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James Hays is a Partner in the Houston Office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Investment Funds practice group.
Mr. Hays focuses on advising private fund sponsors on matters related to fund formation, internal arrangements, strategic acquisitions and other components of alternative investment management. He counsels leading sponsors in the energy, infrastructure, buyout, real estate, debt, and secondaries space, including the representation of Blackstone, DigitalBridge, Macquarie, Stonepeak, and Technology Crossover Ventures in multiple market-leading fundraises. Mr. Hays also frequently works with sponsors seeking to establish private funds for the first time.
Mr. Hays has extensive experience with the organization and operation of alternative investment funds in Luxembourg and the set-up of fund distribution platforms in Europe. He frequently advises some of the largest alternative asset managers on European regulatory matters, including with respect to the AIFMD, the CBDF, and the SFDR. Mr. Hays is a leading voice in the United States for Luxembourg fund formation and is frequently sought by organizations such as the American Investment Council, the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, and the Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association to speak on the same. His published works include a series of coauthored articles for The Investment Lawyer regarding the establishment of funds in Luxembourg. In 2019, the Texas Lawyer recognized Mr. Hays as a lawyer “On the Rise.”
Prior to rejoining a major global law firm in 2017, Mr. Hays was a Vice President at Blackstone, where he oversaw legal and compliance matters related to Blackstone Real Estate Partners, one the world’s largest real estate private equity platforms. Apart from counseling Blackstone on matters related to multiple fundraises and co-investments, Mr. Hays also advised on regulatory and strategic initiatives for Blackstone’s global real estate portfolio, including investments in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Mr. Hays was also integral to the establishment of Blackstone’s Luxembourg-based alternative investment fund manager, Blackstone Europe Fund Management S.à r.l.
Mr. Hays received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School, where he was valedictorian of his class, an Executive Articles and Research Editor of the Brooklyn Law Review and an International Business Law Fellow. He received his B.A., with honors in the liberal arts, from Southern Methodist University.
Mr. Hays is admitted to practice in New York and Texas.
Brooklyn Law School - 2010 Juris Doctor
Southern Methodist University - 2003 Bachelor of Arts
New York Bar