Legal Business Blogs

Simmons breaks into growing legal product market with start-up tool targeting hedge funds

Seeking to turn the City’s next big hedge funds into clients, Simmons & Simmons has entered the growing legal product market with a package to guide hedge fund managers through the increasing regulatory burden attached to creating and launching a financial firm.

With some of the firm’s biggest clients having only emerged in the 2000s, during the last major wave of financial spin-offs and hedge fund start-ups, Simmons is seeking to attract the next wave of hedge fund managers and traders going solo with a legal navigation tool. Labelled LaunchPlus, the project drew in around 50 Simmons lawyers to produce a four-step kit to launching and growing a hedge fund.

The brainchild of asset management and investment funds partner Devarshi Saksena, LaunchPlus is set to go live today after 18 months of development. The legal guide is split into four sections: get started, launch, operate and grow. The get started phase will be available for free, helping hedge fund start-ups avoid a barrage of legal fees before they’ve even opened for business.

The launch, operate and grow phases of the program will only be available to Simmons clients. Saksena, who led a team that included Simmons financial services head Richard Perry and Brevan Howard adviser Simon Whiteside, said at a launch event last night: ‘We have a strong commitment to the start-up market, no other law firm has anything vaguely similar and it’s an exciting development. The service will evolve and expand based on client feedback and changes to the regulatory requirements.’

With a raft of funds launching in the City this year, including Brevan Howard Asset Management co-founder Chris Rokos with Rokos Capital Management and Ziff Brothers trader David Fear with Thunderbird Capital, LaunchPlus, will cover a range of topics from where to domicile to dealing with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Perry added: ‘We have designed this resource to help today’s emerging investment managers tackle the considerable number of decision points and workstreams involved in setting up from scratch. Simmons & Simmons LaunchPlus provides essential resources to help start-up managers get to grips with these challenges.’

‘Our clients are some of the largest and best known European hedge fund businesses – many have been our clients since they were start-ups themselves. Simmons & Simmons LaunchPlus brings together our years of unparalleled experience working with start-up funds in a highly convenient and cost effective way for new clients.’

The march of the regulators has led law firms to produce new tools to guide clients through an increasingly complex business landscape, with new technology risks and opportunities adding to the demand for law firms to create spin-off products. DLA Piper’s Blue Edge Lab launched CyberTrak at the start of the year to shape clients’ cybersecurity risk strategies around the world.