Global Capabilities

Shearman & Sterling’s integrated, global platform is ideally situated to assist our investment funds clients with fund formation, compliance, transactional and regulatory matters worldwide, including cross-border matters. We are qualified to provide advice under US, UK and EU legal regulatory regimes, as well as the laws of France, Germany and Hong Kong.

North America

Since the 1980s, Shearman & Sterling’s US Investment Funds team has acted as counsel to some of the largest and best-known fund complexes and investment managers globally. Our US practice is diverse, with attorneys based in our offices in New York and Washington, DC focusing on private equity funds, hedge funds, registered funds, real estate funds and other alternative investment vehicles. Our US team provides advice on matters relating to the evolving US regulatory regime, and works closely with our Derivatives & Structured Products, Executive Compensation & Employee BenefitsFinancial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory and Tax groups.

Investment Funds attorneys in our US offices led the group’s early moves into emerging asset management markets, including Latin America, Asia and Africa, and continue to work seamlessly with colleagues based in those markets to deliver integrated advice to our global investment funds clients on complex, cross-border matters.

Latin America

Shearman & Sterling has been a leading international law firm in Latin America for more than a century. Our continued prominence is regularly noted by third-party legal guides, and in 2013 our firm was once again named among the top international firms in Latin America by Latin Lawyer 250, with an Investment Funds partner being individually recognized for asset management work in the region.

Our full-service Investment Funds team offers a range of services relating to Latin American investment funds, including advice on fund formation, managed accounts, ongoing and internal fund matters, investor representation and regulatory and tax matters affecting funds, banks and broker-dealers.

We have a meaningful history of commitment to our investment funds clients in Latin America. Shearman & Sterling was the first international law firm to become a member of the Brazilian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (ABVCAP), and our lawyers regularly participate in seminars and events hosted by ABVCAP and the Brazilian Financial and Capital Markets Association (ANBIMA), a leading representative of financial and capital markets participants in Brazil. We were one of the first international law firms to educate the local investment funds community about the regulatory changes presented by the US Dodd-Frank Act, the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), among other regulations.

Our global platform provides our clients with advice on US, English and Hong Kong law (among others) in connection with Latin American investment funds matters. We have a dedicated team of partners and associates based in North America, Europe and São Paulo, including lawyers fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, covering our clients’ investment funds needs. Our São Paulo lawyers work closely with colleagues around the world to provide our Latin American clients with world-class, local legal services. In addition, lawyers based in other regions travel on a regular basis to meet with and offer educational training sessions to investment funds clients based in Latin America.


Shearman & Sterling’s UK Investment Funds team is known for its breadth of experience in all types of regulated and unregulated funds, both with respect to fund formation and ongoing advice. Our team has a broad range of experience in the formation of private funds, particularly funds in the alternative investments sector. Our lawyers advise on the:

  • establishment of private equity, infrastructure, real estate and fund of funds, whether domiciled in the United Kingdom, elsewhere in the European Union or in non-EU jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands;
  • formation of UCITS funds, the structuring of those funds, and the parameters of the UCITS Directive (such as investment restrictions and liquidity requirements);
  • establishment and reorganization of traditional offshore hedge funds and hedge funds of funds; and
  • UK and EU regulatory matters affecting fund managers, including the FSMA and FCA Rules in the United Kingdom, and the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).


Shearman & Sterling’s Asia Investment Funds team is consistently recognized by Chambers, Legal 500 and other legal directories, with Chambers Global, 2012 noting that our “firm’s funds team has impressive capabilities across Asia, particularly in private equity, hedge and real estate funds.” Our Asia Investment Funds team includes attorneys in Hong Kong and Tokyo that speak fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and English, and are qualified in New York, Washington, DC, England and Wales, Hong Kong and the PRC. We provide on-the-ground coverage to assist our clients with fund formation matters and regulatory and compliance issues related to fund sponsors and managers, including US securities laws, the US Investment Company Act and the US Investment Advisers Act (as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act), as well as Hong Kong compliance issues. From our office in Hong Kong, we also advise on funds in other parts of Asia, including Vietnam, India and Korea.

Our Asia Investment Funds team attracts a prestigious client base, ranging from Asia’s leading fund sponsors and investors to middle-sized and start-up managers. Our investor clients include prominent local sovereign wealth funds and quasi-governmental organizations, giving us exposure to an impressive range of asset management products. Our fund formation capabilities include private equity, hedge, venture capital and fund of funds.


Shearman & Sterling has been active in Africa for more than 50 years representing companies, sovereigns and individuals. Our lawyers have advised investors on transactions in more than 20 countries in North and Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, our Investment Funds attorneys advise institutional investors (including sovereign wealth funds, multilaterals and other development finance institutions), family offices and affluent individuals in connection with their acquisitions of Africa-focused private fund interests.

We also assist clients with private equity, infrastructure, real estate and fund of fund formations targeting investments in Sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA region. In particular, our lawyers have significant experience with the formation of Shari’ah compliant investment structures and real estate investment joint ventures throughout the MENA region.

Our Africa team includes lawyers qualified in both common law and civil law jurisdictions, and lawyers who regularly advise on matters governed by OHADA law.

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