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Mutual Fund Lawyers

The Job

Mutual fund lawyers have a wealth of duties—ranging from establishing and registering new funds and providing advice regarding federal and state laws, to interacting with regulators and offering expert advice on employment law and labor issues. At a small firm, there may be just a chief legal officer who handles all these tasks (with the assistance of a paralegal or two). At a large mutual fund company, the chief legal officer will be assisted by a team of lower-level attorneys, paralegals, and legal secretaries. Typical duties for mutual fund attorneys include:

  • providing advice on the structuring and formation of mutual funds and their offerings
  • structuring specialized varieties of mutual funds (such as commodity pools and alternative investment funds) and specialized investments for mutual funds (such as investments in mutual funds based in the European Union and other off-shore collective investment vehicles)
  • drafting and reviewing agreements such as incorporation documents, investment management and sub-advisory agreements, prospectuses, client agreements, confidentiality agreements, vendor services agreements, custody agreements, and management reports of fund performance
  • reviewing and providing advice on advertising and marketing materials
  • advising clients on all aspects of copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property issues
  • responding to inquiries and enforcement actions by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, and representing their employer during enforcement investigations and proceedings
  • overseeing and handling litigation, arbitration, and other proceedings that involve the firm
  • advising clients regarding the Securities Act, Securities Exchange Act, Commodity Exchange Act, Investment Advisers Act, Investment Company Act, Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Bank Secrecy Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other international, national, and state securities laws
  • providing legal counsel during fund mergers—including consolidation within fund groups as well as mergers of unaffiliated funds
  • reviewing and negotiating contracts with third-party service providers
  • assisting senior leadership to develop, document, and implement processes and policies to ensure compliance with the legal and regulatory environment
  • advising on mutual fund governance, including structuring and providing ongoing advice to independent review committees and boards of directors.