About Wendy E. Cohen

Wendy Cohen, managing partner of Katten's New York office and co-chair of the Investment Management and Funds group, understands the business realities and challenges of the competitive world of asset management. For three decades, asset managers have turned to her to navigate the minefield of regulation that governs the structuring and operation of private investment funds. From the largest and most established hedge funds to innovative players with alternative strategies, clients rely on Wendy to handle all legal issues that touch their businesses.

Customizing practical plans

Wendy knows that asset managers don't fit a single mold. She understands each of her client's businesses, and uses that understanding to suggest practical strategies that are commercial while minimizing the risk of regulatory violations. Those clients have rewarded her with their loyalty. A founder of an investment management firm noted, “We have worked with Wendy on all aspects of fund creation and financial market representation for over 30 years. She is truly exceptional. While expert in the law and with deep business knowledge, it is her personal representation and advocacy for her clients that sets her above and apart.” In an industry where personal connections matter, Wendy forges fast and long-standing relationships with clients large and small.

Wendy has amassed extensive knowledge on the laws most relevant to her client base of private investment funds whether the investment portfolio includes securities, futures or cryptocurrencies. She has particular experience on issues relating to the formation and ongoing operation of fund management, including domestic and offshore offering requirements, futures regulation, investment adviser rules and broker-dealer regulation. She also stays in front of new and changing legal issues that touch other aspects of fund operations — among them cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity rules, US and EU privacy regulations and ERISA-related matters.

What separates Wendy, however, is her ability to account for her clients' unique needs in a manner that reflects an understanding of their businesses, while minimizing regulatory risk. When an investment manager client wanted to adopt a highly complex compensation structure for its multiple families of funds, for instance, she was able to distill the concepts and craft easily understandable disclosures that would enhance the client's marketing efforts. Sometimes she simply helps clients navigate regulatory obstacles, as she has done for clients that want to manage funds for their employees' IRAs. She helps guide them through the complex web of US Department of Labor rules, including receiving an exemption for one client that could not fit within established protocols.

Wendy's wide-ranging practice frequently touches on cutting-edge issues. She launched one of the earliest investment funds focused on cryptocurrencies, a rapidly changing area fraught with risk. She created comprehensive offering documents that allowed the manager to enter this dynamic new investment space with materials that were compliant with applicable regulation.

Whether it is in law or finance, Wendy is passionate about empowering women. She is active in Katten's Women's Leadership Forum, which supports the strategic retention and advancement of women attorneys at the firm through mentoring and professional development programs. She also has a long-standing relationship with 100 Women in Finance as an Angel Member. Wendy routinely hosts roundtable programs and other events in Katten's New York office on behalf of the 100WF, bringing exceptional speakers from the finance world and facilitating networking opportunities.

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"I have been working with Katten for years. They are by far the best firm. I used to spread my work, but their expertise is so strong across the board and they collaborate so well that I keep it all with them. Wendy Cohen is the partner I work with on everything, and she cares as much about protecting our interests as we do!"

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2023 "Best Law Firms"
(Private Funds / Hedge Funds Law) survey response

Practice Focus

  • Structuring, restructuring and marketing of private investment funds, with an emphasis on US and non-US hedge funds and funds of funds
  • Regulatory and compliance matters affecting private investment funds, registered investment advisers, commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors
  • The Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Act of 1934, the Commodity Exchange Act, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940
  • Asset manager employment and intellectual property matters
  • Cryptocurrency matters
  • Data security regulation
  • Privacy laws in the US and EU

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