Christopher Wells

Photo of Christopher Wells

Chris heads Proskauer’s Hedge Fund Group and has been a leading lawyer in the hedge fund industry for more than 30 years. During that time, he has assisted on hundreds of hedge fund launches, counselling and assisting hedge fund managers as they grew from often very modest beginnings to become some of the world’s largest and best known hedge funds.

He advises fund managers and investors on all aspects of the hedge fund business, including fund structuring and formation, seed investments, asset manager M&A transactions, agreements among principals, employment and compensation issues, and regulatory and enforcement matters.

Chris’s long and deep experience in the hedge fund industry gives him a unique ability to counsel clients dealing with some of the most challenging situations that fund managers can encounter, including complex fund restructurings, evolving hedge fund investment terms, hybrid and alternative fund structures, liquidity challenges and constraints, internal disputes, and complex enforcement matters.

Latest Articles

If a team from the SEC arrives at your office and says, “We are conducting an on-site examination and would like to talk to the CCO right now,” are you prepared? A handful of registered investment advisers have faced surprise SEC exams in recent months. These exams come in two flavors: either a “for cause” exam arising from SEC staff concerns relating to a specific ongoing issue, or a standard exam that for some reason…
On October 4, 2017, U.S. Representative Sean P. Duffy [R-WI-7] introduced U.S. House of Representatives Bill H.R.3948 entitled the “Protection of Source Code Act.” If enacted, the Bill would amend the Securities Act, the Securities Exchange Act, the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisers Act to prohibit the SEC staff from obtaining algorithmic trading source code without a subpoena. This would prevent the SEC staff from obtaining source code through OCIE exam requests or…
The SEC staff recently published an alert highlighting the most common deficiencies seen in investment advisers’ marketing materials.  Based on its recent examinations and initiatives, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued its risk alert to highlight compliance issues relating to Rule 206(4)-1 (the “Advertising Rule”).  Here are the top six: Misleading Performance Results. Misleading One-on-One Presentations. Misleading Claim of Compliance with Voluntary Performance Standards. Cherry-Picked Profitable Stock Selections. Misleading Selection of…
As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise concerns under existing pay-to-play regulations. While seemingly straightforward in application, the SEC’s pay-to-play regulations have the potential to present a number of complex questions for private fund investment advisers to pooled investment vehicles with existing, or prospective, state government or retirement plan investors. …
In an order dated June 14, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted its prior proposal to increase the net worth threshold for “qualified clients” under Rule 205-3 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Advisers Act) from $2 million to $2.1 million. This adjustment is being made pursuant to a five-year indexing adjustment required by §205(e) of the Advisers Act.…
On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to increase the net worth threshold for qualified clients from $2 million to $2.1 million.  This proposed adjustment is being made pursuant to a five-year indexing adjustment required by §205(e) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Advisers Act), as amended by §418 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Investment advisers registered with the SEC…
Partners Timothy W. Mungovan (co-head of Private Equity & Hedge Fund Litigation Group) and Christopher M. Wells (head of Hedge Funds Group)  have been invited to join a large collection of senior regulators at the Regulatory Compliance Association’s Enforcement, Compliance & Operations (ECO) 2016 Symposium.  The conference will take place on Tuesday May 17 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City. Tim will be chairing the session entitled: “Enforcement 2016 – New Priorities,…
On September 15, 2015, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a Risk Alert announcing its second round of examinations of registered investment advisers and broker-dealers under its cybersecurity examination initiative.…
Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set a compliance date of July 31, 2015 for the ban on payments to third parties for the solicitation of advisory business from any government entity under Rule 206(4)-5 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Pay-to-Play Rule). At the same time, the SEC also clarified in its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Pay-to-Play Rule that it would not recommend enforcement action against an investment adviser…