Alternative Investment Funds


Dechert’s highly ranked private funds practice is recognized for its:

  • Breadth: We advise more than 700 private funds and their fund management groups, representing the full range of fund types, investment strategies and asset classes
  • Depth: Our private fund lawyers are leaders in private fund formation and closely collaborate with Dechert lawyers across our international offices focusing on tax, ERISA, investment company, investment adviser and other regulatory matters, as well as a wide variety of transactional matters
  • Global Reach: We are well positioned to represent large, medium-sized and boutique fund managers seeking to establish both regional and global footprints and we leverage our cross-border and international capabilities in both developed and emerging markets

We advise clients on the formation of both open- and closed-end funds, utilizing all asset classes and investment strategies, including

  • Hedge funds
  • Private equity funds
  • Real estate funds
  • Debt funds
  • Mezzanine funds
  • Venture capital funds
  • Commodity funds
  • Futures and options funds
  • Sector and country funds
  • Secondary funds
  • Multi-manager funds and funds of funds
  • Hybrid funds

Our private fund lawyers represent private funds and their managers on a variety of transactions, ranging from advising start-up managers in need of structuring advice and help in negotiating seed capital transactions to representing publicly traded global financial institutions and their affiliates. We also have extensive experience advising managers who wish to develop their strategies within more retail-based vehicles, including exchange-traded funds and European undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS).

Dechert lawyers advise clients on all aspects of private fund formation, from the initial planning to final closing, including structuring, required disclosure, reporting obligations, compliance with ERISA, securities laws and other applicable regulations, as well as taxation. Working in a highly collaborative atmosphere, we ensure that each client benefits from the experience of our interdisciplinary private fund team as the client’s business grows and evolves.

Dechert lawyers operate in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and possess a deep understanding of the practices and laws that govern each local market. In addition, we represent funds with varying types of investors coming from multiple jurisdictions and investing in diverse markets. We guide our clients in structuring funds to maximize flexibility to invest in each jurisdiction while accommodating tax and other regulatory concerns of both investors and fund sponsors. In countries where Dechert does not have an office, we maintain a solid working relationship with a network of trusted law firms to provide our clients with the representation that best meets the scope and complexity of their legal needs.

Dechert’s Alternative Investment Funds group has been recognized by leading publications as one of the top private funds practices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Private Equity Analyst has consistently recognized Dechert as one of the “most active law firms” based on the number of private equity and venture capital funds structured and closed. Chambers UK recently ranked Dechert as one of only two firms in the top tier for hedge funds, noting that “Dechert has hedge fund work ‘down to a fine art,’” while Chambers Global stated, “this firm has a peerless global footprint in the hedge funds space.”

A Broad Practice

Our private funds group has extensive experience structuring private equity, hedge and other U.S. and non-U.S. funds across various asset classes, including:

  • Leveraged buyout, venture capital, emerging market, mezzanine securities, distressed debt, bank loans, middle-market loans, real estate equity and debt and collateralized debt and loan obligations (CDOs and CLOs)
  • Hedge and alternative investment funds, including long/short equity funds, fixed-income hedge funds, relative value funds, statistical arbitrage funds, global macro funds, secondary funds, funds of funds, activist hedge funds and commodity pools

We advise hedge and alternative asset/strategy funds that engage in private equity/activist strategies through the use of tailored fund structures such as side-pocket funds, hybrid funds, and co-investment funds and we represent private equity firms in establishing hedge/alternative asset/strategy fund arms.

We also advise fund sponsors and managers on the formation of real estate funds and REITs, acquisitions of REITs and real estate assets by funds and capital-raising transactions.

Our lawyers help clients consider the merits of a variety of fund structures, including U.S. and non-U.S. limited partnerships, limited liability companies, SBICs, variable capital companies, corporations, collective trusts, unit trusts, segregated cell companies, contractual funds and other European domestic fund structures. We regularly advise private fund sponsors looking to diversify into more regulated structures such as UCITS and BDC vehicles.

We also devise innovative structures that give clients the flexibility to access assets and new investors that might otherwise be unavailable to them. We have assisted clients in developing a variety of structures to accommodate seed capital investments from early-stage investors.

Dechert’s institutional investor practice represents pension plans and other institutional investors as investors in alternative investment funds. For example, we act as regular outside counsel to one of the largest foundations with respect to its extensive alternative assets program. We also serve as regular outside counsel to several major college endowments with respect to their alternatives program.

Today’s regulatory climate calls for greater sophistication than ever before when it comes to anticipating the impact of regulatory developments on fund formation. Our team includes former senior officials and staff members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as former regulators from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We also have a strong regulatory practice and good working relationships with regulators in the U.S. as well as with the FSA, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC).