Private equity and venture capital funds


We are a market leader in the formation, marketing and ongoing operation of all types of private equity and venture capital funds, including secondaries funds and fund of funds.

We act for a broad cross section of private equity managers, from well-established managers with several funds to new start-ups and from larger funds with a global investor base to smaller funds with a more restricted UK investor base. We also act for limited partners on their investments into funds. Our diverse practice means that we have exceptional market knowledge and unparalleled experience in advising on the legal structures and terms of private equity funds.

  • Fund formation: We are able to take new and experienced managers through the process of raising a private equity fund, from forming an appropriate management vehicle and obtaining authorisation from the Financial Services Authority, to establishing a tax-efficient fund structure and marketing the fund. We advise management teams on all aspects of the structuring and terms of their incentive arrangements.

    We are recognised by clients for our fund formation expertise and our ability to manage complex cross-border projects. A substantial proportion of our work is international in nature and we increasingly lead fund formations where there is little or no actual UK nexus, and act for international clients in marketing their funds.
  • Restructuring: We have carried out a good deal of restructuring work as a result of the credit crunch, acting for both general partners and limited partners, as well as advisory boards of limited partners, on potential fund restructurings, various secondary transactions and dealing with defaulting investors and no fault divorce provisions. We have also acted for several new managers looking to invest in distressed and turnaround opportunities.
  • Ongoing advice: Our role does not end with fund formation; we advise managers on ongoing issues between fund raisings, including assisting with the day to day operation of funds where legal input is necessary.


  • "Respected investment management group with a reputation for excellence acting for sponsors and investors."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • "The thing I love about Macfarlanes is they not only understand the regulatory and legal issues, but they know how to impact on the operational aspects of managing a fund. They know what the investors are thinking and can tell us what they expect to see."

    Chambers UK 2016

  • "The firm has expanded its practice in recent years and commentators described the firm's 'prominent position' in the market."

    Who's Who Legal 2015

  • "Macfarlanes LLP has a 'strong overall funds practice that covers a wide range of structures', and is praised for its 'practical advice that is based on evolving market practices'."

    The UK Legal 500 2015

  • "'Very responsive, very good knowledge both breadth and depth-wise, and very good understanding of what we're trying to achieve and helping to facilitate that'."

    Chambers UK 2015

  • "Macfarlanes' preeminent practice yields several leading lawyers."

    Who's who Legal Private Funds 2015