Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership | This website contains attorney advertising.

Rupert HW Barnes



With more than 25 years’ experience as both inside and outside counsel, Rupert Barnes fully understands a client’s goals as well as the internal pressures and challenges they face. He provides clients with board-level strategic advice and guidance on funds, investment management and regulatory matters. Rupert’s transactional, regulatory and risk advice has contributed to the scalable, sustainable and profitable growth of international businesses from startups to firms with more than US$100+ billion of assets under management.

Funds & Investment Management

With his experience running major asset management businesses and his deep knowledge of the UK, EU and U.S. regulatory landscapes, Rupert is a trusted advisor to CEOs, GCs, CCOs, executive committees, statutory boards and senior business leaders on the compliance, transactional and contentious aspects of investment management.

Rupert has established UCITS funds and alternative investment funds in various jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK. He has extensive experience dealing with fund service providers including global custodians, depositaries, fund administrators, distributors, management companies and alternative investment fund managers. He also advises on investment managers’ separate account businesses, having negotiated numerous investment management agreements with institutional investors in multiple jurisdictions.

Financial Services Regulation

Rupert advises on regulatory issues for startups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and market-leading businesses in the financial services sector with a focus on investment management. In addition to advising on UK FCA and PRA handbook matters, he has a particular understanding of cross-border issues that affect funds, investment managers and their businesses. Rupert is familiar with the U.S. regulatory environment, having experience with Adviser Act, SEC, CFTC and FINRA issues, and with Volker Rule compliance. He has managed multijurisdictional regulatory change projects, including MIFID I and II, the implementation of outsourcing rules, and advising on the UK Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) for multinational organisations.

Corporate Governance

He advises fund boards on corporate governance. Rupert has conducted wholesale reviews of roles and rotation of independent directors that led to greater board diversity. He has established escalation procedures concerning business and risk-sensitive contractual terms to ensure consistency of approach and to mitigate risk. He reviews and updates clients’ policies. Rupert has structured committees during a business’s growth to ensure proper corporate governance and compliance oversight, and to facilitate rational business decisions that preserve long-term profitability.

Prior Experience

Rupert formerly served as head of legal for Northern Trust Asset Management in London, overseeing its Dublin, Amsterdam and Stockholm affiliates. As a member of the executive team advising on multijurisdictional regulatory, legal and tax issues, Rupert worked alongside the compliance and risk teams. In addition to managing UK and overseas lawyers and paralegals, he ran the Company Secretary Department. He led global regulatory change projects, executed the firm’s Brexit strategy and established Northern Trust’s office in Saudi Arabia. Rupert also led the purchase of Aviate Global LLP, a brokerage business renamed Northern Trust Securities LLP.

Prior to Northern Trust, Rupert was an investment management attorney at one of America’s largest multinational law firms in its New York, Boston and London offices, where he became well-versed in U.S. regulatory issues relevant on cross-border matters affecting investment managers.

Personal Interests

In his free time, Rupert enjoys reading, playing non-league cricket and collecting vinyl records. He has a particular interest in wines and conducts tastings and tutored dinners on a variety of wine-related themes. He is an active member of the London Chapter of La Commanderie de Bordeaux.


Court Admissions

Solicitor of the Courts of England & Wales [Solicitors Regulation Authority]


The University of Law
LPC (1997)

City University London
GDL (1996)

University of Oxford
M.A. in Theology (1994)

The Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP website uses cookies to make your browsing experience as useful as possible. In order to have the full site experience, keep cookies enabled on your web browser. By browsing our site with cookies enabled, you are agreeing to their use. Review Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP's cookies information for more details.