Ropes & Gray Strengthens Private Investment Funds Practice with the Addition of Catherine Skulan as Counsel

February 16, 2016

Ropes & Gray LLP today announced that it has strengthened the firm’s private investment funds practice with the addition of Catherine Skulan as counsel. 

Ms. Skulan joins Ropes & Gray from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and brings to the firm deep experience advising global asset management and private equity firms on fund formation, as well as ongoing operational and compliance matters.

“We are excited to welcome Catherine to the firm. Having played a leading role in engagements on behalf of some of the industry’s most sophisticated players, Catherine is a highly skilled funds practitioner,” said John Ayer, partner and co-head of the firm’s private investment funds group.

Ms. Skulan has substantial experience in the formation of private investment funds, including pan-Asia and China-focused private equity funds; real estate funds; special situations and distressed investment funds; and co-investment and side-car vehicles. She has represented both sponsors and placement agents in placement agent agreement negotiations, and she has advised on the participation of investment bank-sponsored feeder funds into a variety of asset classes. She has also advised on managed accounts for global asset management firms and negotiated investments for fund of funds clients. In addition, she advises sponsor clients on structuring investments, fund compliance issues and joint venture arrangements.

Ms. Skulan will initially join the private investment funds practice in New York, but, as part of the firm’s strategic expansion on the West Coast, plans to promptly seek admission to the California bar and transfer to the firm’s San Francisco office.

“The opportunity to join the growing West Coast office of a global firm with one of the largest and most sophisticated private investment funds practices was an extremely enticing proposition,” said Ms. Skulan. “The depth of Ropes & Gray’s capabilities, and its strengths in helping its clients to navigate an increasingly complex global legal landscape, are complementary to my own experience. I am excited to become a part of this team.”

“With significant exposure to the kinds of issues regularly faced by our clients, we anticipate that Catherine will play a key role within the practice, and will fortify our funds capabilities on the West Coast,” said Raj Marphatia, partner in Ropes & Gray’s private investment funds practice and co-managing partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices. Ms. Skulan’s arrival will follow the recent addition of Edward Baer, former chief legal officer for BlackRock’s U.S. iShares, who recently joined the firm’s award-winning investment management practice as counsel in San Francisco.

Ms. Skulan received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and also holds a Bachelor and Masters of Law from the University of Tokyo.