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Family Offices

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Overview

Our Clients

Katten counsels family offices and high-net-worth individuals in order to help them achieve their often complex personal, financial, investment, tax and estate planning, and charitable goals.

Our Services

Since the firm's founding, Katten has counseled high-net-worth individuals and their family offices in the acquisition, ownership, operation and disposition of their businesses, real estate and investments. We also have counseled high-net-worth clients seeking to form family offices. We listen to what truly matters to our clients and are then responsive to their needs. Working seamlessly, our attorneys that span numerous nationally recognized industry and practice teams, including Transactional Tax Planning, Private Equity, Financial Services, Real Estate, Corporate, Trusts and Estates, Intellectual Property, Sports, and Aviation, provide family offices and high-net-worth individuals with comprehensive, efficient and responsive service. Our teams serve as trusted advisers to family offices and high-net-worth individuals for their legal needs in the following areas:

  • formation and regulatory issues,
  • private equity and hedge fund investing,
  • real estate investing,
  • tax and estate planning, and
  • additional family office interests.

Formation and Regulatory

With a deep understanding of the complex legal needs of family offices, we are adept at structuring family offices and optimizing their regulatory compliance. In the formation of family offices, our attorneys advise on formation filings in the United States and the United Kingdom, investment professional employment and retention arrangements, and service provider documents connected with deals, 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 and/or providing counsel related to investment adviser registration and handle corporate governance structuring. For those with the investment adviser classification, we help them navigate certain fiduciary, reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Private Equity, Hedge Fund and Real Estate Investing

Katten has decades of experience counseling single or multiple family offices in complex transactions of all types, whether a control investment, a co-investment alongside a private equity fund or a passive investment in an institutional fund (or a captive fund). With experience across a broad range of industries, we pursue deals in the industries that match the values and interests of our family office clients. Our attorneys have particular experience with middle-market private equity investing, mezzanine fund investments and independent sponsor-led transactions. Working with our clients to determine their specific priorities in each private equity transaction allows us to bring a laser focus to the key issues, moving quickly and efficiently to closing.

Additionally, Katten 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 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 are highly experienced in facilitating all aspects of transactions where the family office serves as the direct financing source, a purchaser of fund interests or as a co-investor with a private equity fund.

Tax and Estate Planning

With a keen focus on customized services for each family office client, Katten's attorneys provide concierge-style support for tax and estate planning. We take a holistic view of our family office clients and their individual personalities, goals and legal needs. Our team provides creative and comprehensive counsel tailored to the diverse needs of family offices, including business succession planning; federal, state and international tax planning; trust planning and administration; and litigation. We also assist family offices with their intellectual property assets. We provide insurance analysis for family offices 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. Our attorneys also assist family offices with their philanthropic interests, including the creation of charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, private foundations and other charitable vehicles, and help them leverage the relevant tax benefits. We frequently work with multi-jurisdictional families and their family offices, including those with international family members, and coordinate cross-border tax, estate and personal planning, including pre-residency and expatriation planning.

Additional Family Office Interests

In addition to the areas outlined above, Katten attorneys assist family offices with a multitude of other kinds of investments, including sports and entertainment investments, acquisitions and sales of professional sports teams, and non-control, passive investments in sports teams.

We also advise family offices on private aircraft acquisitions, dispositions, insurance, finance, leases and operations, including fractional shares. We help clients create use policies and determine the various ownership structures to satisfy their specific aviation objectives.

In addition, our attorneys regularly help clients navigate the myriad of issues related to cross-border investments. In particular, through our London affiliate, we provide highly experienced counsel on international investments in hedge funds, European-based mutual funds (also referred to as "undertakings for the collective investment in transferable securities" (UCITS)) and private equity funds, as well as co-investments and direct investments internationally.

Experience
  • Establishment of a number of private investing entities throughout the world on behalf of a family office. Katten handles 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.
  • Representation of a family office in connection with its anchor investment in a private equity fund and an associated equity backstop facility and PIPE transaction.  
  • Counsel to an individual regarding the establishment of a family office and registered adviser.
  • Provision of advice to an individual regarding separation of a family entity.
  • Representation of a global private equity investment firm in connection with providing international tax and estate planning advice to a client.
  • Counsel to a 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 to a 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. 
  • Representation of a family office in connection with early-stage investments, primarily relating to consumer brands.
  • Review of compliance policies for a family office.
  • Provision of advice and documents to a family office relating to investment adviser registration and compliance policies and procedures.
  • Representation of a family office in connection with investment in multiple restaurant development transactions.
Family Offices

Recognition

Legal 500 US – Asset Finance and Leasing
Asset Finance and Leasing, 2016–2018
Chambers USA – Capital Markets: Securitization (Nationwide)
Capital Markets: Securitization (Nationwide), 2017–2018
U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Securitization and Structured Finance Law (National)
Securitization and Structured Finance Law (National), 2017–2018
U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Securitization and Structured Finance Law (New York)
Securitization and Structured Finance Law (New York), 2017–2018
National Law Journal, Elite Trial Lawyers 2015
Chambers Global – Capital Markets: Securitization (USA)
Capital Markets: Securitization (USA), 2017–2018
Chambers USA – High Net Worth (Illinois)
High Net Worth (Illinois), 2016–2018
Chambers USA – High Net Worth (New York)
High Net Worth (New York), 2016–2018
Chambers USA – High Net Worth (USA)
High Net Worth (USA), 2016–2018
Legal 500 US – Structured Finance
Structured Finance, 2017–2018
Chambers USA – High Net Worth (Southern California)
High Net Worth (Southern California), 2016–2018
Chambers USA – Real Estate (North Carolina)
Real Estate (North Carolina), 2016–2018
Chambers USA – Real Estate (Nationwide)
Real Estate (Nationwide), 2016–2018
Legal 500 US – M&A: Private Equity Buyouts
M&A: Private Equity Buyouts, 2016–2018
Legal 500 US – M&A: Middle-Market (Sub-$500 Million)
M&A: Middle-Market (Sub-$500 Million), 2016–2018

Mergermarket Global and Regional M&A

US Buyouts by Deal Count, H1 2018, H1 2017
U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Trusts and Estates Law (Chicago)
Trusts and Estates Law (Chicago), 2016–2019
Chambers USA – Real Estate (Illinois)
Real Estate (Illinois), 2016–2018
Legal 500 US – Alternative/Hedge Funds
Alternative/Hedge Funds, 2016–2018
Legal 500 US – Sport
Sport, 2016–2018
Chambers USA – Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Illinois)
Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Illinois), 2016–2018
U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Litigation – Trusts and Estates (Los Angeles)
Litigation – Trusts and Estates (Los Angeles), 2016–2019
U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Trusts and Estates Law (Los Angeles)
Trusts and Estates Law (Los Angeles), 2016–2019
U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Trusts and Estates Law (New York)
Trusts and Estates Law (New York), 2016–2019
U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Trusts and Estates Law (National)
Trusts and Estates Law (National), 2016–2019
Chambers USA – Investment Funds: Hedge Funds (Nationwide)
Investment Funds: Hedge Funds (Nationwide), 2016–2018
Chambers USA – Transportation: Aviation: Finance (Nationwide)
Transportation: Aviation: Finance (Nationwide), 2016–2018
Chambers USA – Sports Law (Nationwide)
Sports Law (Nationwide), 2016–2018
Chambers USA – Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (New York)
Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (New York), 2017–2018
Chambers USA – Real Estate (Washington, DC)
Real Estate (Washington, DC), 2016–2018

Asset–Backed Alert

Top Three ABS/MBS Issuer Counsel 2018, 2017; Top 20 CLO Underwriter Counsel 2018, 2017
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Recognition

Asset Finance and Leasing, 2016–2018
Capital Markets: Securitization (Nationwide), 2017–2018
Securitization and Structured Finance Law (National), 2017–2018
Securitization and Structured Finance Law (New York), 2017–2018
Capital Markets: Securitization (USA), 2017–2018
High Net Worth (Illinois), 2016–2018
High Net Worth (New York), 2016–2018
High Net Worth (USA), 2016–2018
Structured Finance, 2017–2018
High Net Worth (Southern California), 2016–2018
Real Estate (North Carolina), 2016–2018
Real Estate (Nationwide), 2016–2018
M&A: Private Equity Buyouts, 2016–2018
M&A: Middle-Market (Sub-$500 Million), 2016–2018

Mergermarket Global and Regional M&A

US Buyouts by Deal Count, H1 2018, H1 2017
Trusts and Estates Law (Chicago), 2016–2019
Real Estate (Illinois), 2016–2018
Alternative/Hedge Funds, 2016–2018
Sport, 2016–2018
Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Illinois), 2016–2018
Litigation – Trusts and Estates (Los Angeles), 2016–2019
Trusts and Estates Law (Los Angeles), 2016–2019
Trusts and Estates Law (New York), 2016–2019
Trusts and Estates Law (National), 2016–2019
Investment Funds: Hedge Funds (Nationwide), 2016–2018
Transportation: Aviation: Finance (Nationwide), 2016–2018
Sports Law (Nationwide), 2016–2018
Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (New York), 2017–2018
Real Estate (Washington, DC), 2016–2018

Asset–Backed Alert

Top Three ABS/MBS Issuer Counsel 2018, 2017; Top 20 CLO Underwriter Counsel 2018, 2017
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