Kenneth Berman, a member of the Investment Management Group, focuses his practice on providing regulatory and compliance advice to financial services firms, particularly investment advisers and sponsors of mutual funds, private equity funds and other pooled investment vehicles. Mr. Berman also counsels mutual fund independent directors and advises operating companies concerning status issues that they may face under the Investment Company Act of 1940. He is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global (2020) and Chambers USA (2020), where clients note that “he really is a subject matter expert,” appreciating that “he's very commercial in his approach.” Clients have also described him as “a brilliant lawyer” who is able “to distill the advice really quickly and effectively” and an “impressive” lawyer who offers “invaluable support throughout the decision-making process.” He has a “deft touch in delivering what clients need” and a “keen sense of the regulatory world.” Mr. Berman is also listed as a Notable Practitioner by IFLR1000 (2020).
Prior to joining Debevoise, Mr. Berman was Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, where he oversaw the division offices responsible for processing applications for exemptive relief under the Investment Company Act and administering the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. He joined the SEC staff in 1988 after several years of private practice. Before becoming Associate Director in 1997, Mr. Berman was Assistant Director of the Division’s Office of Regulatory Policy.
Mr. Berman is the co-author of numerous articles, including “What Will The “Eyes And Ears” Of The SEC Choose To See And Hear This Year? OCIE Announces Examination Priorities For 2015,” Vol. 16 No.2, Journal of Investment Compliance (July, 2015); “Expense Allocation: The SEC Brings Down The Hammer,” Vol. 16 No. 1, Journal of Investment Compliance (May, 2015); “SEC Settles First “Pay-To-Play” Enforcement Action,” Financial Fraud Law Report (October, 2014); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses JOBS Act General Solicitations,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (September, 2014); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses Treatment of Special Purposes Vehicles under the Advisers Act,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (August, 2014); “Good News on ‘Bad Actors’,” PE Manager (March, 2014); “A Touch of Solace for Broker-Dealer Compliance Personnel,” Law360 (November, 2013); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses SEC’s Guidance on Supervisory Liability for a Broker-Dealer’s Compliance and Legal Personnel,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (November, 2013); “Time For Private Equity To Focus On Form PF,” The Deal (June, 2012); “International Survey of Investment Adviser Regulation,” Wolters Kluwer (June, 2012); and “SEC Risk Alert Discusses When Social Media Interactions May Constitute Prohibited Hedge Fund Client Testimonials,” The Hedge Fund Law Report (April, 2012).
Mr. Berman is a frequent speaker at conferences relating to investment company and investment adviser issues, recently including “U.S. and International Regulatory Developments,” American Investment Council’s General Counsel Day (New York, November, 2017) and “Cross-border Marketing: A Kaleidoscopic View on Differing Challenges,” ACA Compliance Group’s Regulatory Horizon Forum (New York, October, 2017).
He is a member of the Committee on Investment Management Regulation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and served as Chair of that Committee from 2009 to 2012. Mr. Berman is also a member of the American Bar Association (Subcommittee on Investment Companies and Investment Advisers, Subcommittee on Private Investment Entities) and the District of Columbia Bar. Mr. Berman is also an adjunct professor of law in Georgetown University’s LL.M. program.
Mr. Berman received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, and his B.A. from Dickinson College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.