Press Release

Morgan Lewis Adds Four-Lawyer Investment Funds Team in Chicago

January 10, 2022

CHICAGO, January 10, 2022: Morgan Lewis has bolstered its private investment fund capabilities and its Chicago office with the addition of a four-lawyer team anchored by partners Zeke Johnson and Brian Jacobson, along with associates Patrick Lucke and Jessica Parsons. Joining from Faegre Drinker, the team builds on Morgan Lewis’s 150-lawyer-strong global investment management team.

“The arrival of Zeke, Brian, and their team augments the breadth of our market-leading global investment management team, while adding a significant link for our alternative investment, private fund, and institutional investor clients,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon. “With Chicago cementing itself as a major financial center and a home to both startups and high-performance, multinational companies, the team’s collective wealth of experience, entrepreneurial drive, and technical skill will be a day-one resource to our clients’ innovation and growth.”

Zeke advises alternative investment management clients on fund organization and operation, regulatory and compliance matters, and product offerings. His work crosses various alternative asset classes, including private equity and private credit, venture capital, hedge fund, and other liquid strategies, as well as impact and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. Zeke also advises institutional investors in negotiating single investor funds, co-investments, investment management agreements, and other private fund investments. Earlier in his career, Zeke served as general counsel at Black River Asset Management LLC, a large alternative asset manager, where he oversaw legal matters related to more than $7 billion in assets and managed a global team of lawyers.

Brian counsels a range of institutional investors in connection with structuring and terms of their investments in private investment funds, co-investments, and other alternative investments vehicles. He also advises institutional investors as buyers or sellers of private fund interests, preferred equity offerings, and other secondary transactions and restructurings. Brian counsels private fund sponsors and other investment managers in the structuring and management of private equity funds, venture capital funds, funds of funds, hedge funds, and hybrid funds. His practice includes the organization of other investment vehicles and structures, such as single investor funds, co-investment vehicles, managed accounts, and other special purpose investment vehicles.

“After two years of a pandemic-driven market of extremes, we expect 2022 to be a critical period of ‘rebalancing’ with continued product development as firms respond to the challenging market environment,” added Tim Levin, leader of the firm’s investment management practice. “With an energetic, service-first approach and extensive market perspective, Zeke and Brian are well positioned to guide our sponsor-side and investor clients through opportunities and anticipated regulatory changes on the horizon. We are thrilled to welcome Zeke, Brian, Patrick, and Jessica to our growing team.”

Morgan Lewis has one of the largest and most diverse investment management teams in the world. From offices in financial centers across the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, Morgan Lewis lawyers advise funds, managers, financial services firms, and institutional investors on the full spectrum of matters, including formation, investment, transactional, regulatory, and compliance. The investment management practice has made a number of significant hires over the past two years. Prior to this Chicago-based team, who will guide clients in the Midwest, Twin Cities, and beyond, other arrivals include partner Lance Dial, who joined from global independent investment management firm Wellington Management in October 2021 and resides in Boston. In 2020, the firm added a four-lawyer private investment funds team in London that included partners Oliver Rochman and Rob Mailer, and welcomed former sovereign wealth fund investment in-house counsel Richard Knott as a partner in Abu Dhabi.