Barton has decades of experience representing private companies and institutional investors. We regularly advise private equity and venture capital investors on the full spectrum of private transactions. As advisors to both portfolio companies and their investors, we offer an extensive network to deliver significant value for our clients from a business and legal perspective. Our attorneys maintain significant relationships with the asset managers and industry pioneers that play an important role in the development of new products and markets, as well as in the repositioning, acquisition, and divestiture of established and transitioning businesses.
Our team’s comprehensive skill set enables clients to effectively identify opportunities, execute transactions, and manage post-investment challenges. Our private equity practice is supported by leading experts in our intellectual property, tax, litigation, bankruptcy, and employment teams.
Barton is an effective and efficient outside general counsel for companies at the venture capital and private equity stage. Barton serves as outside general counsel to equity sponsors’ portfolio companies on a fixed fee basis. We provide an efficient alternative to large equity sponsors’ usual outside counsel, while bringing more diverse expertise and greater resources than a small in-house law department.
Barton has decades of experience representing emerging and later stage companies and the institutions and individuals that invest in them. Barton’s hedge fund practice combines our traditional strengths with attorneys who have significant industry experience, including the former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for a leading private fund manager and a former FINRA Compliance Examiner. Our team works to provide clients with experienced, practical advice and access to a range of disciplines.
Barton attorneys have extensive experience launching hedge funds using the full spectrum of investment strategies. We have also assisted fund managers in a broad range of business ventures, including the negotiation, modification, and termination of seed capital arrangements; acquisition of new investment strategies through employment, business acquisitions, and joint ventures; and private equity investments in advisory entities.
Our lawyers’ industry experience provides an invaluable perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing participants in the hedge fund management industry. This experience makes Barton particularly effective in structuring, negotiating, and documenting complex fund structures and the associated contractual agreements with investment professionals, trading counterparties, investors, third-party service providers such as establishment of prime brokerage and other trading relationships, as well as structuring and documentation of derivatives transactions. We provide counsel regarding intricate business arrangements that are subject to increasingly complex—and often dynamic—cross-border legal, tax, and regulatory regimes. We leverage our various practice group (employment, intellectual property, tax, litigation, and bankruptcy) in providing a full range of services to hedge fund management groups.
Once the funds are operational, Barton provides transactional focused services utilizing the firm’s capabilities in such areas as mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and energy. Our bankruptcy and creditors’ rights attorneys provide their services relating to distressed credit strategies, due diligence, credit facilities, and issues that arise in bankruptcy filings. We regularly represent funds in the acquisition or divestiture of distressed assets, debt, and claims.
In addition to our representation of hedge fund management groups, Barton provides legal services to institutional investors.
Barton’s Venture Capital team has extensive experience advising venture capital investors and emerging growth companies. As entrepreneurs, investors, and executives ourselves, we intimately understand the challenges and opportunities that emerging companies and venture investors must navigate to attain success.
Barton attorneys are dedicated to creating value for early stage clients. We strive to support early and late stage clients throughout the entire business lifecycle, from structuring and formation to financing, growth, development, and scaling their companies. Our team’s diverse business backgrounds enable us to offer unique, practical solutions that drive client success. Our business and investment expertise equip clients to secure the capital to build and expand their businesses. Our team’s business experience enables us to anticipate and fulfill each client’s business needs from launch to scale to acquisition.
Our venture capital attorneys offer deep expertise that boosts returns, optimizes performance and enhances transactional efficiency. Barton attorneys draw on decades of experience as venture capital investors and advisors to optimize fund structures, deal terms, and execution. Our venture capital team collaborates closely with our private equity, tax, intellectual property, and corporate finance attorneys to provide complete legal solutions. We offer a multi-faceted perspective to help venture capital clients to effectively evaluate market trends and to make sound investment decisions. From fund formation to fundraising and deal structuring, our team offers the experience and expertise to support our clients’ success and the success of their portfolio companies.
Barton attorneys have a long history of working with broker-dealers to navigate compliance and regulatory issues that have the potential to affect their day-to-day business. Our services include broker-dealer formation, broker-dealer sales and acquisitions, employment and termination of registered representatives, and counsel during any FINRA investigations. If the need arises, our attorneys will zealously represent our clients in all FINRA-related litigation and enforcement proceedings.
Our attorneys draw upon a broad base of experience in the broker-dealer, regulatory, and advisory areas. Barton’s clients benefit from our ability to draw upon the knowledge of our attorneys in other practice areas to provide a comprehensive range of backgrounds to supply our broker-dealer clients with a full complement of legal services.
Registered Investment Advisors
Barton attorneys frequently act as counsel for registered investment advisors (RIAs) in respect to all aspects of the advisory practice. With the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) and individual states’ constantly growing regulatory jurisdictions, Barton sets the standard in assisting our clients with the legal and compliance aspects of maintaining a successful practice.
Barton assists all sizes of RIAs, from those that are local and independent to some of the largest affiliated practices in the country. Our team regularly represents clients in all matters related to fund and asset management, strategic planning, SEC and DOJ enforcement, compliance, audits, investigations, and fiduciary obligations.
Barton’s RIA team consists of highly experienced transactional counsel who take the lead in formation, structure, and funding issues as well as litigators who defend claims against and advocate on behalf of RIAs in multiple jurisdictions throughout the country. Our legal services for RIAs include:
- Fund structure and formation
- Performance fees
- Performance disclosures; federal securities regulation Section 206(4); solicitation fee agreements
- Customer account structures, including wrap fee issues
- Conflicts of interest
- 1934 Act Section 28(e) and soft dollars
- Form ADV disclosure issues
- Regulatory examinations; audits; SEC and SRO inquiries
- Market surveillance and enforcement investigations and proceedings
- Wells Act submissions
- Arbitrations and mediations
Barton attorneys provide comprehensive securities law advice for issuers, investors, and financial institutions in the full range of capital-raising and recapitalization transactions. Our securities-focused attorneys help guide clients through federal and state registration of public securities offerings, including both initial public offerings and secondary offerings; private placements and exempt securities offerings; venture capital financings; institutional debt and equity financings; restricted stock transfers; stock exchange and NASDAQ listings; tender offers and going-private transactions; and mergers, acquisitions, exchange offers, and leveraged buyouts.
The securities industry is highly regulated, and it is relatively easy for a securities firm and/or its employees to inadvertently fail to observe all the rules and regulations. Moreover, regulators are under increasing pressure to extract heavy penalties, most often in the form of a monetary fine, for even the slightest infractions by a securities firm and/or its employees. The attorneys in Barton’s Securities Regulatory Group realize that individuals employed in the securities industry want to focus on the business at hand and not waste precious resources dealing with extraneous regulatory matters. We counsel our clients so that interactions with regulators are both minimal and trouble-free when they do occur.
The Securities Regulatory Group is called upon to advise clients on matters that are directly related to their securities activities, including:
- Formation and Capital Structure
- Membership Applications
- Registration Issues
- Floor Trading Violations
- Examinations, Investigations, and Enforcement Proceedings
Clients also request the Securities Regulatory Group to provide counsel in many of the following areas:
- Procedures, Policies, and Programs
- Written Supervisory Procedures
- Anti-Money Laundering Procedures
- Continuing Education Programs
- Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plans
Investment and Advisory Firms:
- Fund Structure and Formation
- Performance Fees
- Performance Disclosures; Section 206(4); Solicitation Fee Agreements
- Customer Account Structures, including Wrap Fee Issues
- Conflicts of Interest
- Section 28(e) and Soft Dollars
- Form ADV Disclosure Issues
Investigations and Arbitrations:
- Regulatory Examinations/Audits/SEC and SRO Inquiries
- Market Surveillance and Enforcement Investigations and Proceedings
- Wells Submissions
- Arbitrations and Mediations
Employment and Registration:
- Employment and Consulting Agreements
- Forms BD, U-4, and U-5
- Licensing, Registrations, and Disqualifications
- Wrongful Termination