has also been providing complex, wide-ranging advice, and liaising with Federated’s Irish counsel, on changes affecting its Irish fund range.
Simmons & Simmons' team has vast expertise in regulatory and commercial issues impacting the retail funds sphere. It generates work from a broad client base, including investment banks, funds and fund managers, brokers and insurance companies. Neil Simmonds leads the group, which has been advising clients on matters such as the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime and Brexit planning. In addition to assisting with the establishment of funds, the team also advises on regulatory requirements across multiple jurisdictions, licensing, registration and setting up commercial arrangements with distributors. Simmonds works closely with Mahrie Webb and Catherine Weeks. Associate John Dooley, managing associate Tristram Lawton and Ursula Goniszewska are other key practitioners in the team, as is supervising associate Andrew Desmond.
Other key lawyers:
‘A strong group, which comprises of consistently good lawyers. The team advises a broad spectrum of players in the funds world, which gives it a breadth of experience, as well as a commercial understanding of the funds and asset management industry and its full range of products.’
‘Neil Simmonds is technically very good, responsive, practical and commercial‘
‘One of the largest, most well-resourced practices in the City.‘
BMO Global Asset Management
Baring Asset Management
- Assisted Man Fund Management UK Limited with a significant project, arising from an internal restructuring, which involved changes to the lead investment management entities appointed across its entire range of UK authorised funds.
- Acted for First State Investments (UK) Limited on the Brexit-related transfer of up to £4.3bn of assets of EU27-based investors to its Irish UCITS funds
- Acted for Invesco Fund Managers Limited on changes to UK distribution arrangements as part of a major reorganisation of its funds structure.
- Advised Man Fund Management UK Limited on the launch of the Man Dynamic Allocation Fund.
- Advised M&G Limited on an in-depth review of services agreements entered into between M&G and/or one of its group entities and services providers for the purpose of provision of services to certain M&G products.
Burges Salmon LLP has a standout offering on authorised investment funds, where it provides full-service support to fund managers and distributors. It has a sizeable share of work in the Authorised Corporate Director market and distinguishes itself with Authorised Contractual Schemes and Funds of Alternative Funds. Although the firm is known for its work in the UK market, it also has access to a wider international network of preferred law firms, and is well-placed to serve international clients targeting other key funds jurisdictions. The firm also has a strong profile advising pension fund clients on their investments into open-ended funds; it acts for more than 750 trustee and employer clients in the public and private sectors. In addition to delivering core retail fund and pension fund expertise, the practice is rounded out by the firm's ability to provide additional support in areas such as tax, employment and data protection. Tom Dunn is the head of the retail funds team.
‘The team has an abundance of regulated funds knowledge. Burges Salmon’s knowledge, approachability, competitive pricing and adaptability to our time frames without doubt make them a law firm of choice for us in many cases‘
‘Has its ears on the ground, in terms of latest industry developments and excellent relationships with industry bodies‘
‘Tom Dunn is hugely knowledgeable and pragmatic in his approach‘
St. James’s Place
Marlborough Fund Managers
Investment Fund Services
Premier Asset Management
Investment Funds Direct (t/a Ascentric)
All Wales LGPS Pool
Tatton Investment Management
WAY Fund Managers
- Acted for FundRock Management Company on the launch of a £30bn Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS). This is a vehicle for pooling the pension funds of a number of local authorities in order to reduce costs and increase their purchasing power.
- Acted for St. James’s Place Plc on the launch of a fund of alternative funds.
- Advised the All Wales LGPS Pool on pooling their respective pension scheme assets into a circa £15bn open-ended authorised contractual scheme structured as a co-ownership scheme.
- Advised Investment Fund Services (IFSL), a leading provider of fund hosting services, on the transfer of the IFSL Tilney British Enhanced Income Fund into the IFSL Tilney Bestinvest Income and Growth Portfolio and the subsequent termination of the British Enhanced fund and implementation of changes to the Bestinvest fund following the scheme of arrangement.
- Advised Tatton Investment Management (one of the UK’s fastest-growing platform-only investment managers), as sponsor and investment manager of a range of UK retail funds, on its negotiations appointing Valu-Trac Investment Management as the new authorised corporate director (ACD) of its funds. This included reviewing and negotiating the ACD agreement, investment management agreement and sponsorship agreement.
Dechert LLP's retail funds work is a pillar of its diverse asset management practice. Its London team has experience acting for many of the largest global fund managers (across multiple strategies, asset classes and fund structures), which is combined with an ability to work across a larger international platform. In the retail funds space, the group works closely with the Luxembourg and Dublin offices to advise clients (including hedge fund managers) on their activities in the European UCITS market. In addition to assisting US-based financial services firms with obtaining European market access, Karen Anderberg advises US, UK and European fund clients with US regulatory issues. Other names to note include Richard L. Heffner, Jr., Monica Gogna, Mikhaelle Schiappacasse, and associates Craig Borthwick and Alison Couchman. Gus Black is a global co-chair of the financial services group.
Other key lawyers:
Farrer & Co has a strong track record advising asset managers on the establishment of authorised funds, including Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and Non-UCITS Retail Schemes (NURS) funds. The firm has also established a notable profile in the area of charity funds and, in addition, has become highly reputed for its work for clients in the education sector. Senior associate Jessica Reed is part of the team which acts as a standing adviser to Rathbone Unit Trust Management on its range of funds; a past highlight involved assisting the client with its launch of the Rathbone Global Sustainability Fund, a new UCITS fund. Another mandate saw group head Grania Baird and others act for the same client on the establishment of the Rathbone High Quality Bond Fund.
Other key lawyers:
The Charities Property Fund
CCLA Investment Management Ltd / CCLA Fund Management Ltd
Omnis Investments Limited
Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd
Rathbone Unit Trust Management Limited
Thesis Unit Trust Management Ltd
Aubrey Capital Management Ltd
- Acts for Thesis Unit Trust Management on a wide range of matters, including the launch of various new authorised funds.
- Acted for a leading unit trust manager in relation to a number of matters, including a UCITS merger and advising on the impact of Brexit.