MARK WHATLEY, a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office, concentrates on organizing and advising managers and sponsors of hedge funds, offshore funds, private equity funds and a wide variety of other types of private investment funds. With deep experience in a wide range of securities regulation, transactional and business counseling matters, Mark’s investment management practice includes “special situation” counseling and negotiation in such contexts as acquisitions, dispositions and reorganizations of financial services companies, as well as internal and regulatory investigations.
Recent representative matters include:
- Establishing private funds to invest in loans originated through “peer to peer” lending platforms and other consumer finance receivables on leveraged basis
- Negotiating “seed” investments from financial institutions for startup hedge fund managers
- Negotiating bespoke investment management agreements for separate and parallel accounts
- Coordinating responses to SEC inquiries about trading by certain hedge funds in advance of secondary public offerings and other trading-related matters
- Restructuring and establishing hybrid investment funds that combine private equity style investing with hedge fund characteristics
- Negotiating succession of ownership and management of hedge fund managers to “second generation” of personnel and owners
- Multiple fund and manager launches
Mark has practiced securities law in San Francisco for over 35 years. He earned his law degree in 1980 from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where he was Articles Editor of the California Law Review. He was a law clerk for the Honorable Alfonso J. Zirpoli, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, in San Francisco.
Mark is currently listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Private Funds Law and recommended in The Legal 500 US 2015 for Alternative/Hedge Funds. He is part of a team that consistently wins top awards in the private funds industry. In 2013, for the second time, Chambers and Partners, named Sidley’s Investment Funds practice “Investment Funds Team of the Year for the U.S.” Sidley has been ranked in the top band for hedge funds by Chambers USA every year since the inception of that category in 2008. Sidley also received first-tier national rankings in the 2013 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings for Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law, and Derivatives and Futures Law. Sidley received these national rankings for the third consecutive year and each year since the survey’s inception.
Mark speaks frequently at industry events and seminars on a variety of subjects relevant to hedge fund sponsors and private fund managers generally. Recent topics include planning issues for hedge funds, investment adviser advertising, compliance procedures and dealing with regulators.
- ACA and Sidley Austin CCO Roundtable, San Francisco and Los Angeles (2012 and 2013); ACA 2013, 2015 Compliance Conference
- Goldman Sachs West Coast Hedge Fund Summit (2007–2017)
- Regulatory Compliance Association 2011 through 2013 West Coast Asset Management Thought Leadership Symposium
- Ernst & Young Global Hedge Fund Symposium, San Francisco (2013), Los Angeles (2013)
- Capital Fund Raising for hedge funds, EisnerAmper, (November 2013)
- Maples Insights: Alternative Investment Funds Seminar, October 2013, Regulatory Developments affecting Private Funds
- SS&C/KPMG Regulatory Compliance Outlook, (September 2013)
- “Understanding the Structure of Hedge Funds,” Western Regional Meeting of the National Society of Compliance Professionals (2012)
- “Hedge Funds: Building Compliance Around Your Fund Documents,” National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP) National Meeting (2010)
- “Hedge Funds: Managing Conflicts of Interest,” National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP) West Coast Regional Membership Meeting (2010)
Admissions & Certifications
- University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D., 1980 (Articles Editor, California Law Review)
- University of Tennessee - Knoxville, B.A., 1976 (Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi)
- Alfonso Zirpoli, U.S. District Court, N.D. of California (1980 - 1981)