MICHAEL J. SCHMIDTBERGER is the chair of the firm’s Executive Committee. He previously served as a global co-leader of the Investment Funds group and managing partner of Sidley’s New York office.
His principal areas of practice are securities and futures-related funds and corporate transactions, including related regulatory matters. Mike advises and represents clients in domestic and international offerings of hedge funds, fund of funds, public and private commodity pools and structured derivative and principal-protected transactions. He has also counseled clients in numerous fund restructurings and work-out situations. Representative funds/investment products include:
- Hedge fund and manager formation
- Public and private commodity pools
- Fund of funds
- Private placements, including credit opportunity and hybrid funds
- Offshore funds and stock-exchange listed offshore funds
- Hedge and private equity fund “feeder” platforms
- Seed capital arrangements and negotiation
- Employees’ securities companies
- Credit-enhanced offerings, both in parent-guarantee and letter of credit structures
Mike’s leadership in assisting clients has earned him acknowledgment in numerous industry publications. He has been ranked by Chambers Global for his work in Investment Funds: Hedge Funds as a Band 1 lawyer from 2013 – 2020 and as an Eminent Practitioner from 2019-2021. He was recognized by Chambers USA as a Band 1 lawyer in the same category from 2010 – 2018 and as an Eminent Practitioner 2018 – 2021. According to clients in the 2018 guide, Mike is “fantastic” and “extremely experienced across the financial services and a true leader in the space.” Sources also praise his “‘ability to give practical legal advice on highly complex issues’ and his ‘ability to weigh multiple legal risks and help a business reach reasoned decisions.’”
Chambers has also described Mike as a hedge funds lawyer who is renowned for his fund formation and securities focus. “He ‘has a unique combination of business sense and in-depth technical knowledge,’ enthused one client.” In 2021, Chambers also noted Mike as “an exceptional lawyer, someone who has years of deep experience in the industry,” and that “he is one of the biggest names in the business.”
Mike comes “highly recommended” in alternative/hedge funds, an area in which Sidley is a first-tier firm, according to the 2014 and 2017 editions of The Legal 500. He has also been highly ranked in such publications as PLC Which Lawyer?, Who’s Who Legal and in The Best Lawyers in America in Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law.
Sidley’s Investment Funds practice team has won numerous top awards as a provider of legal services to the private funds industry: two-time winner of Chambers and Partners’ “Investment Funds Team of the Year for the U.S.”; Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine’s 2014 Alpha Awards top “onshore” (U.S.) law firm serving the hedge fund industry; four-time recipient of first-tier national rankings in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings for Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law, and Derivatives and Futures Law; and ranked in the top band for Hedge Funds by Chambers USA every year since 2008.
In March 2013, Mike received The John Jay Award, which is presented to members of the Columbia College family for distinguished professional achievement.