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Covington is an experienced and trusted advisor to private equity firms, hedge funds, real estate funds and other alternative investment fund clients, including fund sponsors, secondary funds, institutional investors and other market participants. Our practice combines an in-depth, current knowledge of the private funds and private investing marketplace, unparalleled regulatory and industry expertise, and a deep understanding of the operational and transactional aspects of the fund manager’s business.

Fund Formation

The representation of private investment fund sponsors in their capital-raising activities is a key component of our private funds practice. We have experience with a full range of private investment fund products, including buyout/growth equity funds; secondary/structured secondary funds; co-investment funds; real estate funds; infrastructure funds; credit opportunity/distressed funds; mezzanine funds; venture capital funds; feeder funds; fund of funds; hedge funds; managed accounts; and hybrid funds. Our fund formation clients include established fund managers raising successor funds to their existing family of funds or new fund products as well as a select number of first-time or less established fund sponsors. Lawyers in our private funds group have been involved in over $20 billion of fundraisings on behalf of sponsor clients over the last ten years.

Secondary Market Transactions

We have extensive experience in secondary market transactions, including the representation of buyers, sellers and other secondary market participants in connection with the purchase and sale of private fund interests and direct private equity assets. Attorneys in the group have extensive M&A as well as fund formation experience, which is critical in terms of analyzing, documenting and negotiating secondary market transactions. With secondary market experts in our New York, Washington, DC and London offices, the group is ideally positioned to assist clients with respect to cross-border secondary portfolio purchases and sales.

Investor (LP) Representations

Our private funds group represents a wide range of investors (including fund of funds, pension funds, family offices and corporate strategic investors) in connection with their evaluation of, and investment in, private investment funds and related products. We have also represented a number of investors with respect to fund restructurings.

Private Fund Regulatory and Compliance Matters

We regularly advise clients on a broad range of securities law and regulatory matters relating to the formation, management and operation of private investment funds, including issues relating to the Investment Advisers Act, the Investment Company Act, the Securities Act, the Securities and Exchange Act and the Financial Conduct Authority. Among other things, we regularly advise clients in the following regulatory areas: registration under the Investment Advisers Act and the development of related internal compliance policies and codes of ethics; “pay-to-play” compliance issues and programs; broker-dealer issues associated with fund placement activities; new regulatory legislation and rule-making including under the Dodd-Frank Act, the JOBS Act and the AIFM Directive.

General Partner and Management Company Structuring

Our private funds group has considerable experience in structuring economic, governance and other employment and compensation arrangements for private investment fund sponsors, teams and individuals in a variety of contexts, including with respect to stand alone investment fund businesses, joint ventures and employees of institutions.

Industry-Specific Expertise

We have experience representing private investment fund clients in virtually every sector and industry in which private equity invests, including banking/financial services, energy/cleantech, healthcare, education, consumer goods/services, technology and media and telecom. In addition, lawyers from our firm-wide industry and regulatory practices are able to provide industry and regulatory expertise and advice to private investment fund clients investing in specific industries or regulated areas.

Global Practice

Our private funds group represents clients on a global basis, including private investment fund sponsors located or investing in North America/US, Latin America, Europe, China, India, the Middle East and the Emerging Markets.

  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers (2017-2019)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity: Catherine Dargan and Andy Jack
  • Chambers Global (2013-2016)
    • USA: Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation
  • Legal 500 US (2013-2017)
    • Investment Fund Formation and Management - Private Equity Funds - Kelly Labritz and William Sturman
  • Legal 500 UK (2016)
    • Hedge Funds - Simon Goodworth and Hillary Prescott