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. He works with investment advisers, registered investment companies, including exchange-traded funds, 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 “highly regarded” by IFLR1000.


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

Areas of Practice