James McKnight

Managing Associate


T +353 1 266 1122
M +353 87 191 8045

General Experience

James specialises in advising asset managers on the establishment and ongoing maintenance of investment vehicles.

He has significant experience assisting clients with the establishment of a variety of fund types, ranging from broadly offered retail funds to private funds aimed at small groups of sophisticated investors and family offices, across every major asset class, liquid and illiquid, and also in respect of digital assets. James has advised in relation to the establishment of funds structured as companies, unit trusts, limited partnerships, common contractual funds, as well as umbrella fund structures and master feeder structures.

He has advised in relation to the establishment of investment structures domiciled in a number of jurisdictions including Ireland, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Hong Kong and has advised managers based in a variety of jurisdictions including the U.K, the U.S., Ireland, the E.U., Switzerland, Latin America, Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

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Recent Work
  • advising the asset management arm of a large EU institution on its UCITS money market and ETF ranges
  • advising a UK credit manager on its QIAIF platform investing in credit, high yield and loan strategies utilising a “Super QIAIF” structure involving section 110 company subsidiaries for each sub-fund
  • advising a French asset manager on its structured UCITS offering
  • advising a Swiss asset manager on the restructuring of a range of unit trusts offered to Japanese retail investors
  • advising a Hong Kong based asset manager on the formation of a closed ended fund established to facilitate the largest single property acquisition in history (as of 2018)
  • advising the asset management arm of a large Japanese institution on the establishment of a catastrophe bond fund, which appointed a third-party London based manager as investment manager, such manager specialising in insurance linked investments
  • advising a Hong Kong based start-up manager platform on the establishment of a number of standalone funds and segregated portfolio companies
  • advising the trustee arm of a large Japanese institution on the establishment of a number of unit trust structures, pursuing both hedge and private equity type strategies.

Prior to joining Simmons & Simmons in 2018, James was a senior associate in the Hong Kong office of a prominent offshore law firm and prior to this was an associate in the investment management team of a leading US law firm, also based in Hong Kong. James trained and practised for a number of years as an investment funds lawyer with a “Big 5” Irish law firm.