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Our attorneys facilitate the operation of public and private investment funds, including equity, hedge (both registered and unregistered), special situation, distressed debt, mezzanine and master-feeder funds, as well as funds of funds.  We provide advice on issues arising under the Securities Act, Securities Exchange Act, and Commodity Exchange Act; the Investment Advisers Act and Investment Company Act; rules of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the NASDAQ and other self-regulatory bodies; and state securities laws.

Our lawyers are experienced in specialized areas of tax, securities and ERISA law.  We work with clients to designed partnership agreements relating to funds being formed, and are sensitive to the problems that can arise over the life of the relationship between the partnership and the fund.  As a result, we take a long-term view when preparing and negotiating key fund agreements.

We advise hedge funds in all aspects of compliance with the specialized regulatory requirements such as SEC filings, commodity pool registrations with the CFTC, and trader elections under IRS rules.  Our lawyers also have substantial experience in the application to private investment funds of the PATRIOT Act, the Privacy Act, and the Bank Holding Company Act.

More broadly, Bracewell assists businesses and organizations in the development of comprehensive compliance plans that incorporate statutory and regulatory requirements, rules of third-party standard setting organizations, judicial decisions, and the enforcement actions and policies of regulatory bodies.  The elements of an effective compliance plan include:

  • Antitrust issues
  • Bribery of public officials
  • Business conduct and ethics
  • Commercial bribery
  • Conflict of interest
  • Employee relations
  • Environmental compliance
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Money laundering and Patriot Act
  • Political contributions
  • Privacy
  • Proprietary information
  • Record retention
  • Securities trading
  • Tax compliance

Businesses in specific industries also face unique compliance issues; for example, energy-industry clients are subject to FERC rules, EPA regulations governing pipeline safety, and energy-trading guidelines.  We assist clients in benchmarking industry best practices, setting internal evaluation procedures and standards, and providing required training.