James E. Thomas

Partner

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  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1997; Book Notes Editor, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology
  • AB, summa cum laude, Dartmouth College, 1994; Phi Beta Kappa

Qualifications

  • Massachusetts, 1997
  • American Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association, Co-Chair, Investment Companies and Advisers Committee (2008-2011)
  • Legal 500 (2017-2019)
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, Rising Star (2016-2020)

James E. Thomas

Partner

Financial services firms turn to James Thomas for sophisticated counsel on their most important regulatory and transactional matters. James is co-head of Ropes & Gray’s registered funds practice and a co-leader of the firm’s asset management mergers and acquisitions practice. He works with investment advisers, registered investment companies and their trustees, and hedge funds and other private investment vehicles on everything from regulatory, compliance, and governance issues to trading activities, investments, and mergers and acquisitions.

James has long been at the forefront of guiding asset managers that are looking to launch innovative products, particularly those that bring private fund strategies to retail investors. He has significant experience advising clients on organizing and operating registered investment companies that employ alternative investment strategies, and has guided clients in the area of ESG and responsible investing.

James’s deep understanding of the market is particularly valuable when it comes to helping financial services firms navigate complex transactions. Clients appreciate his business acumen, ability to see the big picture, and his creativity in resolving issues across a wide range of areas. James has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by IFLR1000.

Experience

  • The Putnam Funds and their Independent Trustees
  • Blackstone Alternative Asset Management and its registered investment companies
  • Natixis Investment Managers
  • AQR Capital Management
  • Tekla Capital Management
  • The Independent Trustees of the Putnam ETFs
  • A wide range of private equity investors in the asset management industry
  • Leading family office and institutional investor clients

Publications

Presentations

  • Panelist, “Fund Directors’ Response to SEC Proposals/Regulation,” Interactive Data’s 2016 Fund Advisory Board Conference (May 10, 2016)
  • Panelist, “Automated Compliance Issues,” Investment Adviser Association Compliance Conference (March 2015)
  • Panelist, “Retailization of Private Equity,” PEGCC Chief Compliance Officers Working Group (September 2014)
  • Panelist, “Retailization of Private Equity? Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities from a Compliance Perspective,” Private Equity Growth Capital Council (September 2014)
  • Moderator, "Regulatory Considerations for Liquid Alts: 40 Act Funds," IIR Liquid Alternative Strategies West (April 2014)
  • Moderator, Mutual Fund Directors Forum’s “Board Oversight of Valuation Roundtable,” (November 2013)
  • Speaker, “Legal and Regulatory Requirements for Liquid Alt Funds,” IIR Alternative Strategy Mutual Funds Forum (September 2013)
  • Panelist, “Navigating the Regulatory Forest,” Institutional Investor Institute Senior Delegates Roundtable (January 2013)
  • Panelist, “Compliance and Regulatory Update – What’s New with the SEC and Other Regulatory Bodies,” Financial Research Associates 12th Annual Valuation of Hand-to-Value Securities and Portfolios (June 2012)
  • Panelist, “Regulatory Update – What’s New and What’s on the Horizon?” Financial Research Associates Optimizing Hedge Funds Business Operations (January 2012)
  • Speaker, “Hot-Button Regulatory Issues that Affect the Valuation Process,” Financial Research Associates 11th Annual Valuation of Hand-to-Value Securities and Portfolios (June 2011)
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1997; Book Notes Editor, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology
  • AB, summa cum laude, Dartmouth College, 1994; Phi Beta Kappa

Qualifications

  • Massachusetts, 1997
  • Legal 500 (2017-2019)
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, Rising Star (2016-2020)
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