Alternative/hedge funds in United States

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP remains a top name in traditional fund formation work, and also has a strong track record in emerging market funds, hybrids, and investor-side work. The firm counts some of the financial sector’s largest names among its client base, with regular engagements from BlackRock, Goldman, and JPMorgan, among others. Lawrence Barshay heads the team, and specializes in fund structuring and formation, as do Lisa Schneider and Jonathan Adler. In the Washington DC office, Walid Khuri focuses on fund-of-funds work, acting for several large managers in both the structuring and transactional work undertaken by such funds. Jessica Forbes is a name to note for regulatory matters. All lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated. Special counsel Daniel Daneshrad and counsel David Selden left the firm for Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP and PwC, respectively; while special counsels Marc Palumbo and Rachel Perez arrived from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and BlackRock, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Barshay

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Schneider; Jonathan Adler; Walid Khuri; Jessica Forbes; Marc Palumbo; Rachel Perez

Key clients

Bain Capital

Bank of New York Mellon


Brookfield Asset Management

Centiva Capital

Citadel LLC

D.E. Shaw

EJF Capital

Goldman Sachs

J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Millennium Capital

Morgan Stanley

Neuberger Berman

ORIX Corporation

Owl Rock Capital Partners

PDT Partners

Point72 Asset Management

ShoreBridge Capital

Tudor Investment Corporation

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP remains one of the strongest firms for hedge fund work in the US, with a sponsor-side practice that handles the full range of fund formation and management matters. New York-based Laurel FitzPatrick heads the team, and handles several of the firms largest and most interesting fund mandates. She recently advised Pimco on its $3bn DISCO III fund, which was designed to capitalize on the turmoil in public credit markets caused by Covid-19. The firm is also prominent on the West Coast, with San Francisco-based Melissa Bender having been particularly active in the cryptocurrency fund space over the last year, in addition to handling a plethora of more traditional fund work for California-based clients. November 2020 saw the promotion of two new partners within the firm, Justin Kliger and Adam Dobson, both of whom practice from the Boston office. Jessica O’Mary is also recommended on the more junior end of the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Laurel FitzPatrick; Leigh Fraser; Morri Weinberg

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Bender; Justin Kliger; Adam Dobson


‘The team understands how to educate us in the technical answers but can also give real-world practical advice that is commercially sound.’

‘Incredible industry/practice knowledge. The advice provided is supported by the team’s incredible depth of experience. The advice is practical and actionable and the work product is very well done. The team is always happy to discuss an issue or question, and be a real thought partner in trying to find the best path forward. It is so reassuring to have such trusted advisers to rely on.’

‘Laurel Fitzpatrick, Leigh Fraser, Joel Wattenbarger, and Katie Waite are all trusted advisors who provide us with consistent, timely, and practical advice. The advice is clearly the result of significant and well-reasoned thought, as well as benefitting from the whole firm’s collaborative atmosphere.’

‘My Ropes & Gray team are true advocates of our firm. When negotiating project agreements, fund of ones, etc., the team understands the nuances of the documents and where the risks lie for the investment advisor and the investors. The team lays out their thoughts in layman terms, as well, which I truly appreciate.’

‘Melissa Bender has been a phenomenal partner. She is organized, efficient, and very good at negotiating on our behalf.’

‘Brendon Caione is very good at keeping projects moving forward. His work is excellent, as it is accurate and efficient.’

‘Naveed Ghasem is excellent at following up with the many regulatory bodies he works with for our filings. He is also very good at coordinating the work and following the accountability of other parties for moving our projects forward.’

Key clients

Abdiel Capital

ACORE Capital

Angelo Gordon

Arrowstreet Capital

Bain Capital

Benefit Street Partners

Dragoneer Investment Group

Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co.

Greenoaks Capital


Monroe Capital

Partner Fund Management


Pluribus Labs

Sands Capital Ventures



Work highlights

  • Acting as PIMCO’s lead hedge and private equity funds counsel, including advising on all aspects of the formation, marketing and private placement, on-going operation and regulatory compliance of numerous hedge funds and private equity funds and most recently, representing PIMCO in a novel hybrid market dislocation fund, which launched in 2020 and raised $3bn in less than three months.
  • Advised Monroe Capital on its launch of an innovative US direct lending-focused fund, Ninepoint Monroe US Private Debt Fund, which launched on the platform sponsored by Canadian broker-dealer and adviser, Ninepoint.
  • Advising Pluribus Labs in connection with its fund formation and related activities, including the launch of its flagship Global Core Equity strategy fund (a long-only strategy focused on global equities), regulatory compliance matters, and the integration of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors in their investment analysis.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP remains one of the strongest firms for hedge fund work in the US, acting for a client list which includes several of the market's preeminent names. Leadership duties within the team are split between Stephanie Breslow, David Efron (whom one client described as 'the best of the best') and David Nissenbaum. The team advises clients on a wide range of fund formation matters covering traditional hedge funds, hybrid funds and activist funds, and also provides the full range of supplementary services such as tax, regulatory, and litigation where required. Marc Elovitz is another key name within the team, and is highly active in the blockchain and digital asset space, recently advising Pantera Capital Management in relation to its crypto-focused funds. The team saw expansion at the partner level during 2020, with Peter Naismith making partner in January, and Owen Schmidt re-joining the firm in September from an in-house position at Falcon Edge Capital,

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Breslow; David Efron; David Nissenbaum

Other key lawyers:

Marc Elovitz; Brian Daly; Jennifer Dunn; David Hunter


‘The partners provide not only an amazing knowledge of the law but also of the business they act as advisors and are proactive.’

‘David Efron is warm and easy to work with along with a great sense of humor but most importantly is his knowledge and practical approach to solving complex issues.’

Key clients


Avenue Capital Group

CarVal Investors

Cerberus Capital Management

Davidson Kempner Capital Management

GoldenTree Asset Management

Pantera Capital Management

Saba Capital Management

Solus Alternative Asset Management

Trian Fund Management

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is active on both sides of the funds market, with notable managers such as AQR and Goldman Sachs among its client list, in addition to large-scale investors such as state pension systems. The practice is led from New York by Jedd Wider, who primarily focuses on GP-side work, including structuring and formation of funds as well as handling operational matters. Cross-border work is another core component of the firm's offering, with the US team frequently handling matters alongside colleagues in Singapore and the UK. On the investor side, Christopher Dlutowski is the name to note, while in Boston, Stephen Tirrell is recommended for derivatives work. The firm has seen several personnel changes in 2020: Brendan Kalb left for an in-house position with ExodusPoint, and Steven Giordano and Omar Hemady left for WilmerHale; but Jeffrey Boujoukos and Donald Waack joined the firm from the SEC and Mayer Brown, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Jedd Wider

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Dlutowski; Stephen Tirrell; Jeffrey Boujoukos; Donald Waack

Key clients

AQR Capital Management

Calamos Wealth Management, LLC

California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)

Capula Investment Management LLP

Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo

Davidson Kempner

ExodusPoint Capital Management

Fortress Investment Group

Geode Capital Management

The GreensLedge Group

Goldman Sachs

Innocap Investment Management

Lone Alpha Capital Management

M2M Capital Management

Millennium Management

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised Geode Capital Management on a number of fund formations and fund launches, including the launch of several onshore and offshore Bermuda-domiciled segregated portfolio companies on behalf of Geode.
  • Represented a large wealth manager based in Boston, with more than $21bn in assets under management, in numerous transactions, including the launch of several funds totaling more than $1bn, the establishment of credit facilities for the funds, and several other investments.
  • Represented a large investment advisory firm, with approximately $76bn in assets under management, in connection with fund structuring and fund formation matters, as well as global marketing, regulatory, and compliance matters as well as fund formation document revisions.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP remains active in the hedge fund space. The practice group is led by Udi Grofman, who advises several of the largest managers on fund formation and management, as well as on a wide range of ancillary matters such as employment, regulatory compliance, and disputes. Other key names within the team include Amran Hussein and Lindsey Wiersma.

Practice head(s):

Udi Grofman

Other key lawyers:

Amran Hussein; Lindsey WIersma


‘The partners provide not only an amazing knowledge of the law but also of the business they act as advisors and are proactive. Specifically, Udi Grofman stands alone as an advisor.’

‘Udi Grofman is far and away the most responsive and practical partner. He is easy to work with and takes on complex subject matter in a manner that makes it easy to understand and provides amazing solutions.’

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP provides a wide range of services in the hedge funds sector, including structuring and formation, securities and derivatives regulatory advice and SEC enforcement. William Kerr leads the team from the firm’s Chicago office. Jay Baris and Nathan Greene joined in 2020 from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is particularly active in the mid-market, with a client base that includes several start-up sponsors in addition to a range of more established names, which the team advises on offshore fund complexes, funds-of-one, and distressed credit funds, among others. The uptick in SPAC work has filtered through to the firm as well, with Dallas-based Eliot Raffkind advising Fir Tree Capital Management on the formation of its special opportunities fund. Stephen Vine and Prakash Mehta lead the team. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Vine; Prakash Mehta

Other key lawyers:

Eliot Raffkind

Key clients

Brett Icahn

Fir Tree Capital Management LP

Lido Advisors, LLC

GoldenTree Asset Management LP


Royalty Pharma

Pharmakon Advisors LP / Biopharma

Blackstone Alternative Asset Management LP

Work highlights

  • Advised Fir Tree Partners on the structuring, formation and launch of the Fir Tree Special Opportunities Fund XIII (SPAC) private investment fund complex.
  • Represented Lido Advisors, LLC in connection with the structuring, formation and launch of a series of three hedge funds intended principally for its managed account clients.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is particularly recommended for work in the digital asset space, where Gregory Rowland is the team’s key figure, having recently advised on the formation of digital currency funds for a range of crypto-focused managers. Leor Landa now heads the broader funds practice, having taken over from Nora Jordan following her retirement. Landa advises both sponsor- and investor-side clients on a range of issues including seeding arrangements, regulatory inquiries, and operational issues. Michael Hong is another notable figure within the team, particularly for fund formation matters and GP-led secondary transactions. All lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Leor Landa

Other key lawyers:

Gregory Rowland; Michael Hong


The team at Katten is particularly notable for its work with quant funds, having recently advised Aquatic Capital Management on the launch of two new quantitative hedge funds. Digital assets are another key area of expertise for the firm, particularly in regards to cryptocurrency. Wendy Cohen recently acted for LedgerPrime, a cryptocurrency-focused investment managers, in relation to the launch of its first private fund, seed investments, and regulatory issues. Chicago-based Lance Zinman heads the firm’s broader finance and funds department, while Allison Yacker and Cohen jointly lead the investment management department from the New York office.

Practice head(s):

Lance Zinman; Wendy Cohen; Allison Yacker

Other key lawyers:

Henry Bregstein

Key clients

Antares Capital Advisers LLC

Aquatic Capital Management LLC

Edgestream Partners, LP

Family Management Corporation

GTS Securities LLC

HC Technologies

ISAM Systematic Management

LedgerPrime, LLC

Nebula Research and Development / Michael Graves

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Renaissance Technologies LLC

Schonfeld Group Holdings LLC

Vivaldi Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Represented Aquatic Capital Management LLC in the documentation and launch of two new quantitative hedge funds.
  • Provided day-to-day counsel to Renaissance Technologies LLC, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, on a myriad of legal and regulatory matters.
  • Advised Antares Capital Advisers on the formation and execution of funds of one or separately managed accounts (SMAs) for institutional investors around the world.

Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.

Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C. advises a wide range of hedge fund managers, with large well-known clients such as Elliot Management Corporation instructing the firm in relation to large capital commitment facilities. The firm also handles spin-outs and setup issues for new managers, such as Bedford Ridge Capital. The team is jointly led by Eric Wagner and Jamie Nash. Wagner stands out in particular for his family office work, while Nash is deeply experienced in a range of capital-raising structures including funds of one, co-investment vehicles, and joint ventures. Jason Grunfeld is another key member of the team, having handled much of the firm’s recent start-up and emerging manager work. At the associate level, Rita Fitch is praised by clients for her ‘work ethic, responsibility, and professionalism’.

Practice head(s):

Eric Wagner; Jamie Nash

Other key lawyers:

Jason Grunfeld; Rita Fitch


‘KKWC has been outstanding and we have had a very enjoyable experience working with their team. Our firm has decided to use KKWC on all of our fund work going forward. They outperform the competition in their ability to take unique business items/objectives and structure to fit our specific needs as investors.’

‘KKWC professionals are incredibly responsive and engaging. I feel like they are part of our team and not service providers. We have an incredible working relationship that is hard to replicate. We particularly like working with Rita Fitch (associate) and Jason Grunfeld (partner). They are outstanding.’

‘This practice is filled with brilliant individuals who know exactly what they are doing. I really don’t think there is a law firm out there that compares.’

‘To sum it up, I feel as if the KKWC team is a partner to me regardless of the initiative. Nothing ever feels “transactional” with them, there is a degree of reasonability and a unique hands-on approach the company takes that make the client 100% confident that they are in great hands.’

‘Jason Grunfeld is not only my lead lawyer, but at this point a friend. I trust him to guide me in the right direction, and he has proven his extreme competency again and again. Rita Fitch, is the best associate out there. Her work ethic, responsiveness and professionalism are second-to-none.’

‘Jason Grunfeld, Phil Gross, and Eric Wagner know their content extremely well and are good at getting things done practically.’

‘I consistently continue to recommend Kleinberg, Kaplan to both my internal and external peers. When you go into battle, it’s important to have a partner, one you can trust, who counsels, represents your best interest with professionalism, knowledge, and integrity. That is KKWC.’

‘What impresses me the most is the culture of KKWC. It is very clear KKWC intends (and continues) to be the best in the hedge fund industry.’

‘Jason Grunfeld provides both good perspective and knowledge of our industry and also advice properly tailored to our situation.’

‘Christian Gloger is a go-to lawyer for fund formation matters especially for international managers. He is very responsive, provides the right balance of technical yet commercial legal advice and offers great value regardless of the size of client.’

‘Over the years, our firm has worked extensively with Eric Wagner, Jamie Nash and Maurice Collada. Each of them is extremely thoughtful about the work their firm produces, and as a general counsel, I really appreciate the opportunity to talk through issues with them and understand industry practice to arrive at reasonable solutions.’

Key clients

Elliott Management Corporation and its affiliates

Quintessential Capital and its founder, Gabriel Grego

Rosemawr Management, LLC

Rockefeller Capital Management

Paulson & Co., Inc.

Luxor Capital Group, LP

Glazer Capital, LLC and its founder, Paul Glazer

Monachil Private Credit Fund LP and its related funds

Kylin Management LLC

Shannon River Partners, L.P.

Shenkman Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Elliott Management Corporation on launching its eighth capital commitment facility, with a targeted raise of between $4-6bn in commitments.
  • Advised Glazer Capital on the formation of Glazer Special Opportunity Fund I, LP and Glazer Special Opportunity Offshore Fund I, LP which focus on investments in the risk capital of special purpose acquisition companies and related public and private investments.
  • Advised Monachil on the formation of a credit fund with a private equity fund structure which focuses on debt and debt related investments in pools of consumer assets, credit assets and other structured finance assets.

Lowenstein Sandler LLP

The team at Lowenstein Sandler LLP has seen significant expansion in 2020 with the arrival of Max Karpel at the start of the year from a private family office, and the further arrival of Rossie Turman in September from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. The firm is active across a wide range of investment management matters, but it is particularly notable for its work with family offices, derivatives, and broker-dealer matters. Robert Minion chairs the investment management practice, which is praised by clients for its ‘exceptional understanding of clients’ business needs’. Peter Greene and Marie DeFalco serve as vice chairs of the group, and are particularly specialized in fund formation and structuring. Also recommended is Elaine Hughes, who chairs the formation and structuring practice. All named lawyers are based in New York

Practice head(s):

Robert Minion; Marie DeFalco; Peter Greene; Elaine Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Max Karpel; Rossie Turman

Key clients

AO Asset Management, LP

BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

Davidson Kempner Capital Management LLC

Fintan Partners, LLC

Kora Capital LLC

Marathon Asset Management, L.P.

Medley Capital Management

Melvin Capital Management LP

Pointer Management Company

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP is particularly notable for its presence in California, where it acts for several of the most prominent West Coast funds, including Rimrock Capital Management and Dalton Investments, among others. Practice head Art Zwickel handles a wide range of fund formation mandates including funds-of-one, long-short funds, and activist investments. Yousuf Dhamee is another key figure within the team, maintaining a strong sponsor practice in addition to handling investor-side work for large clients such as pension complexes and sovereign wealth funds. On the East Coast, Ira Kustin handles a wide range of work from the New York office, and is particularly involved in cross-border matters that make use of the firm’s international network. All lawyers are based in Los Angeles unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Art Zwickel

Other key lawyers:

Yousuf Dhamee; Ira Kustin

Key clients

Imperial Capital Asset Management

Hawk Ridge Capital

Glendon Capital Management

Dalton Investments LLC

Aperimus Capital, LLC

LongTail Alpha, LLC

Work highlights

  • Continue to provide ongoing corporate, securities and regulatory advice with respect to LongTail Alpha’s funds and advisory business.  
  • Assisted MREI with negotiating and structuring multiple co-investment vehicles. Also assisted MREI with a novel “preferred equity unit” offering for its flagship funds.
  • Assisted ICAM with the organization of a new highly leveraged multi-strategy hedge fund, as well as with an activist investment in a publicly traded company.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP is particularly recommended for fund restructuring mandates, with practice co-head Christopher Wells having recently advised Jeneq Management on the restructuring of its offshore and onshore long/short funds. Acting alongside Wells, the practice is jointly led by Robert Leonard, who is highly experienced in funds-of-one, seed deals, and placement agreements; and Michael Mavrides, who handles fund formation, seed and strategic arrangements, and portfolio management. The firm is also frequently involved in cross-border matters, with recent highlights including advice to Northleaf Capital Partners on the launch of a US private credit fund.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Wells; Robert Leonard; Michael Mavrides


‘Excellent common sense, able to balance legal and practical considerations.’

‘Rob Leonard is excellent, experienced, and able to summarize effectively.’

‘Amanda Nussbaum has extensive knowledge of tax issues.’

Key clients

Appaloosa Management

Ares Management

Deerfield Management

Luminus Management

Element Capital Management

Ellington Management Group

Goldman Sachs

Graham Capital Management

Knighthead Capital Management

Silvercrest Asset Management Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Luminus in a shareholder activism campaign against Valaris, a UK company listed on the NYSE.
  • Assisted Alegria in restructuring Alegria Fund, LP, a hedge fund focused on financial contracts in the energy trading markets known as financial transmission rights, which entitle the holder to a stream of revenues (or charges) based on the day-ahead hourly congestion price difference across an energy path.
  • Advised Ellington Capital Management on launching Ellington Systematic Credit Fund and HH Ellington Fund II.

Seward & Kissel LLP

Seward & Kissel LLP remains active in the fund formation space, with recent mandates involving the formation of master-feeder funds, large-scale funds-of-one, and hybrid funds. The team is also notable for its experience with new managers setting up their first fund, such as 140 Summer Partners, which the firm advised on the launch of its first fund during the first half of 2020. The team is jointly led by Patricia Poglinco and Robert Van Grover, both of whom are highly experienced in the funds space. David Mulle is particularly recommended for family office matters, and Steven Nadel is a name to note for emerging managers. The above mentioned lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Poglinco; Robert Van Grover

Other key lawyers:

David Mulle; Steven Nadel

Key clients

Axonic Capital LLC

Discovery Capital Management, LLC

Gardner Russo & Gardner

Tiedemann Investment Group

Cedar Rock Capital Limited

Tiger Legatus Capital Management

140 Summer Partners

Janus Henderson Investors

Landsdowne Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented 140 Summer Partners, one of the larger hedge fund launches of 2020, with respect to the launch of its master feeder fund.
  • Represented a Citadel spinout that launched with $750m for their first hedge fund.
  • Worked with a multibillion-dollar investment manager to negotiate and launch a $1bn+ fund-of-one for a single institutional investor.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Dorothy Mehta heads up the funds practice at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, which acts for a client base that includes investment advisers, commodity pool operators, and family offices. The group advises on a wide range of fund formation and operational matters, including helping family offices transition into global asset management firms and taking in third-party capital. The firm is also highly experienced in the transfer of management agreements, having recently advised ACRES Capital on its acquisition of Exantas Capital Corp. The firm has seen some personnel changes in the last year, with the arrival of Michael Newell and special counsel Michael Gwydir  from Norton Rose Fulbright in early 2020, though June 2020 saw the departure of Mark Chorazak for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Practice head(s):

Dorothy Mehta

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Lefkowitz; Michael Newell; Michael Gwydir


‘The CWT team is very responsive and is able to take on both full deals when needed and also discrete parts of deals or ongoing projects when that is our more limited ask. This flexibility and the familiarity with our business that it requires makes CWT a very valuable and critical partner for us. We also tend to work with a very small CWT team, which only further increases the members’ familiarity with our business and needs, and makes the working relationship very tight and seamless.’

‘The team has helped us with a variety of alternative investments products, and they’ve shown an increasing range in the space, such that we can rely on them with confidence on more and more types of matters. They are also adept at looping in their own firm specialists when needed – but, importantly, only when needed – and they’ve recently flagged extremely critical issues for us as part of this process in instances where their expertise was necessary in order to flag certain items.’

‘Matthew Lefkowitz is the associate we regularly work with. He is extremely responsive, adept at working with our documents and business needs, and is also simply a friendly person to work with, which makes him someone I look forward to working with on deals, and I have the impression that my business colleagues feel the same. Matt also performs strongly not only when drafting documents, but when handling live negotiations against counterparties on our behalf.’

‘Exceptional cross-collaboration across well-resourced support departments such as tax and regulatory advice. I have not experienced this strong of across the board support for a matter at any other firm.’

‘Dorothy Mehta has excellent experience, and is wonderful with client/relationship management and communication. An extremely reliable adviser for our company. Her associate Matthew Lefkowitz is also excellent.’

Dechert LLP

The funds team at Dechert LLP remains highly active in cross-border fund formation, with a team that handles all aspects of such deals including regulatory and tax matters. Fund financing is another key area of work for the team, which acts for several of the market’s largest lenders in this space. The firm has undergone some personnel changes recently: in January 2020, New York-based Omoz Osayimwese joined the firm from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP and Orange County’s Kenneth Rasamny was promoted to partner; though former practice head David Vaughan retired later that year, in June.


Washington DC-based counsel David Solander heads the team at Goodwin, and advises clients on a wide range of fund formation and regulatory issues. In addition, the team is particularly notable for its prominence in the cryptocurrency space, handling a range of mandates for notable crypto asset managers such as Electric Capital Partners and Multicoin Capital Management. The firm also maintains an active investor-side practice that frequently works for VCs with an interest in the digital asset funds space. It is also active in fund acquisitions, handling a wide range of regulatory and business integration matters following such deals.

Practice head(s):

David Solander

Key clients

Multicoin Capital Management

Discovery Capital Management

C-III Capital Partners

Alger Dynamic Return Fund LLC

Electric Capital Partners

Southside Capital

Seavest Investment Group

One Stone Capital, LLC

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel for Multicoin Capital Management, a $50m crypto asset fund manager.
  • Represents Discovery Capital Management, a notable and long running hedge fund manager.
  • Acted as lead counsel for Electric Capital Partners.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates is recognized for its work with registered investment advisers in their hedge fund mandates, as well as in compliance and operational issues such as registration, tax, and strategic issues. Practice co-head Matthew Mangan handles fund formation, product structuring, transactional, regulatory and compliance and securities law matters for funds; he also has an investor-side practice, acting for pension plans and other institutional investors. The firm saw significant expansion in the last year, with the hires of Yasho Lahiri, Kasey Lekander, and David Owen, who joined from DLA Piper LLP (US), Choate, Hall & Stewart, and an in-house position, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Mark Amorosi; Ndenisarya Bregasi; Michael Caccese

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Mangan; Yasho Lahiri; Kasey Lekander; David Owen

Key clients

Nikko Asset Management Americas

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Fundsmith LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP expanded its offering in the funds space during the early months of 2020, with the hire of fund formation specialist Laura Friedrich from Shearman & Sterling LLP, and the promotions of Brian Greene and John Knapke to the partnership. On the fund formation side, the firm is particularly notable for its work with insurance-linked securities, both for established managers and new participants in the market, while on the operational side, it advises on broker-dealer issues, compliance, derivatives, and adviser M&A. Leadership duties within the practice are split between Joseph Cunningham, Rita Molesworth, and Mark Vandehaar. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Margery Neale; Joseph Cunningham; Rita Molesworth; Mark Vandehaar

Other key lawyers:

Laura Friedrich; Brian Greene; John Knapke

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP continues to handle operational and regulatory matters as well as fund formation for its clients, with practice head John (Sean) Finley handling hedge and hybrid fund formations alongside SEC and CFTC compliance. Other key areas of work within the practice include ERISA, management company structuring, compensation, and asset manager M&A. Senior counsel Paul Schreiber and Ted Randolph are also recommended in the team. Laura Friedrich left the firm to join Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

John (Sean) Finley

Other key lawyers:

Paul Schreiber; Ted Randolph


‘Extremely good and easy to work with. Excellent on the technical aspects. Very good appreciation of the wider deal and structuring issues. For us they are up there with the best in the market.’

‘Incredible wisdom and expertise combined with innovative commercial approaches to structures and legal hurdles.’

‘Sean Finley is one of the best hedge fund lawyers in the legal industry.’

‘I will use whatever law firm of which Sean Finley is a partner.’

‘Sean Finley is impressive. Intelligent, measured and thoughtful, with a sound grasp of Cayman requirements.’

‘Sean’s team includes Nhung Pham (counsel) and Justin Reda (senior associate). Justin is good and also impressive. Nhung is very capable and excellent to work with.’

‘Paul Schreiber is an incredible resource. His advice – through his experience and practical approach – has been an integral part of my company’.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advises family offices, institutional investors and asset management firms, leveraging broad strengths in fund formation including fund of funds, distressed debt funds, and offshore fund structures. Michael Hoffman chairs the investment funds practice, and is active across the transactional, regulatory, and compliance spaces. Other key figures in the team include seed investment specialist Anna Rips, and Heather Cruz and John Caccia, both of whom handle a wide range of fund formation matters. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Michael Hoffman

Other key lawyers:

Heather Cruz; John Caccia; Anna Rips