Today regulators expect hedge fund advisers to operate more like public fund advisers. Sutherland is there to help all types of investment funds (both public and private)—and the investment advisers, banks and brokerage firms that operate them. We help navigate changing waters and create policies that meet new regulations and allow clients to operate smoothly.
We represent hedge funds:
- Ranging from less than $10-million stand-alone portfolios to $10-billion multi-service financial institution portfolios
- Of all types: energy, long/short, master/feeder, fund of funds, microcap, offshore, private equity, real estate, venture capital, LBOs, and mezzanine
- For fund investors, advisers, operators, intermediaries and end users
- In all kinds of ventures worldwide
The Team of Experts
Sutherland’s hedge fund attorneys understand your business. Many have served on SEC, FINRA or private and public funds’ in-house counsel staffs. They also work closely with Sutherland attorneys specializing in other practice areas so that the team can address all facets confronting hedge funds: structure, tax, ERISA and executive compensation, litigation, domestic and international trade, financing and derivative transactions, FCC and SEC matters, antitrust, USA Patriot Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance, legislation, permissible marketing and other privacy issues, energy and real estate. We offer both full service and special counsel representation for this specialized investment category.
Together, our team draws on deep first-hand experience and expertise in all areas and issues impacting hedge funds to address increasingly complex and uncharted territory.
In addition, our attorneys share their knowledge by working with industry trade groups on compliance, helping develop best practices in the industry, and speaking at important trade conferences.
Serving the Full Range of Hedge Fund Clients
Sutherland represents all types of clients engaged in hedge fund activities:
- Private and public fund sponsors;
- Insurance companies, broker-dealers, lenders and other financial institutions that distribute and service hedge funds;
- Insurance products’ hedge funds; and
- Domestic and offshore private investment funds.
Hitting the Ground Running
Experienced in structuring and organizing all types of hedge funds, our lawyers help start-ups:
- Prepare private placement memorandums (PPMs), partnership and subscription agreements, questionnaires and additional documentation;
- Develop “model” contracts, policies for options, swaps and other derivatives;
- Set guidelines and controls for derivatives and other investment activities;
- Review investment-related risk management policies;
- Create templates and other tools to efficiently set up both new fund complexes and new funds within complexes; and
- Comply with international regulations for offshore funds.
Sutherland’s Derivatives and Structured Products lawyers counsel a wide variety of clients on all aspects of derivatives transactions including negotiation of ISDA and other master agreements, collateral support arrangements, review of trade confirmations, give-up and prime brokerage agreements, settlement, close-out and valuation issues, and dispute resolution matters. Sutherland’s cutting edge derivatives practice has grown with the industry over the past 20 years and now encompasses a wide range of derivatives products including interest rate, currency, equity, commodity, credit, energy, weather, and freight derivatives.
Keeping Up as Rules Change
Sutherland’s hedge fund lawyers help on going funds operate smoothly, despite complex, ever-evolving rules that affect financing, trading and investment.
As a leading provider of legal services to highly regulated public funds, Sutherland knows how to provide guidance to hedge fund advisers on creating and maintaining an operational environment that meets regulatory expectations. Advice covers, among other areas:
- Personal trading codes;
- Valuation guidelines; and
- Steps minimizing conflicts of interest.
The World of Compliance
The new hedge fund adviser registration rule requires a fresh approach to compliance. That’s why we help chief compliance officers review and enhance policies and systems that monitor compliance. Assistance includes:
- Drafting and updating compliance manuals;
- Assisting with compliance procedures annual reviews;
- Redesigning compliance department functions; and
- Preparing for SEC examinations.
We also conduct hedge fund compliance audits, interview key management personnel, review documents and gather information about the fund’s compliance processes, policies and procedures. We compare that information against legal standards and the industry’s best practices, highlighting and guiding clients through areas of concern.
Working with Intermediaries
Sutherland advises hedge fund sponsors on how to legally market interests—directly or through broker-dealers—in areas such as:
- Offshore offerings;
- PPM dissemination Use of performance information
- Dealer and service agreement negotiation; and
- Anti-money laundering, permissible marketing and privacy issues.
We assign lawyers who have brokerage regulatory backgrounds (including a former assistant director of the SEC’s Division of Market Regulation and a current FINRA committee member) to distribution-related projects. Having a knowledge of intermediaries, we can help hedge funds stay within rules, regulations and laws affecting marketing and sales of their products.
Assisting End Users
Sutherland also represents end users in connection with investments in hedge funds: insurance companies, broker-dealers, lenders and other financial institutions. Understanding the transaction from both sides, we handle transactions involving structured products, OTC and exchange-traded derivatives, and captive hedge funds.
Experience to Trust
Sutherland’s hedge fund specialists provide the experience to guide clients through all aspects of changing governmental regulations—as well as challenging business problems and unique legal issues. In short, our attorneys can help simplify the legal and regulatory complexity of hedge funds, so that clients can devote time and energy to other fund issues.
© 2013 Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP