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"Investment management documentation is notoriously long and complicated. Our job is to make it simple, at a reasonable cost."

A leader of the firm’s investment management practice group, Ed spearheads Hirschler’s representation of endowments, foundations, family offices and outsourced chief investment offices (OCIOs), as well as pension plans and other institutional investors. He also works with investment advisers on alternative investment strategies, including venture capital fund managers for biotech and medical commercialization, such as licensing, technology transfer, joint ventures and startups.  As former chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Institutional Investors Committee and a frequent author and speaker on institutional investment issues, Ed is considered a national thought leader on legal, compliance and policy issues relating to institutional investment.  He is also a member of the Institutional Limited Partners Association’s steering committees on the adoption of model limited partnership forms and a model non-disclosure agreementHis practice also includes representation of academic partners on industry/academic collaborations, consulting and startups.

Ed has more than 20 years of experience in investment management, regulatory oversight, risk management, operations, and compliance and ethics programs for both institutional investors and investment advisors.  From 2012 to 2015 he was a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law where he co-taught a course on private equity and hedge funds.  He is the author of numerous articles, including “How Safe Are Institutional Assets in a Custodial Bank’s Insolvency?”, the leading paper on bank custody law.  He also is co-author, with Nobel Prize winner H. Robert Horvitz, Ph.D., of Connecting with Companies:  A Guide to Biomedical Consulting Agreements (2nd edition, 2014).

Ed is former general counsel of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO), where he advised on a range of institutional investment topics, including securities and investment advisory laws, investment advisory contracts, bank custody, and international issues, as well as compliance and operations as well as board matters.  Prior to joining UVIMCO, he was associate general counsel for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a philanthropy based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and was in private practice in New York with Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Shearman & Sterling.



Investment Management

  • Represent institutional investors (endowments, foundations, pension plans, family offices, OCIOs, and funds of funds) in private equity fund, hedge fund, venture capital and other investment activities, including coinvestments. Representation includes negotiation of fund or separately managed account agreements and assessment of legal terms in comparison to competitive investment opportunities. Transactions generally range from $10 to $250 million per investment. This representation also includes negotiation of prime brokerage and custodial agreements and other investment agreements on behalf of the institutional investor client.
  • Represent registered or unregistered investment advisers (including OCIOs, family offices, universities and academic affiliates) in formation and management of private equity, hedge fund, real estate and venture capital businesses.
  • Advise clients on regulatory matters, compliance, operations and risk management matters.

Bank Custody, Prime Brokerage

  • Represent institutional investors and investment advisers on bank custody documentation and risk oversight. Negotiate prime brokerage agreements for hedge funds and separate accounts/”funds of one” of institutional investors..

Corporate Governance

  • Advise institutional investors, academic institutions and investment firms on structuring, board representation, and overall governance matters.

Life Sciences and Executive Employment Contracts

  • Advise academic institutions on technology transfer and industry collaborations.
  • Represent executives and academic leaders on employment and consulting matters.


Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Expecting the Expected: Planning for GP Restructurings,” Institutional Limited Partners Association, Annual Legal Conference
  • Moderator, “Bitcoin and Beyond: Key Legal and Compliance Issues for Investment and Digital Asset Funds,” Meeting of National Association of Pension Plan Attorneys (NAPPA)
  • 09.30.2020
  • New York, NY, 02.26.20
  • New York, NY, 02.24.20
  • Tempe, AZ, 02.20.20
  • Tempe, AZ, 02.19.20 - 02.21.20
  • Denver, CO, 06.2019
  • Arlington, VA, 04.02.2019
  • ABA Webinar, 11.29.2018
  • Washington, DC, 11.16.2018 - 11.17.2018
  • New York, NY, 11.05.2018
  • Richmond, VA, 10.09.2018
  • Advanced Advancement Issues:  Advising Educational Institutions on Current Issues in the Gifting and Investment Ecosystems, NACUA Annual Meeting
  • Ed Klees Makes a Board Presentation on Insider Trading Oversight for Boards in Sacramento, CA
  • If the Bank Tanks or the Dough Goes, Burgher Haggard Family Office
  • Ed Klees Moderates Webinar:  Being 'Sort of Tax Exempt':  How a Partnership-Level Tax Audit Might Expand a Tax-Exempt Investor's Tax Liability, ABA Institutional Investors Committee
  • Ed Klees Co-sponsors and Speaks at COO Leadership Forum
  • Ed Klees Guest Lectures on Negotiating Hedge Fund Contracts at Fordham Law School
  • Panelist, with Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., of Delaware - Bespoke Governance:  What Institutional Investors Need to Know about Contractual Alternatives to Fiduciary Duties
  • Panelist discussing Accessing Venture Capital:  Challenges and Opportunities for Institutional Investors, ABA Institutional Investors Committee
  • Does the Label Matter?  Yes, It Does.  Understanding the Difference between Separately Managed Accounts and Funds of One, Regulatory Fundamentals Group webinar
  • Ed Klees Moderates Institutional Investors Panel:  Perspectives and Outlooks at the Piedmont Annual Alternative Investment Conference
  • How to Play in the SMA Sandbox, GAIM Ops Cayman
  • Point/Counterpoint:  Negotiating Key Terms for Separate Accounts, Wells Fargo Prime Services
  • Moderator of Roundtable with Hedge Fund GCs, Hosted by Editor of Hedge Fund Law Report, ABA Institutional Investors Committee
  • If the Bank Tanks or the Dough Goes, Global Alternative Investment Management - West Coast Annual Meeting
  • GP-LP Alignment, Institutional Limited Partners Association meeting of the Private Investor Coalition
  • Socially Responsible Investing, Global Alternative Investment Management Annual Meeting
  • Klees Moderates Institutional Investors Panel:  Perspectives on Alternative Investments and Creating Alignment of Interest for Great Long Term Partnerships, Piedmont Annual Alternative Investment Conference
  • Panelist on Private Equity:  The Changing Landscape, GAIM Ops Annual Conference
  • Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle:  What is MNPI, and How Can I Protect My Organization from Its Misuse?, GAIM Ops Annual Conference
  • Moderator of Reinvigorating the Sense of Partnership, Institutional Limited Partners Association, Annual GP/LP Summit
  • Codes of Ethics for Endowments and Foundations at Rice University, Regulatory Fundamentals Group
  • Bank Custody Agreements, Virginia Alternative Investment Operations Professionals Meeting
  • Hot Topics for Hedge Fund Investors - The Institutional Perspective, Managed Funds Association
  • Moderator for Insider Trading:  Your Firm, Your Funds, Your Worries, ABA, Committees on Institutional Investors and Federal Regulation of Securities
  • Is Change in the Investor's Favor Possible?, Hedge Fund Investors Conference
  • Webinar Speaker on Bank Custody Issues, Public Pension Plan and Endowment Counsel Association




Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Chair, Institutional Investors Committee
    • Chair Emeritus, 2018- current
    • Chair, 2014- 2018
    • Vice Chair, 2013- 2014
  • International Limited Partners Association
    • Steering Committee, Model Agreements, 2016- present 
    • Meeting leader, Annual Leadership Conference, 2016
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys, Committee on Program for 2019 Annual Conference
  • National Association of Pension Plan Attorneys
    • Model Fiduciary Primer Working Group, 2018- present

Business and Civic Organizations

  • Lecturer in Law, University of Virginia School of Law, 2012 – 2015 (Private Equity and Hedge Funds)
  • General Counsel, University of Virginia Investment Management Company, 2008-2016

Beyond the Law

Beyond the Law

Ed and his family moved to Charlottesville 10 years ago from the DC area when Ed accepted a position at UVA, and they enjoy spending time on long walks and binge-watching TV shows.  Recent favorites are “Narcos” and “Deutschland 83.”    

Ed is a fan of rock music and rock music history.  His favorite hobby is playing or reading about music.  Among his favorite current performers are the Jayhawks, Belle & Sebastian, Aimee Mann and St. Vincent.  All-timers include the Beatles, the Kinks, the Byrds, Van Morrison, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, the Clash, the Smithereens, XTC, Blur, Randy Newman and Laura Nyro. 

Columbia University School of Law, J.D.

Columbia University, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia (Inactive)
  • New York
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