335.01 Private Equity and Hedge Funds

The alternative asset classes of private equity and hedge funds represent a significant and growing share of investment activity worldwide and are at the center of many of the most pressing current issues in finance and financial law. While traditionally lightly regulated, both areas have received increasing regulatory attention since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Both also figure prominently in major ongoing debates concerning financial stability, market efficiency, corporate governance, financial innovation and complexity, and even income inequality. This course introduces private equity and hedge funds from the perspectives of finance, regulation, and legal practice, covering the foundational issues of securities, tax, organizational, and fiduciary law that they raise. Students will learn the basic regulatory framework applicable to fund structuring, fund managers and sponsors, fund offerings, and fund investments, and gain experience with the key agreements among the parties involved. In addition, the course will critically assess the current regulation of private equity and hedge funds and proposals for reform. Through reading materials, course discussions, guest lectures, and group work, students will gain insight into the perspective of fund managers, advisors, investors, those who transact with such funds, and those who regulate the fund industry.

Prerequisites: Students must have previously completed or be concurrently enrolled in Business Associations or an introductory course on business organizational law/company law taken at another law school (whether in the U.S. or abroad). Prior coursework in securities regulation and taxation may be useful, but is not required.

Spring 2021

Format: SUBJECT TO PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE, THIS COURSE WILL BE OFFERED IN A HYBRID FORMAT. Students may choose to attend in person on a rotating basis or to participate on a fully remote basis.

Grading: The course grade will be based on: (i) a final examination, (ii) class participation, and (iii) quizzes, problem sets, or other short assignments.

Special Notes:


Spring 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room
Course Credits
Final Exam
Practical exercises
Class participation
Elisabeth D. de Fontenay M/W 10:55 AM-12:20 PM
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.335.01.Sp21
Email list: LAW.335.01.Sp21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - JD-LLM-LE
Course Areas of Practice