Sidley Austin has picked up a pair of partners from Shearman & Sterling, Nathan Greene and Jay Baris, as the Chicago-founded firm continues its growth in New York.
The addition of Greene and Baris to Sidley’s investment funds group comes on the heels of the arrival of Joshua Thompson, the leader of Shearman’s global leveraged finance practice and head of private capital last week. Sidley also picked up Brien Wassner, co-leader of Shearman’s private capital group, in November.
Baris and Greene had been practicing at Shearman for some time, but jointly decided they wanted to join Sidley because of the size of its group.
“We were looking for a bigger practice and Sidley delivers that in spades,” said Greene.
Sidley has a long track record of representing registered investment companies and their constituents in fund formation, board representation, and related operational and regulatory matters, William Kerr, global leader of its investment funds practice and executive committee member, said in a statement.
“Our registered fund practice is an important component of our broad private funds practice, which distinguishes our practice from other firms that focus primarily on either private funds or registered funds,” Kerr said.
Greene, who made partner at Shearman in 2007, advises on the regulatory aspects of fund and investment advisory operations and works with funds and financial institutions on regulatory issues around emerging technologies like blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence. He has also worked in the registered alternatives market and advised clients in M&A deals relating to registered advisers.
He’s represented fund management organizations and fund families like First Eagle Funds and Perella Weinberg as well as independent fund boards, including the boards of Blackstone’s registered fund complex and the independent trustees of the Victory Funds.
Baris has practiced in the asset management area for more than 35 years, representing registered funds, investment advisers, financial institutions, broker-dealers, and independent directors across an array of matters involving financial services regulation, transactions, and corporate governance. He joined Shearman in 2018 from Morrison & Foerster, where he chaired that firm’s investment management practice.
These are unusual times and there is consolidation happening in the registered funds area and clients want and expect a deep bench and experience to match, which they could better provide at Sidley, Baris said.
“We saw this as a great opportunity to join the premiere group,” he added.
“We thank Jay and Nathan for their contributions to the firm and wish them the best in their futures,” Shearman said in a statement.
Shearman also recently lost Laura Friedrich, a former leader of its investment funds team, who moved to Willkie, Farr & Gallagher in February.
Shearman has also made some additions, hiring M&A and private equity partners Ann Marie Cowdrey and Nathan Meredith away from Thompson & Knight to join its new office in Dallas earlier this year.
As for Greene and Baris, Sam Gandhi, managing partner of Sidley’s New York office and an executive committee member, said the duo’s capabilities and experience in the registered fund and Investment Company Act space complement other Sidley practices like global finance, insurance, and capital markets, which are traditionally strong in the New York market.
“Adding top talent in the industry such as Nathan and Jay is one of our many strategic approaches to ensure we continue to deliver full-service excellence,” Gandhi added.