Sovereign Wealth Funds

Sovereign wealth and governmental investors worldwide benefit from Ropes & Gray’s global experience in providing integrated legal advice and counseling across a wide range of disciplines.



Ropes & Gray’s attorneys in the United States, Europe and Asia have longstanding relationships with sovereign clients and government pension plans. We understand their distinct structures and objectives and the implications for nation-states and the global economy.

The firm advises many of the largest and most active sovereign wealth funds and governmental investors worldwide, including funds based in Canada, China, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Our clients include at least six of the 10 largest sovereign wealth funds based on assets under management according to The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

The increasing influence and investment activity of sovereign wealth funds and other governmental investors calls for sophisticated legal advice with a global perspective. Ropes & Gray clients benefit from our long tradition of providing comprehensive counsel to many of the largest investors in the world, particularly on the “buy” side.

We understand the important issues that are paramount to many governmental clients, including:

  • Credit standing: The strong credit standing of our sovereign clients and the need to identify and limit credit risk in their investments and activities.
  • Confidentiality: The unique issues posed by sovereign status, including issues presented by governmental disclosure and reporting requirements in jurisdictions where sovereign clients might invest
  • Sovereignty: Relationships with governments of jurisdictions where investments are made; when and how to waive or assert sovereign immunity; and immunity implications raised in litigation
  • Tax considerations: Implications of tax regulations, including Section 892 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and the use of strategies to maximize tax efficiency
  • Consistency: The need for consistency across a client’s contractual arrangements, credit requirements, and documentation to optimize the client’s position across all dealings
  • Anti-corruption/anti-bribery compliance: Ensuring that potential issues are identified and addressed swiftly, including analysis of risk in multinational transactions, investigation and defense of governmental actions, and establishment and implementation of anti-corruption programs



We have a leading international practice representing governmental and other institutional investors in structuring and negotiating investments, such as:

  • Buyout funds
  • Venture capital funds
  • Real estate funds
  • Natural resource and real asset funds
  • Absolute return funds
  • Fixed income funds
  • Distressed debt and special situation funds
  • Funds of funds

Investment Instruments

The firm’s attorneys have deep experience with the wide range of specific listed and unlisted investment instruments our sovereign clients employ, including:

  • Long and sort equity and fixed-income investments
  • Junk bonds (including a large and active work-out team)
  • Credit default swaps (including LCDS)
  • Futures contracts and related options
  • Foreign currency futures, forwards, and options
  • Forward, when-issued, and delayed-delivery transactions
  • Interest rate, total return, currency, and other swaps
  • Loans and loan participations
  • Structured notes and other structured products( including CDOs)

Investment Management Review

Our attorneys also provide detailed review of all aspects of investment management arrangements and programs, including:

  • Investment guidelines and regulations
  • Fee arrangements
  • Brokerage/trading arrangements
  • Indemnities
  • Tax and corporate action issues
  • Diligence on advisers’ internal controls
  • Transition management arrangements
  • Investment advisory mandates
  • SEC and CFTC compliance

Real Estate Investments

Ropes & Gray also provides strategic structuring of real estate investments, including throughprivate real estate investment trusts (REITs) and leverage blockers. Attorneys in our market-leading real estate, private equity and environmental practices collaborate to provide seamless advice and counsel on myriad investment situations, including:

  • Equity investments
  • Joint ventures
  • Anchor fund and co-investment commitments
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