"While the overall picture is a lot clearer than it was 12 months ago, significant challenges exist for marketing funds in Europe and these will certainly continue for the foreseeable future."
Who’s Who Legal brings together Yukako Kawata of Davis Polk & Wardwell, Andreas Rodin of P+P Pöllath + Partners and Iain McMurdo of Maples and Calder to discuss a range of key issues, including the market’s “new state of play”, the growing secondaries field, the current jurisdictions that are popular for domicile and how to ensure client satisfaction.
Thomas Bell and Jason Glover of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett explore the impact of regulatory changes, notably the European Union’s Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers and the Dodd-Frank Act, on private fund managers.
"Going forward private fund managers will continue to seek solutions to streamline their compliance operations to meet regulatory obligations more efficiently and cost-effectively."
For the 14th Who’s Who Legal: Private Funds, our listings comprise over 500 fund formation specialists and 70 regulatory experts from over 100 law firms across 28 countries.
So far, 2016 has seen some huge fund exits and closures, demonstrating that there is still a major appetite for fund investment – and that funds are delivering an increasingly good return on investment. However, continuing uncertainty in economic markets, a focus on cost-saving by funds and an increased emphasis by government on stronger funds regulation are changing the demands being placed on lawyers.
For the 13th Who’s Who Legal: Private Funds, our listings comprise a total of 475 fund formation specalists and 90 regulatory experts from 175 law firms across 46 countries.
Oversubscribed funds and record values have dominated reports of the private funds sphere in the past 24 months. Fundraising activity has maintained a steady growth trajectory following the financial crisis peaking on 31 December 2013 with Apollo’s Investment Fund VIII closing at US$18.4 billion. Ever since, confidence among investors and managers has increased further and recent activity in the market demonstrates that the mega-funds are back, albeit operating in a very different world from that of pre-2008.
Our new Private Funds publication comprises a total of 459 practitioners from 164 firms in 45 countries who are considered leaders in this field of law.
In this section, we have highlighted seven onshore firms and three offshore firms as leading global players due to the high number of listings they receive. Dechert stands out for its impressive array of leading lawyers across the firm’s offices in the US, Europe and Asia; Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Proskauer Rose all deliver pre-eminent transatlantic offerings; Sidley Austin is a powerhouse in the US; and King & Wood Mallesons is strongly placed in Europe and Asia. Offshore firms represent a significant market share in our research, with Maples and Calder, Walkers and Mourant Ozannes standing out in particular.
We also select the most highly regarded individuals in the world, including the top five lawyers in New York and London, as well as the five leading offshore practitioners.
The private funds sector has undergone radical change over the past few years. The decline in market liquidity during the recession and an increasingly strict regulatory environment has created a significant amount of uncertainty among investors and managers. Despite this, the cautious optimism observed in last year’s edition has turned into growth that promises the return of pre-crash figures in some sectors. In addition, the end of the AIFMD transitional period in July 2014 means that the industry can now get some traction, even if observers are still largely unsure how the market will evolve in this new environment.
This year, we identify 397 practitioners from 152 firms and 43 countries who are considered leading lawyers in the field of private funds.
Seven firms stand out in research due to the high volume of practitioners they have recognised in this edition. Maples and Calder is once again the best-performing firm in our research with 14 listings across six different jurisdictions, followed closely behind by Walkers with 13 inclusions. SJ Berwin, newly combined with King & Wood Mallesons, also fields 13 individuals, with its London office being especially well represented with six lawyers garnering recognition. Debevoise & Plimpton and Sidley Austin prove themselves to be key players in the market with 12 listings each. Kirkland & Ellis and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have 10 of their practitioners recognised, with the latter's contingent including three of our most highly regarded individuals.
We also single out the 10 most highly regarded onshore and offshore lawyers in the world.
The private funds sector was undoubtedly a major casualty of the global financial crisis and in the difficult years since it has been unclear if activity would return to the levels seen pre-crisis. The market continues to be “dysfunctional”, as lawyers and general partners adapt their roles to dramatically increased regulation in the sector. Lawyers have found that their advice to clients now requires a higher degree of specialisation, with compliance and regulatory guidance occupying a larger proportion of their practice.
In this section we analyse the findings of our research in greater depth to identify the firms and practitioners who stand out worldwide. The investment and hedge funds powerhouse, Maples and Calder tops the tables with an impressive 15 listings, followed by Debevoise & Plimpton and SJ Berwin LLP with 14 inclusions each.
With the benefit of over 15 years of research and tens of thousands of voted from clients and private practitioners, Who’s Who Legal takes a closer look at shifts in the legal marketplace and developing trends and activity, worldwide.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.