James Cole, the partner responsible for Weil Gotshal & Manges' London hedge fund practice, commented: "It is a very astute move for both parties. Seward is the leading hedge fund firm in New York. It is a defensive and offensive move on their part, but they will get an awful lot of referral work."
Key roles the firm took during 2011 included advising Arden Asset Management on its $1.3 billion (£807 million) acquisition of the Robeco Group's hedge fund of funds business, and assisting New York investment manager Emerging Sovereign Group on its sale of a 55 percent stake to The Carlyle Group.
Dechert financial services partner Peter Astleford added: "U.S. capability is critical for legal advisers to investment managers in today's markets. This is an important first step for Simmons."