Joseph P. Cunningham is a partner in the Asset Management Department. Joseph has extensive experience representing hedge funds, private equity funds, ILS funds and other private funds investing in the U.S. and abroad. He focuses on advising fund managers in connection with fund structuring, sales and marketing, investor communications, side letters, trading and investments, day-to-day operations and regulatory compliance. He routinely advises managers with respect to global fund offerings to institutional and high net worth investors. Joseph has extensive experience representing some of the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance companies and global asset managers in connection with launching ILS and reinsurance fund platforms. Working closely with partners in Willkie’s leading insurance and tax practices, Joseph’s practice is at the forefront of the convergence of the reinsurance and asset management industries.  

Chambers USA (2024) ranks Joseph nationally among the leading practitioners in the area of Hedge Funds.

Over the course of his career, in addition to acting as lead U.S. counsel on numerous fund formations in the U.S. and various offshore jurisdictions, Joseph has advised some of the world’s largest and most prominent fund managers on legal matters ranging from SEC Advisers Act registration and compliance, Investment Company Act exemptions, CFTC registration and compliance, ERISA matters, FINRA rules, 1934 Act filings, Form PF, anti-money laundering rules, privacy rules, SEC examinations and litigations and workouts involving fund managers and investors.

Joseph also has significant experience representing start-up fund management companies, including negotiating seed capital arrangements and joint ventures among a host of different capital providers and other constituencies such as seeding firms, family offices, fund of funds and former employers). 

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Joseph is a member of the New York State Bar Associations.

Joseph has been involved in the following significant matters:

  • Represents prominent Bermuda-based reinsurance managers in connection with structuring and marketing investment funds and products that provide exposure to reinsurance and other insurance-linked investments, including Nephila Capital, Kiskadee, Aeolus Capital Management, Renaissance Re and New Ocean (XL Catlin).
  • Currently is advising a former Goldman Sachs partner on the launch of a fund management company and the formation of various bespoke open-ended funds focused on the re/insurance and transport sectors.
  • Continues to advise Aspen, Hiscox Re and other global insurance and reinsurance companies on third party capital platform initiatives. 
  • Acted as U.S. counsel in connection with the formation and offering of ILS funds for Schroders, Third Point Re and AQR Re, among other global asset managers.
  • Has represented a number of startup managers in connection with organizing their management companies, establishing compensation arrangements for key employees, structuring and marketing their funds, negotiating with lead and institutional investors and service providers and securing seed capital.
  • Represents a broad and diverse group of private fund clients including funds of hedge funds, activist funds, real estate and private equity funds, credit funds and hybrid vehicles of all types.



Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1998 Duke University, A.B., 1994

Bar Admissions

New York, 2000

Events & Speaking Engagements