UK Legal & Business News – Wallace Builds Funds Management Client Base –
Wallace acted for new client Ignis Investment Management, the investment management arm of the Pearl Group of companies, in the start up of a new US and UK based joint venture with Brian Bassett, the former Chief Investment Officer of Ignis, who was previously head of European Leveraged Finance at Deutsche Bank. The strategic partnership included the creation of a specialist credit fund manager Castle Hill Asset Management, which has started business with more than $2 billion of assets under management. Castle Hill has also launched a new hedge fund with approximately $50 million of seed capital. Ignis has over £67 billion of funds under management.

Wallace provided advice on the structure of the strategic partnership and the sub-advisory mandates to be performed by Castle Hill on Ignis-managed funds. Wallace worked opposite Weil Gotshal, who represented the joint venture partner.

This year Wallace also secured London & Capital plc as a new client. London & Capital is an international asset and wealth management firm with US$2.7 billion under management and Wallace has been retained as the firm’s legal adviser in the UK and is currently involved in a number of corporate matters.

The firm continues to act for Fauchier Partners, one of Europe’s leading funds of hedge funds with over US$7.2 billion of assets under management. Most recently Wallace advised some of the shareholders on the terms of their strategic relationship with BNP Paribas. As well as providing corporate advice, Wallace also advises Fauchier Partners in relation to employment, property and intellectual property matters.
John Woodhouse, lead partner on the Ignis deal, commented:

“We are pleased that our client, which is normally accustomed to dealing with much larger law firms, is impressed with the quality of advice and responsiveness Wallace has provided. We have benefited from the growing trend for companies to seek out specialist boutique law firms over larger multinationals in order to receive bespoke service with direct partner involvement, and the fund management sector is no exception.”
Rex Newman, managing partner at Wallace, added: “Our corporate practice has certainly been experiencing a sustained high deal volume and we are actively recruiting in the department at a time where many law firms are laying off senior and mid level corporate lawyers. Where we previously advised a handful of multinational companies amidst a core client base comprising medium sized entrepreneurial businesses, we are now dealing with large international companies on a regular basis. This is partly due to the continued growth and ‘coming of age’ of many of our longstanding clients, but companies are also becoming savvy when it comes to shopping around for legal services. They realise that you can get top quality service from smaller boutique firms who don’t have to worry about City overheads and inflated partner bonuses.”

Wallace is currently advising Enic International – the majority shareholder in Tottenham Hotspur FC – in a commercial dispute, as well as acting for a major European company in its sale to one of the international market leaders in e-commerce. Last year the firm worked opposite Unilever’s in-house UK legal team in the US$411.5 million sale of global TIGI professional hair products business and its supporting advanced education academies to Unilever.

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