Phillip Isom

Partner

New York
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
787 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019-6099
T 212 728 8269
F 212 728 9269
pisomwillkie.com

Phillip Isom is a partner in the Asset Management Group. Phillip focuses on matters relating to private investment funds across a broad range of asset classes (including hedge, private equity and hybrid funds) and geographic areas (US, global and emerging markets). He has extensive experience in structuring and organizing the ownership arrangements of private investment firms (including carried interest arrangements for their investment professionals) and establishing joint ventures between firms. Phillip also represents buyers and sellers in secondary transfers of investment fund interests and investment portfolios funded with proprietary capital.

Phillip has advised institutions and investment teams in numerous spin-out transactions and regularly represents emerging managers (i.e., managers of first/second time private investment funds) in the creation of their firms, organization of their investment funds and negotiation of arrangements with joint venture partners and anchor or cornerstone investors.

In addition to his investment funds practice, Phillip has represented private equity firms in over 100 leveraged buyout, growth equity and venture capital transactions.

Phillip is ranked by Chambers USA for Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation – Nationwide, as well as by Chambers Global. Chambers quotes clients as saying that he has “moved the market forward in the way that people think of funds,” citing his “very commercial instincts” and describing him as “an encyclopedia of fund formation stuff.” He is listed in Who’s Who Legal for Private Funds. He has also been recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top African American attorneys (Private Equity) in the United States and was awarded "Lawyer of the Year" by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.

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Phillip Isom is a partner in the Asset Management Group. Phillip focuses on matters relating to private investment funds across a broad range of asset classes (including hedge, private equity and hybrid funds) and geographic areas (US, global and emerging markets). He has extensive experience in structuring and organizing the ownership arrangements of private investment firms (including carried interest arrangements for their investment professionals) and establishing joint ventures between firms. Phillip also represents buyers and sellers in secondary transfers of investment fund interests and investment portfolios funded with proprietary capital.

Selected Significant Matters

  • Representation of Springbok Energy Partners, LLC in its joint venture with Natural Gas Partners (NGP) to pursue investments in mineral and royalty interests.
  • Representation of Credit Suisse Asset Management in connection with stapled secondary transaction and venture capital fund formation.
  • Representation of Ares Management in connection with various debt fund matters.
  • Representation of Paramount Group in connection with formation of real estate fund and residential real estate development fund.
  • Representation of Lime Rock Partners in connection with formation of energy funds.
  • Representation of ICV Partners in connection with formation of middle market buyout funds and related matters.
  • Representation of Riverbend Oil & Gas in connection with formation of energy focused investment fund and related matters.
  • Representation of Auldbrass Partners in connection with formation of secondaries opportunities funds, various secondary transactions and related matters.
  • Representation of Houston Ventures in connection with formation of venture capital funds.
  • Representation of The CapStreet Group in connection with formation of middle market buyout funds and related matters.
  • Representation of Post Oak Energy Capital in connection with formation of energy funds and related matters.
  • Representation of Stellus Capital Management in connection with formation of energy and secondary opportunity funds and related matters.
  • Representation of Monarch Alternative Capital in connection with formation of credit opportunity funds and related matters.
  • Representation of Bridge Growth Partners in connection with private equity fund formation and other related matters.
  • Representation of Gavéa Investimentos in connection with formation of Brazilian claims fund.
  • Representation of KEC Ventures in connection with formation of venture capital fund and related matters.
  • Representation of GEC Partners in connection with formation of middle market energy services fund and related matters.
  • Representation of Center Oak Partners in connection with various private equity firm matters.
  • Representation of Fondos de Fondos – Mexico in connection with formation of an energy fund of funds.
  • Representation of Mexico Ventures in connection with formation of a fund of funds.

Investment Funds and Related Matters

  • Represented financial institution in forming US$350 million mezzanine fund.
  • Represented investment firm in forming US$3.5 billion global buyout and growth equity fund.
  • Represented financial institution in forming US$1.1 billion private equity fund focused on investments in Asia.
  • Represented financial institution in forming US$2.0 billion private equity fund focused on buyout investments in Asia.
  • Represented South African financial institution in structuring joint venture arrangement with Indian developer to form US$350 million Pan-African infrastructure fund.
  • Represented asset management firm in structuring joint venture arrangement with investment banking firm to organize US$1.5 billion European buyout fund.
  • Represented financial institution in structuring and administering single carried interest plan for over 140 worldwide professionals covering US$8 billion global investment portfolio.
  • Represented financial institution in structuring over a seven-year period over 20 committed and pledged capital co-investment arrangements for investments in various industries including the entertainment, media and healthcare/life sciences industries.
  • Represented asset management firm in forming a €500 million European distressed debt fund.
  • Represented asset management firm in forming multiple credit opportunity funds reflecting in excess of US$2 billion of capital.
  • Represented hedge fund manager with US$2 billion AUM in forming US$350 million special opportunities fund.
  • Represented asset manager in forming US$275 million non-performing mortgage loan fund.

Emerging Managers; Spinouts

  • Represented buyout and growth equity investment team with approximately US$6 billion AUM in spinout (including formation of new firm) from financial institution.
  • Represented emerging manager in forming US$240 million middle-market buyout fund (including structuring joint venture arrangement with asset management firm with US$20 billion AUM).
  • Represented emerging manager in forming its second US$350 million middle-market buyout fund (including structuring joint venture arrangement with private investment fund manager with US$3 billion AUM).
  • Represented emerging manager in structuring joint venture arrangement with insurance company and organizing its first US$250 million real estate fund.
  • Represented emerging manager in forming US$100 million fund investing in Asian and African financial institutions.
  • Represented Nigerian fund manager in forming its first private equity fund (US$150 million) for investing throughout West Africa.
  • Represented emerging manager in forming its firm (including structuring joint venture arrangement with financial institution) and organizing US$170 million fund investing in media and broadcasting companies.
  • Represented emerging manager in forming its firm and organizing US$150 million fund investing in minority- or women-owned, or managed, manufacturing, technology or consumer products companies.
  • Represented emerging manager in forming its firm and organizing its first US$75 million real estate fund.
  • Represented financial institution in spinouts of various investment teams including real estate investment team; Indian venture investment team; US venture investment team; technology, media and telecom investment team; and Australian leveraged buyout team.

Secondary Transactions

  • Represented financial institution in numerous selldowns of portions of its proprietary investment portfolio involving invested capital in excess of US$3 billion in the aggregate.
  • Represented financial institution in sale of limited partnership interests (approximately US$1.5 billion capital commitments) to consortium of secondary buyers.
  • Represented financial institution in sale of controlling interest in general partner of a US$2.5 billion private investment fund.
  • Represented fund of funds in acquisition of €$10 million limited partnership interest in €$1.2 billion European investment fund.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

Phillip serves on the Boards of Directors of Abyssinian Development Corporation and The Riverside Hawks, and on the Advisory Boards of Youth About Business, Community Development Project for Legal Aid Society and Macaulay Honors College.

Selected Publications and Lectures

  • “Introduction to Private Equity Fund Formation,” Securities Practice Portfolio Series (BNA) (2016).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Client Memorandum: Private Equity Alert: Year-End Reminder (2015).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Client Memorandum:  Private Equity Update: Industry and Regulatory Developments (2015).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Client Memorandum:  Use of Independent Firms in Private Equity Fund Valuations (2015).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Client Memorandum:  Private Equity Alert: Year-End Reminder (2014).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Client Memorandum:  Recent SEC Speech Highlights Concerns and Observations Raised By SEC Exams of Private Equity Fund Advisers (2014).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Client Memorandum: Two Recent SEC Enforcement Actions Highlights the SEC’s Focus on Private Equity Fund Managers (2013).
  • International Bar Association’s 23rd Annual Conference on the Globalization of Investment Funds Venture Capital Funds and the Impact of Proposed Regulation (2012).
  • NAIC 41st Annual Conference The State of Private Equity Funds and the Emerging Domestic Market (2011).
  • SEC Adopts Rule Defining "Venture Capital Fund" For Purposes Of Exemption From The Investment Advisers Act (The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel) (2010).
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Client Memorandum: SEC Adopts Rule Defining "Venture Capital Fund" For Purposes of Exemption From The Investment Advisers Act (2010).
  • "Fundless Sponsors" - "No Money, No Problem: Great deals are done in times like this so don't miss out!," National Association of Investment Companies’ 39th Annual Meeting and Convention (October 2009).
  • "Strategies to Address and Prevent LP Defaults," The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (June 2009).
  • "How Will New Private Investment Fund Regulations Impact Your Business," Webinar (April 2009).
  • "Private Equity Investments in Africa: Opportunity in the Face of a Global Financial Crisis," New York City Bar’s Committee on African Affairs and the American Bar Association, Section of International Law’s Africa Committee (March 2009).
  • "Overview: Secretary Geithner Outlines Framework for Systemic Risk Regulation" (2008).