NEW YORK—Sept. 12, 2016—Global law firm Ropes & Gray announced today that it has strengthened its regulatory and exchange-traded funds (ETF) capabilities with the addition of Dalia Blass, who has joined the firm’s award-winning investment management practice as counsel in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Blass comes to Ropes & Gray from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where she most recently held the position of assistant chief counsel in the Division of Investment Management’s Office of the Chief Counsel. In this capacity, she provided legal guidance under federal securities laws, with particular emphasis on the Investment Company Act and the Advisers Act.
“Dalia’s experience at the SEC has given her significant command of a variety of areas that directly affect our clients’ businesses,” said Bryan Chegwidden, co-chair of Ropes & Gray’s investment management practice. “We are delighted to have her join our growing D.C. practice.”
Ms. Blass led the SEC’s exemptive relief program for registered funds and developed creative legal positions for novel exemptive relief, including for exchange-traded products, co-investment transactions and fund of funds investments.
She was also deeply involved with numerous SEC rulemakings, including the liquidity risk management and data gathering rules, and other risk-related initiatives. She was instrumental in preparing no-action letters and other interpretive guidance, and advised on enforcement and examination matters. Earlier in her decade-long tenure at the SEC, Ms. Blass led the Division’s response to the money market fund crisis.
The arrival of Ms. Blass continues the steady expansion of Ropes & Gray’s Washington, D.C. office following the additions of Jeremiah Williams, former senior counsel in the SEC’s Asset Management Unit, and David Tittsworth, former president and CEO of the Investment Adviser Association, as well as the overall growth of the firm’s investment management practice. Earlier this year, the firm welcomed Edward Baer, who joined the firm’s San Francisco office as counsel.
“The additions of Dalia and Ed to our practice place Ropes & Gray in a unique position with respect to ETF knowledge and experience,” stated Thomas Hiller, co-chair of the investment management practice. “The regulatory perspective Dalia brings as a former senior SEC lawyer deeply involved in ETF issues, together with Ed Baer’s day-to-day in-house insight into how ETFs operate, allows us to offer clients sophisticated advice on all aspects of organizing and operating ETFs.”
“My tenure at the SEC gave me the rewarding opportunity to work on some of the most significant issues facing the SEC and the investment management industry,” said Ms. Blass. “I am delighted now to join Ropes & Gray’s world-class practice, which will allow me to bring my knowledge and experience to the service of the firm’s clients.”
Ms. Blass joins Ropes & Gray’s award-winning investment management practice, which is among the largest, most diversified and sophisticated of that at any global law firm. The practice’s capabilities span the entire spectrum of the registered funds industry: fund formation and management, regulatory and compliance issues, fund distribution arrangements, mergers and restructurings, tax matters and, securities enforcement and litigation. Named as 2015 Firm of the Year for Mutual/Registered Funds in the Legal 500 United States Awards, the team represents more than 2,000 mutual funds and investment firms ranging from start-up ventures, to those with hundreds of billions of dollars under management.
Ms. Blass has a B.A. from American University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Prior to joining the SEC in 2004, she was in private practice in London, New York and Washington, D.C. She was the recipient of the prestigious Manuel F. Cohen Award from the Federal Bar Association for her work on money market funds during the credit crisis.
About Ropes & Gray
Ropes & Gray is one of the world’s premier law firms, with more than 1,200 lawyers and legal professionals serving clients in major centers of business, finance, technology and government. Ropes & Gray is consistently ranked in the top tier among registered funds practices in the U.S. and is the only U.S. firm ranked in the top three bands by Chambers USA (nationwide) for each of registered funds, hedge funds and private investment funds. The firm has offices in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul, and has consistently been recognized for its leading practices in many other areas, including private equity, M&A, life sciences, health care, finance, tax, intellectual property, securities litigation, government enforcement, and privacy & data security. For more information, please visit www.ropesgray.com.