Since the firm’s founding, Katten has helped high-net-worth individuals and their family offices in the acquisition, ownership, operation and disposition of their businesses, real estate and investments. We also work with high-net-worth clients seeking to form family offices.

Our services include:

  • formation and regulatory issues
  • private equity and hedge fund investing
  • real estate investing
  • tax and estate planning
  • sports and entertainment investments, acquisitions and sales of professional sports teams, and noncontrol, passive investments in sports teams
  • private aircraft acquisitions, dispositions, insurance, finance, leases and operations, including fractional shares, use policies and ownership structures
  • cross-border investments, including international investments in hedge funds, European-based mutual funds (“undertakings for the collective investment in transferable securities”) and private equity funds, as well as co-investments and direct investments internationally

Structuring family offices for success

With a deep understanding of their complex legal needs, we are experienced in structuring family offices and optimizing their regulatory compliance. In the formation process, we handle formation filings in the US and UK, investment professional employment and retention arrangements, and service provider documents, such as terms of engagement with employees and a variety of other service providers and administrators. In addition, we advise on qualifying as a family office for regulatory purposes, offer counsel related to investment advisor registration and handle corporate governance structuring. For those with the investment adviser classification, we help them navigate certain fiduciary, reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Landing critical investments

With decades of experience advising single or multiple family offices in complex transactions of all types, we help our clients land the deals that best match their values and interests. We work with our clients to determine their specific priorities in each transaction, which allows us to bring a laser focus to key issues, moving quickly and efficiently to closing. From negotiating a control investment, a co-investment alongside a private equity fund, or a passive investment in an institutional fund (or a captive fund), our attorneys have particular experience with middle-market private equity investing, mezzanine fund investments and independent sponsor-led transactions.

Our team also represents family offices in all types of real estate-related investments, including investments in real estate funds, joint ventures and co-investments, direct purchases and financing. We leverage our market knowledge and conduct thorough reviews of the fund and related subscription documents to counsel family offices on the technical and practical considerations involved with real estate investments. Our attorneys are at the forefront of real estate joint ventures and can facilitate all aspects of transactions where the family office serves as the direct financing source, a purchaser of fund interests or a co-investor with a private equity fund.

Safeguarding assets for future generations

With a keen focus on tailoring our services to the needs of client, we offer concierge-style support for tax and estate planning. Our team takes a holistic view that incorporates our clients’ personalities, goals and legal needs, and we provide creative and comprehensive solutions tailored to the varied needs of family offices, including business succession planning, cross-jurisdictional tax planning, trust planning and administration, and litigation. We also assist family offices with intellectual property assets, provide insurance analysis, and offer guidance on the use of irrevocable life insurance trusts, offshore life insurance techniques, split-dollar life insurance, private placement life insurance and insurance-dedicated funds.

We also help clients pursue their philanthropic interests, including the creation of charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, private foundations and other charitable vehicles. In doing so, we help them leverage the relevant tax benefits. We frequently work with multijurisdictional families and their family offices, including those with international family members, and coordinate cross-border tax, estate and personal planning, including preresidency and expatriation planning.


  • Establish numerous private investing entities throughout the world on behalf of a family office. We handle all legal due diligence aspects of the client’s investment portfolio, including private equity fund review, private equity fund formation, hedge fund investment review, global direct investments and short-term cash investment vehicles. We determine which investing vehicles are most appropriate for each particular investment depending on cash flow needs of various beneficiaries, charitable and philanthropic funding desires, and location of the investment.
  • Represent family office in its anchor investment in a private equity fund and an associated equity backstop facility and PIPE transaction.  
  • Counsel individual regarding the establishment of a family office and registered adviser.
  • Advise individual regarding separation of a family entity.
  • Represent global private equity investment firm in providing international tax and estate planning advice to a client.
  • Counsel family-run real estate company regarding location-based concerns, including international treatment of trusts, property rights, and ability to own operating and investment assets.
  • Counsel family office in settling a Delaware directed trust for the beneficiaries and purchasing a 7702(g) frozen cash value policy issued by a Bermuda insurance company to be held on the life of the settlor. 
  • Represent family office in connection with early-stage investments, primarily relating to consumer brands.
  • Review compliance policies for a family office.
  • Advise and provide documents to a family office relating to investment adviser registration and compliance policies and procedures.
  • Represent family office in investment in multiple restaurant development transactions.