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Derek N. Steingarten

Fax +1.212.536.3901

Derek Steingarten is an investment management group partner based in the firm’s New York office who represents a client base of U.S. and non-U.S. asset managers and funds, including hedge funds, ETFs, mutual funds and their boards of directors, investment consultants and others active in the investment fund industry. As part of his practice, he manages team-based delivery of legal advice to senior legal and business leaders of fund managers and advisory firms, providing proactive guidance related to SEC regulations and compliance initiatives to support business objectives. Areas of direct experience include:

  • Investment Advisory: Legal advice related to investment products and strategies for institutional, retail and sub-advisory clients (e.g. IMAs, SMA Programs, sub-advisory arrangements, Form ADV/disclosures, marketing materials). Strategic advice and advocacy in response to examinations by the SEC and other regulatory agencies.
  • Private, Registered & Offshore Funds: Structuring, offering and ongoing trading and operations of hedge funds and other active funds, including PPMs, subscription agreements, side letters and offering materials. Pre-launch and ongoing representation of SEC-registered funds (mutual funds, ETFs, CEFs and liquid alternative funds) including registration statements, annual reports, proxies and other materials filed with regulators. Coordination with offshore counsel for non-U.S. fund launches, including global master-feeder structures and offerings of non-US funds into the U.S. institutional market.
  • Fund & ETF Boards: Hands on representation of affiliated and independent Boards of Directors for mutual funds, closed-end funds and ETFs, including extensive boardroom experience and ongoing work with senior executives to manage agenda items and run meetings.
  • Corporate Structuring & Governance: Management and drafting work for all legal steps for the organization and ongoing governance of corporations, LLCs, partnerships, business trusts and other onshore and offshore vehicles established for asset management businesses.
  • Negotiation & Advocacy: Advising and negotiating for clients in business alliance agreements, dispute settlement discussions, employment and consulting agreements, insurance, M&A transactions and other corporate matters.
  • Marketing and Distribution: Legal and regulatory strategy for marketing products and services to institutional investors, including for hedge, private equity and other private funds, funds-of-funds, sponsored and sub-advised mutual funds, bank collective funds, and institutional separate accounts and managed account platforms.
  • Vendor Relationships: Negotiating agreements and advising on many legal and compliance aspects of vendor management, including vendor informational reports and oversight.

Professional Background

Mr. Steingarten was a partner in the financial institutions group of a prominent national law firm based in Boston, where he worked for 15 years prior to joining K&L Gates in 2015. As a university and law student, Mr. Steingarten worked for the Government of Canada, within both the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Justice.


Mr. Steingarten is consistently ranked among leading investment lawyers by prominent independent, client-driven legal directories such as Chambers USA and The Legal 500. In particular, he has been recognized in each Chambers USA, Leading Lawyers For Business guides published annually since 2008. The 2017 Chambers guide cites his “timely, high-quality advice” and his “keen focus on the business considerations that are implicated by his advice.”

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Steingarten speaks regularly at industry events focused on investment adviser and fund regulatory and compliance issues, including as a panelist at the following: K&L Gates IM Conference: “Regulatory & Industry Initiatives and Trends,” “Cryptocurrencies & ICOs in Investment Management,” and “ETF & Registered Fund Developments” (NYC, October 2018); K&L Gates ETF Think Tank: “ETFs are Global: Cross-Border Considerations” (NYC, September 2018 and Boston, October 2018); K&L Gates IM Conference: “Big Data and Quantamental Investing/Registered Funds Issues/Cryptocurrency” (NYC, October 2017); Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA): “How Hedge Funds can Maximize Big Data by Minimizing Legal Risk” (NYC, July 2017); “Brexit Q&A” (webinar, January 2017); K&L Gates “IM Conference – Registered Funds” (Chicago, January 2017); Financial Research Associates “Sub-Advised Funds Forum” (NYC, September 2016); NRS “Investment Adviser Compliance Symposium” (Chicago, July 2016); K&L Gates “New Manager Forum” (NYC, April 2016); Compliance Reporter “Compliance Breakfast Briefing” (NYC, November 2015).
Mr. Steingarten’s recent engagements include the representation of: 
  • Multi-billion dollar asset management firms in connection with a wide range of corporate and securities matters focused on institutional money management, sub-adviser relationships, private fund launches and seeding transactions.
  • Established middle-market asset managers and private equity funds in transactions to acquire or sell RIA firms or fund product franchises, establish (or restructure) joint ventures; negotiate and implement management team lift-outs, and develop new lines of business in a regulated environment (e.g. index licensing and ETFs).
  • Industry organizations seeking expertise-driven guidance and advocacy in key aspects of their interactions with securities regulators.
  • Boards of Directors of registered mutual funds ETFs and closed end funds pursuing specialized investment strategies, including ‘alternative’ mutual funds. 
  • Non-U.S. fund managers required to register with the SEC and/or maintain processed to ensure cross-border compliance with U.S. securities and regulatory issues that impact funds and U.S. institutional and retail investors.
  • Various pension and endowment consulting firms as they enhance their capacity to provide outsourced CIO services and fully discretionary management services.
  • FinTech startups (including robo-advisors) building regulated and unregulated investment advisory, trading and indexing businesses.
  • Entrepreneurial portfolio managers founding their own independent hedge funds and/or or building a boutique franchise within an established firm.