Asset Management & Investment Funds

The Asset Management and Investment Funds Department at William Fry is recognised for delivering the highest quality work with an exceptionally strong service mentality.  Our leading position reflects our strength and depth of expertise, the experience of our team at all levels, as well as the calibre of our clients and the transactions on which we advise. William Fry continues to be the firm of choice for significant and complex fund transactions in Ireland.

About William Fry’s Asset Management & Investment Funds team

  • We are one of the largest dedicated asset management and investment  funds teams in Ireland with nine Partners, led by Dan Morrissey, who has served as both Chairman and elected member to the Council of Irish Funds, the Irish funds industry association group.
  • As at 30 June 2019, our team represents 457 Irish domiciled funds with AUM in excess of US$460bn (Monterey Insights 2019), maintaining our long-standing ranking among the top legal advisors to Irish domiciled funds. The average assets under management of each fund we advise is $1bn, by some distance the largest average fund size in the Irish market.
  • We are known for our 'Blue Chip' client base, advising 2 of the top 6 promoters of Irish domiciled funds by AUM (including the largest), as well as a number of the most significant global fund service providers.
  • We offer unrivalled expertise at all fee earner levels in structuring, establishing and advising ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). We advise approx. 40% of all Irish domiciled ETFs representing some US$293bn (or approx. 75%) of the total AUM within Irish-domiciled ETFs (Monterey Insights 2019).
  • We are at the forefront of legal/regulatory, solutions-focused innovation, leading the way in the provision of cutting-edge legal advice within the Irish Funds sector, having advised on:
    • the creation of the single settlement model permitting settlement of ETFs within the international central securities depositary (ICSD) system for the first time and the conversion of the first ETFs to use this new settlement model
    • the establishment of the first proprietary AP dealing platform for all primary market trading owned and operated by the ETF provider, outside of the Administrator’s network
    • the establishment of the first Irish-domiciled money market fund
    • the first conversion of a fund from plc to ICAV status
    • as well as other innovations, including being the legal firm that was first to the Irish market with a property ICAV, a life settlement fund, a loan origination fund, pooling and various share class structures.
  • All of our team's practitioners work exclusively on funds matters and our Partners are all recognised industry leaders in their field. We currently serve on nine separate Irish Funds working groups responsible for raising and developing Ireland’s profile as a leading fund domicile, including:
    • Legal
    • ESG Sustainability
    • Asset Management Regulation
    • Depositary
    • UCITS Regulation & Innovation
    • Distribution Groups (covering LatAm, Brazil & China, Europe and various other jurisdictions).
  • We pride ourselves on maintaining strong and trusted bonds with clients over the longer-term, evidencing consistent satisfaction with the quality of legal service delivery. 

Additional Offerings

In addition to having one of the largest legal teams dedicated to asset management and investment funds-related matters, William Fry is also known for providing perhaps the most rounded of all relevant offerings within the Dublin market with our Asset Management and Investment Funds Department also including:

  • a dedicated Funds Company Secretarial team (consisting of 7 full-time professionals, including some of the most senior Funds Company Secretaries available in the Dublin market);
  • a sophisticated Funds Global Registration & Listings service (led by Marion Mellett); and
  • our Irish Stock Exchange Listing Sponsor team.

London Office 

Lorena DunneBased in our London office Lorena Dunne advises international clients on establishing and managing funds in Ireland.

 

 

 

 

Recent significant deals include advising:

  • BlackRock on the acquisition of the €87bn Bank of America money market fund business
  • iShares on the establishment of a range of ESG/SRI-focused ETFs
  • ETF Securities on the sale of Europe's largest independent ETF provider Canvas to Legal & General Investment Management
  • Legal & General Investment Management on the establishment of a suite of core equity ETFs
  • Architas Multi-Manager Europe Limited, an AXA Group Company, on the migration of a significant asset management business from the UK to Ireland
  • The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) in relation to the investment by ISIF (Irish sovereign wealth fund) in an ICAV alongside private equity investment giant Starwood Capital, the ultimate goal being the development a €1 billion build-to-rent platform
  • Quadrant Real Estate Advisers on the establishment of a tailored new fund of an ICAV to invest in loans secured on Irish office developments
  • SQN, a specialist asset finance and alternative credit manager, on the formation and launch of a loan originating QIAIF platform.
  • Atlantic Bridge LP on formation under the Irish Limited Partnerships Act 1907 and fundraising work
  • The NTMA and Irish Department of Finance on the contractual arrangements relating to the recovery and holding of the amount which the European Commission considered to be State Aid to Apple, pending the outcome of legal proceedings by both Ireland and Apple
  • Barclays Bank plc on a cross-border UCITS merger BNY Mellon on the complex technical steps, both operational and legal in nature, required for BNY Mellon to transition their suite of money market funds to the new fund types set out in the EU MMF Regulation
  • Temporis Capital on formation and fundraising for a sustainability focused infrastructure fund structured as a limited partnership
  • a European real estate boutique on redomiciling its pan-European open ended real estate private fund as an Irish limited partnership
  • Harrington Cooper LLP on the establishment of a UCITS management company and UCITS ICAV platform in Ireland
  • Lazard Asset Management on the regulatory process to passport the services of their Irish based UCITS management company to Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg
  • a range of major UK-based asset managers on Brexit-contingency planning assessments including: advices on ETF marketing and distribution post Brexit and ancillary permissions; advices on the status and continued operation of CREST as a central securities depositary; advices on the FCA Temporary Permissions Regime; advices on tied agency queries and secondee arrangements
  • Invesco on all Irish aspects of its acquisition of Source, the exchange traded fund provider and on the establishment of the first Irish ETF to track multiple indices
  • ETF Securities on the launch of three innovative global ETFs providing targeted exposure to technologies in the healthcare, energy storage and commerce industries
  • a promoter based in the Middle East on the launch of its first open-ended ICAV authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland as an umbrella UCITS
  • Sands Capital, with $40bn under management, on the establishment in their Irish platform of a global leaders strategy fund, adding to their existing emerging market, US equity and global equity strategies
  • an Irish authorised MiFID firm acting as investment manager to a self-managed UCITS on the re-structuring of its delegate arrangements so as to have two group companies that previously carried out non-discretionary advisory functions within the investment management delegate chain to manage fund assets on a discretionary basis

 

EU Supervisors Consult on Funds' & Fund Managers' ESG Disclosure Obligations

The ESAs have launched a consultation on technical standards for complying with obligations under the Disclosures Regulation which include a mandated list of unsustainable investments.


New Requirements for Marketing ESG Retail Funds in France Published by the AMF

On 11 March 2020, the AMF published a Position - Recommendation entitled 'Information to be provided by collective investment schemes incorporating non-financial approaches' which includes requirements for foreign ESG UCITS which market their shares to investors in France.


Central Bank Publishes Findings from Thematic on Cybersecurity Risk Management

The Central Bank has published its findings following a thematic inspection of investment firms and fund service providers' management of cybersecurity risk.


ESMA Issues Guidelines On Calculation Of Performance Fees

On 3 April 2020, ESMA published its Guidelines on performance fees in UCITS and certain types of AIFs (the Guidelines). The Guidelines will apply from two months after the translated versions are published (expected imminently) on ESMA’s website.


COVID-19 Update: Amendments To The International Framework For Margin Requirements For Non-Centrally Cleared Derivatives

Final deadlines for the exchange of initial margin for non-centrally cleared derivatives to be delayed by one year


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Department 

  • Sources praise the lawyers' "knowledge of the Irish regulatory environment," saying: "They know how the Central Bank is likely to view things." Clients further describe the team as "responsive and commercial." Chambers Europe 2020
  • One client describes their overall experience with William Fry as "excellent. They deliver high quality work, respond to client needs, communicate very well and tailor their advice to each problem in a clear, concise manner." Another client adds they are "excellent and a market leading team. Always prompt and pragmatic." IFLR1000 2020
  • William Fry has been described as "the firm that continues to set the benchmark for funds advice in the industry." A source adds that they "have one of the pre-eminent funds legal practices in Dublin and are an acknowledged leader in advising ETFs." The team are "invariably responsive and friendly to work with," as well as having a "historical understanding of the development of our product and business in Ireland cannot be matched elsewhere." Legal 500 2020
  • In the opinion of one interviewee, "they are extremely capable, pragmatic, practical and very responsive." Another client reports: "William Fry has a very wide-reaching level of expertise and in-depth knowledge, and another strength is the consistently high quality of the staff." Chambers Global 2019
  • "William Fry are solid and trusted partners that have advised on our Dublin umbrella for many years. The team has deep experience and knowledge of the Irish funds industry." Another client commented: "The William Fry team are extremely responsive and skilled at focusing on the material issues at hand. They provide excellent service in a timely fashion that facilitates us to move projects forward easily and effectively. The team always provide a first class service." IFLR 1000, 2019 
  • Clients enthuse that it is "a top-class law firm" and highlight the team's "attention to client needs and understanding of the inner workings of an asset manager." Another client praises the team's "first-class service, ability to put client needs first and availability." Clients appreciate that the team "is driven by client needs; achieving the client's objectives is the number one priority." Chambers Global 2018  
  • According to one client, "William Fry are very approachable, respond very quickly to queries and turn documents around promptly, often outside normal hours and at weekends. The depth and breadth of knowledge in the team is high, but the lawyers also have a good commercial sense and understanding." Other Sources advise that "the lawyers are very personable to work with and provide clear and prompt advice." Clients identify "many positives in the team's commercial positioning; they have a strong brand and market influence." Chambers Global, 2017
  • William Fry has ‘a broad range of expertise’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2017
  • Sources say "The firm looks for solutions and takes a commercial approach. The advice always puts the law into practical terms and helps us to overcome hurdles, or find another route to what we want to achieve. The client service is top drawer."  Clients state: "The firm puts the interests of its clients first, providing pragmatic, solution-driven advice in a refreshing way, which is clear, commercial and free from the legal jargon often associated with law firms." Chambers Global, 2016

Team

Dan Morrissey

  •  Highly ranked in the 'Senior Statespeople' ranking with Chambers Global 2020 and Chambers Europe 2020, Dan is often highlighted by market commentators as a key figure behind the firm's success in attracting funds work.
  • Dan is listed in Best Lawyers 2019 under 'The Best Lawyers in Ireland' for work in Mutual Funds and Private Funds.
  • Interviewees "have a high regard" for team co-head Dan Morrissey. Chambers Global, 2017 
  • Dan Morrissey is an extremely experienced senior partner who has served as a non-executive director for a number of leading fund management platforms. Sources describe him as "a very learned all-rounder in the funds industry, and a leading light with extremely useful knowledge." Chambers Europe, 2016

Patricia Taylor

  • Patricia advises fund managers on compliance with changes to the funds regulatory landscape. Interviewees praise her experience, her hard-working approach and her understanding of the Irish regulator. Chambers Global 2020 
  • Clients praise her "commercial, measured and practical approach, and her depth of understanding of the regulatory requirements and their application." Chambers Global 2019
  • Clients describe Patricia as "a trusted legal adviser with a lot of experience."  Chambers Global 2018
  • Patricia is recognised in Best Lawyers 2019 under 'The Best Lawyers in Ireland' for work in Asset Management.
  • Patricia is well regarded for advising custodians and service providers on regulatory matters. She has specialist knowledge of QIFs and changes related to UCITS V. Chambers Global, 2017
  • Sources describe her as an "absolutely expert adviser, who has a real wealth of knowledge." Chambers Global, 2016 

Vincent Coyne

  • Vincent "has a pragmatic style and effectively balances commercial and practical considerations with regulatory requirements," affirms one source. Chambers Global 2020
  • According to one client, Vincent's work "is of the highest standard with a 100% can-do attitude. Very good client interaction and at the same time excellent knowledge of the fund sector." Another client adds that he "has a great breadth of knowledge, strong understanding of our areas of concern and keen commercial focus. He is prompt and responsive, and he is quick to identify solutions which have saved us time and costs. I frequently recommend his services to other investment firms." and "there is never any wasted time when dealing directly with him." IFLR1000 2020
  • One client appreciates that "he is able to give us considered, sensible and on-the-spot guidance." Chambers Global 2019
  • "Vincent has a great breadth of knowledge, strong understanding of our areas of concern and keen commercial focus. He is prompt and responsive, and he is quick to identify solutions which have saved us time and costs. I frequently recommend his services to other investment firms.""His work is of the highest standard with a 100% can-do attitude. Very good client interaction and at the same time excellent knowledge of the fund sector." IFLR 1000, 2019 
  • Clients say that Vincent is "very good at coming up with alternative ways of approaching problems." Chambers Global 2018 
  • According to clients, Vincent Coyne is "great at managing clients' expectations. He is detailed and prompt in his responses, and is also commercially minded in his advice and suggested solutions." Chambers Global 2017
  • Vincent Coyne "can always be relied on" Legal 500 EMEA 2017

James Phelan

  • According to Legal 500 2020, one client notes that James "is a vital resource. He can provide a commercial perspective, combined with a deep understanding of the rules." James is considered "an invaluable source of support, always willing to go the extra mile for us and his advice is always sensible and on point. Exceptional understanding of the regulatory landscape and an ability to convey legal knowledge in a genuinely useful way."
  • "We can be confident that James will push the boat out for us when called on to do so. He has an excellent understanding of the regulatory environment in which our business operates." One source adds: "James is a personable, friendly guy, as are all of his team. He is highly thought of across the board." Legal 500 2020
  • According to IFLR 2020, James "provides very thorough and sensible advice to us and has a keen eye for detail, puts the interests of his clients before all else. He provides great stewardship to the William Fry team and provides pragmatic advice in a clear, timely and responsive manner."
  • Client feedback: "James provides very thorough and sensible advice to us and has a keen eye for detail. He puts the interests of his clients before all else. He provides great stewardship to the William Fry team and provides pragmatic advice in a clear, timely and responsive manner." ​​IFLR 1000 2019
  • James Phelan has ‘a keen eye for detail’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017

Lorena Dunne 

  • Lorena is described by one client as having great "attention to detail and deep knowledge of the history of our funds in Ireland. She is very personable to deal with and her analytical and technical abilities are invaluable, coupled, as they are, with a strong commercial focus. She is a longstanding and dedicated adviser to our Irish fund range." Another client adds that she "offers a great level of support and her experience with the use and operation of the ICAV structure has been invaluable." Legal 500 2020
  • According to IFLR1000 2019 Lorena is described as an "excellent commercial lawyer with a real can-do attitude...she is an impressive individual, who is self-aware and asks good questions...she focuses on details and completes all tasks with energy and gusto until the end."
  • Lorena Dunne is well-regarded and "extremely responsive"Legal 500 EMEA 2018

Key Contacts

Dan Morrissey Partner

Vincent Coyne Partner

James Phelan Partner

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