James Ford

Partner

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James Ford is head of O’Melveny’s Investment Funds Practice and the managing partner of the Hong Kong office. He focuses his practice on clients active in private equity and other alternative assets, where he has a broad range of experience covering traditional fundraisings, secondary transactions, mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, and capital markets transactions. He regularly guides clients in structuring funds and transactions to address a wide range of regulatory, tax, and transactional issues.

James is recognised as a Leading Lawyer by the industry’s most prestigious legal publications, including Chambers Asia, Chambers UK, Legal 500, and IFLR1000. He is particularly praised for his work within the secondary transactions market and is described by clients as “a great negotiator with a proven ability to get things done” who also praised his “commercial awareness and attention to detail.” Prior to relocating to Hong Kong, James was a partner in O’Melveny’s London office.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers Asia-Pacific for Investments Funds (International Firms) (2019)
  • Named a Private Funds: Formation Expert by Who’s Who Legal (2018)

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Solicitor of the High Court of Hong Kong

Court Admissions

  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales

Education

  • College of Law, London, LPC: Distinction
  • Cambridge University, BA

Fund Formation:

  • Advising Asia-based sponsors on the formation of a range of funds investing across the region in private equity, as well as other alternative credit strategies and geographies, including China, India, and SE Asia
  • Advising significant Asian and European limited partners, with a particular focus on sovereign-linked investors, on their global private equity fund investment and co-investment activities
  • Advising a leading private wealth manager on establishment of a series of fund-of-funds and feeder funds, and their related investment activities

Secondaries and M&A:

  • Advising leading secondaries investors on a wide range of transactions, including the acquisition of a portfolio of emerging market private equity investments from a major bank; the £500 million acquisition of a 70% interest in the Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance portfolio (and the associated spin out of the BoSIF management team); the £125 million acquisition of 3i’s venture capital portfolio (comprising around 30 separate investments); the acquisition of Abbey National’s private equity portfolio (which comprised some US$1.33 billion in commitments), the spin out of the ABN AMRO life science team and portfolio, and the take-private of the Prelude Trust venture capital portfolio
  • Advising institutional limited partners with respect to the disposal of substantial portfolios of private equity fund interests
  • Assisting fund sponsors in accessing the secondary market to generate liquidity for their limited partners and/or to obtain additional capital for their investment programs

Strategic Investments:

  • Advising on investments by leading institutional investors in private equity and alternative asset management business

Capital Markets:

  • Advising Apollo Management on the formation of AP Alternative Assets, a US$1.5 billion single manager fund-of-funds listed on Euronext Amsterdam
  • Advising Ingenious Media Active Capital on its £150 million placing and admission to trading on AIM
  • Advising a number of venture-capital trust managers on the establishment, fundraisings, and capital restructurings of their client trusts and on their incentive schemes