Retail funds in London

CMS

CMS remains a strong choice for international fund managers, advising clients on fund formation, management and operational matters, and regulatory issues. Karagh Gilliatt, who is an expert in open-ended funds, acts for investment managers, ACDs and depositaries. She co-heads the practice with Laura Houët, who advises clients on ESG activities, including sustainability and investment strategies.

Practice head(s):

Karagh Gilliatt; Laura Houët

Testimonials

I have found that, in addition to being straightforward to deal with and attentive to our needs, the team at CMS has good market knowledge and experience, which means that they understand our business and therefore our needs.

Karagh Gilliatt has been particularly helpful with her knowledge of the market and therefore her ability to understand our business and our needs. She is readily accessible and easily understood.

Laura Houët – deep experience in UK funds and leading counselor on sustainability issues; instrumental in SFDR implementation.

CMS’ regulatory funds team are real experts in their field. They have vast experience in advising and supporting us through a range of fund-related projects and events, and there is no question that they cannot answer. We are particularly pleased with the gender balance within the funds team, led by Laura Houët.

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Group

Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited

Embark Investment Limited

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Manulife Investment Management

Scottish Widows Schroders Personal Wealth Limited

Baillie Gifford

BMO

T. Bailey Fund Services

Argonaut Capital Management

Sanlam

Chawton Global Investors

Fidelity

Zurich

Nomura

Carvetian Capital Management

Smith + Williamson

Aviva Investors

Close

M&G

Work highlights

  • Assisted Aberdeen Standard Investments with structuring and obtaining FCA approval for the launch of 5 sustainable funds forming part of its leading MyFolio range of funds.
  • Advised BMO Global Asset Management on all aspects of the application of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) to the entire European range (both retail and institutional/alternative) of BMO funds, encompassing the UK, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • Advised Sanlam on the takeover of the management of a range of funds with a value of £1.2bn. A separate team, behind Chinese Walls, advised Smith + Williamson on certain aspects of the deal.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a diverse practice, advising fund managers on authorised and unauthorised products, listed closed-ended funds, unit trusts and limited partnerships. Particular areas of expertise include alternative asset class investments in areas such as crypto and cannabis, as well as advice on ESG and sustainability issues, and post-Brexit transition arrangements. Firm chair Pamela Thompson, who heads up the practice, is a specialist in handling collective investment schemes, pooled investments and financial services regulatory work for international asset managers. Michaela Walker advises sponsors and depositary banks on financial services regulatory issues, while Phil Spyropoulos is known for his work for FCA-authorised and retail-focussed funds on ESG, charity investments and Brexit-focused securities issues. Principal associate Stefanie Sahla-Jones focuses on unauthorised funds and joint ventures for onshore and offshore clients, and she also works with institutional investors.

Practice head(s):

Pamela Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Phil Spyropolous; Stefanie Sahla-Jones; Michaela Walker

Key clients

Citibank

HSBC Global Asset Management UK

Rathbones Unit Trust Management

Santander Asset Management UK

National Farmers Union

St James’ Place

Schroders Unit Trusts Limited

Caceis Bank

Barings Asset Management Limited

Phoenix Unit Trust Managers Limited

Royal London Asset Management Limited

Morgan Stanley Investment Management

Aviva Investors Fund Services Limited

M&G Securities Limited

Thesis Unit Trust Management Limited

Sarasin Investment Funds Limited

Northern Trust

BNP Paribas

Alpha Real Capital

Natixis

Maitland Institutional Investors

Smith & Williamson Fund Administration

Link Financial Services

Investment Fund Services Limited

NCM Fund Services

Work highlights

  • Advising various clients in the UK and Luxembourg on the formation of funds with ESG/sustainable strategies in both the authorised and unauthorised space as well as advising them on the required regulatory disclosures.
  • Advising M&G on the launch of its authorised contractual scheme.
  • Advised on the structuring and initial public offering of shares in Victory Hill Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc to listing on the premium segment of the Official List and to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange plc, raising £240m.

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP remains a strong choice for institutional asset managers, including funds and financial institutions. The team advises major international banks and managers on retail products, with a notable strength in 'retailisation' advice to private equity investors. Elsewhere, the group is heavily involved in wider regulatory issues within the space, working with the Investment Association and advising the FCA on its post-Brexit funds regime. Lora Froud, who leads the retail funds practice, is a specialist in regulated retail funds products, working with the firm's high-profile clients, as well as advising on the Treasury's Long Term Asset Fund vehicle. Alexandra Green has a particular focus on regulatory issues, such as MiFID II, FCA and PRA waivers, and ESG products. In 2020, Green made partner, while Alexandra Cochrane was promoted to counsel.

Practice head(s):

Lora Froud

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Green; Alexandra Cochrane

Testimonials

Lora Froud’s team are approachable and responsive, which is a quality that pre-dates the pandemic – they have always been like this. They are pragmatic and commercial as they have taken time to understand our business, our concerns and our client’s concerns, so working with them feels much like a collaboration.

Lora Froud has exceptional knowledge of the retail fund market, including both the product side and regulatory matters.

I am always impressed by the depth of knowledge of this team, even the junior lawyers. The manner in which advice is relayed is always clear and they are able to draw on a wealth of experience from key partners.

Macfarlanes always have a bespoke approach tailored to the client. We have been particularly impressed on some of their ESG content.

Macfarlanes has a genuinely collaborative approach, communication between teams is very good and everyone is pulling in the same direction.

Lora heads a team of highly competent solicitors. They are all approachable, pragmatic and efficient.

Strong industry knowledge and a practical approach.

Key clients

Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Goldman Sachs International

Morgan Stanley Investment Management

BNY Mellon Asset Management

Legal & General Investment Management

Vanguard Asset Management

Fidelity Investments

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Jupiter Asset Management

Quilter Investments

Merian Global Investors (now part of Jupiter)

Coutts

Link Fund Solutions

Work highlights

  • Assisted Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) with various legal and regulatory matters for its UK authorised fund range.
  • Acting as sole UK counsel for Jupiter Asset Management on a range of substantial projects and ongoing legal and regulatory matters in respect of its UK authorised fund range.
  • Advised Coutts on a collaboration with a global asset manager to launch six new exclusive funds for clients of Coutts and the wider NatWest Group.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP's client roster includes many of the market's most prominent names, including St James' Place, FundRock Partners and Marlborough Fund Managers. Authorised investment funds are a notable area of strength, as is reflected by the fact that the firm acts for roughly 80% of the host Authorised Corporate Director market. The team is led by Bristol-based partner Tom Dunn, who has a strong focus on the structuring, establishment, and operation of regulated funds, alongside notable in-house financial services regulatory expertise. Associate Alex Gillespie is also heavily involved in advice to open-ended regulated funds, and is a key contributor to industry events and thought leadership.

Practice head(s):

Tom Dunn

Other key lawyers:

Alex Gillespie

Testimonials

Detailed knowledge, flexibility, achieving tight deadliness, negotiation strategy.

Key clients

St. James’s Place

Praemium

Marlborough Fund Managers

Investment Fund Services

FundRock Partners

Premier Asset Management

Investment Funds Direct (t/a Ascentric)

All Wales LGPS Pool

Local Pensions Partnership

WAY Fund Managers

Work highlights

  • Advising St James’s Place on a number of highly significant changes to its fund range, including the high profile launch of its new InRetirement fund range.
  • Assisting leading multinational independent UCITS management company and AIFM, FundRock, with the launch of five new sub-funds for FP Brunel Pension Partnership ACS, one of the UK’s few Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pools.
  • Advising Marlborough Fund Managers, part of the Marlborough Group, on the launch of a new NURS (Non-UCITS Retail Scheme) Umbrella OEIC.

Farrer & Co

Farrer & Co advises on the formation and structure of FCA-authorised funds, including open-ended investment funds, authorised unit trusts and master-feeder structures, as well as advising ACDs on agreements and structuring. The team also has strong regulatory capabilities, and a strong niche in specialist funds such as church and charity investment vehicles. The practice is led by Grania Baird, who has a strong track record acting for asset managers. Andy Peterkin specialises in alternative fund structures and investments, including innovative pooled investment structures. Jessica Reed recently made partner.

Practice head(s):

Grania Baird

Other key lawyers:

Andy Peterkin; David Gubbay; Jessica Reed

Key clients

Thesis Unit Trust Management Ltd/Tutman LLP

CCLA Investment Management Ltd / CCLA Fund Management Ltd

Omnis Investments Limited

Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd

Rathbone Unit Trust Management Limited

The Charities Property Fund

Savills Investment Management (UK) Ltd

Handelsbanken

Aubrey Capital Management Ltd

Y-Tree Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Thesis Unit Trust on a variety of fund regulatory and launch matters.
  • Advised CCLA Fund Managers Limited on the establishment of a new CAIF with investment guidelines reflecting the teachings and values of the Catholic church.
  • Advised Somerset Capital on its acquisition of the Liontrust Asia Income fund, as well as the transfer of the fund’s investment management team from Liontrust to Somerset Capital.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher advises a broad range of asset managers on their regulated funds products, Brexit-related funds regimes, insurance and pensions schemes, and regulatory issues. Practice head Kirstene Baillie is particularly well-known as a regulated funds specialist, but her work increasingly encompasses a wide range of investment funds and products, and has a cross-border dimension. Nick Noble focuses on advising financial services clients on the tax aspects of new fund projects.

Practice head(s):

Kirstene Baillie

Other key lawyers:

Nick Noble

Testimonials

I have known and worked with Kirstene Baillie for many years and value her expertise, common sense, network of contacts and diligence. She also has a good sense of humour and is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Fidelity Investment Services Limited

Baillie Gifford

Downing LLP

Veritas Investment Management LLP

Northern Trust Global Services SE

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust International Limited

Guardian Media Group Plc (regarding private fund investments)

Guardian Media Group Plc (regarding advisers’ contracts)

Arriva Passenger Services Pension Trustees Limited

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP's practice focuses on regulatory and strategic advice to international asset managers trading open-ended retail funds, with expertise in UK-domiciled funds, and Irish and Luxembourg-centred products. Practice head Michelle Moran is a regular adviser to UK and EU regulators on changes to funds regimes, particularly with regard to Brexit, as well as working on UCITS and AIFMD matters. Andrew Massey continues to advise fund managers on FCA compliance, fund structuring and wider regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Moran

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Massey; Gemma Edey

Testimonials

I value Michelle Moran’s input greatly. As someone who has also done a senior in-house role, she has an excellent perspective on what’s important to me.

The investment funds team at K&L are very responsive, they consistently provide thoughtful and clear guidance, work product is consistently completed in a timely manner.

Andrew Massey and Gemma Edey are great to work with. Their legal and regulatory analysis are clear and well thought out, they offer holistic guidance considering related issues that clients might otherwise not know to look for. They are very responsive, matters are consistently completed on time, strong attention to detail.’

Andrew Massey stands out. Very responsive, commercial and knowledgeable.

Key clients

John Hancock Financial Services

AGL Energy

Galileo Group

Daymer Bay Capital

Dimensional Fund Advisors

Federated Hermes

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons advises fund managers and depositories on a wide range of retail products, including UK, Ireland and Luxembourg-domiciled funds. It offers an integrated tax, regulatory and fund management service. The team advises on the formation and operation of new UCITS, regulatory compliance (including post-Brexit changes to funds regimes) and fund restructurings. Neil Simmonds, who has 30 years of experience as a funds lawyer, is knowledgeable about onshore and offshore open-ended funds; his expertise includes UCITS in the UK, Ireland and Luxembourg. Mahrie Webb's recent work included advice to institutional managers on Brexit-related projects involving onshore and offshore UCITS, as well as governance matters related to AMMS and SMCR. Catherine Weeks is another key individual.

Other key lawyers:

Neil Simmonds; Marie Webb; Catherine Weeks; Tristram Lawton; Andrew Desmond; John Dooley

Testimonials

The team provides an excellent combination of technical expertise, industry insight and tailored client care. The team has close links to industry bodies and so is able to provide focused, pragmatic advice addressing technical questions within the context of market practice and direction.’

Individuals in the team have had exposure to in-house roles meaning they are well positioned to provide pragmatic, user friendly advice resulting in practical solutions and problem solving. In particular the support we have received from Tristram Lawton and John Dooley has been exceptional, taking time to understand our business and client requirements.’

Very strong UK regulated funds and EU fund regulation practice.’

Neil Simmonds – very experienced, responsive and commercial. John Dooley – very strong legal knowledge and industry experience, responsive and focused advice.’

Key clients

First Sentier Investors

Franklin Templeton

M&G

Invesco

Man Fund Management UK Limited (and the Man Group)

Legg Mason Investment Funds

Marlborough Fund Managers Limited

Investment Fund Services Limited

Marshall Wace LLP

Dimensional Fund Advisors Ltd

Ruffer LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for Man Fund Management UK Limited on all aspects of the strategically significant launch of its Man GLG Asia (ex Japan) Equity Fund.
  • Advised Marshall Wace on the establishment of an English law exempt unauthorised unit trust.
  • Advised First Sentier on (i) a full review and updating of their UK ICVC prospectus in mid-2020, and (ii) a full update of the prospectus to reflect Brexit in late 2020/early 2021.