Melissa C. Bender


  • JD, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1999
  • AB (English), Stanford University, 1994


  • California, 2014
  • Colorado
  • Massachusetts, 2001
  • Honorable David M. Ebel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • The Daily Journal “Top Women Lawyers” (2019)

Melissa C. Bender


Melissa is a partner in the asset management group. Melissa advises hedge funds and other private funds (both domestic and offshore) on all aspects of their business with a focus on fund formation and regulatory compliance and reporting matters. Recent fund formations include innovative hybrid vehicles as well as more traditional hedge fund structures. Melissa’s experience also includes advising fund managers on and negotiating various contractual arrangements, such as administrator and other service provider agreements, placement agent arrangements and side letters with investors.

Melissa has extensive experience representing U.S. and international institutional and other investors (including endowments, funds of funds, private foundations, sovereign wealth funds and family offices) in connection with all aspects of their investments in private funds. She also regularly advises managers and institutional investors on matters related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Melissa previously worked in-house at a Fortune 500 company advising on securities compliance and corporate governance matters.


  • Advises PIMCO on private fund formation matters, including the recent launch of the Multi-Asset Alternative Risk Premia strategy, and all aspects of day-to-day operations, including trading and compliance matters.
  • Regularly advises managers in connection with individualized investor mandates through the formation of funds of one and separate account arrangements.
  • Advises managers and institutional investors on “socially responsible investing” issues, including fund formation and the drafting and implementation of internal SRI/ESG compliance policies and procedures.
  • Advises clients with respect to investments in all types of private investment funds, including seed investments, natural resources funds, real estate funds, mezzanine funds, venture capital funds, buyout funds, funds-of-funds and hedge funds.
  • Regularly advises institutional investors with respect to all types of transactions, including primary and secondary investments and co-investment arrangements.
  • Investor clients include: AlpInvest, Harvard University, Hewlett Foundation, Makena Capital, Rockefeller Foundation, Stanford University and various sovereign investors.



  • Panelist, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): Key Compliance Considerations, Ropes & Gray Webinar (November 12, 2019)
  • Panelist, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Roundtable Discussion (October 7, 2019)
  • Panelist,  Becoming a Signatory to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment: A How-To Conversation, Ropes & Gray Webinar (March 7, 2019) 
  • Panelist, Cryptocurrencies: Key Regulatory and Enforcement Issues, Ropes & Gray Webinar (July 23, 2018)
  • Panelist, Co-Investing: Best Practices and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest, MFA West (May, 7, 2018)
  • Panelist, Amendments to Form ADV, Ropes & Gray Webinar (January 25, 2018)
  • Panelist, Socially Responsible Investing 101 for Asset Managers, Ropes & Gray Webinar (October 24, 2017)
  • JD, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1999
  • AB (English), Stanford University, 1994
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