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Course Details

Private Investment Funds (Zeng)

Spring 2023   LAW 684-001  

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Xun Zeng

Lecturer in Law

Additional Information

Skills Training
Team Projects
Drafting Legal Documents

20% Participation,
80% Paper

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets online.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can send you an email with instructions for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.

Meeting Times/Location
R 8:00AM - 9:50AM



The term “private investment funds” generally refers to a broad range of pooled investment vehicles that raised equity capital to finance investments and trading activities in the less heavily regulated private capital markets. Private investment funds play important roles in the capital markets and the economies of the United States and many other countries. This course is designed to help students develop a basic understanding of the history, formation, operation and other important aspects of private investment funds.

During the first part of the semester, the course will examine the basic aspects of private investment funds, including an overview of private investment funds (venture/private equity/hedge fund business), basic fund structure, key economic terms of private funds, regulatory framework in the United States, investors in the private funds (e.g., pension plans, endowments and private foundations), fiduciary duties and conflict of interests.

During the second part of the class, we will discuss the legal and business considerations that go into the formation of funds, paying close attention to the negotiations between investment advisers and the investors in their funds, scrutinizing the relationships and intersections between funds and their counterparties, the marketplace, the broader financial services industry, and regulation and policy makers. Through reading materials, course discussions, negotiation exercises, and guest lectures, students will gain insight into the perspective of fund managers, advisors to these managers and their funds, investors in such funds, those who transact with such funds, and those who regulate the fund industry. Sessions will be an interactive mix of lectures, class discussions, and negotiation exercises; some sessions will feature guests with particular industry expertise. Throughout the course, students will be given reading assignments (posted in Canvas), which will be discussed in class. I will assign problem sets throughout the semester. Course grades will be split between problem sets, other written assignments and class participation.

Note: This class is being taught remotely by an instructor who is located in Beijing, China.

Course Concentrations

Business and Corporate Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of business and corporate law; Perform legal analysis in the context of business and corporate law; Communicate effectively on topics related to business and corporate law; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection between the world of business and finance and that of business and corporate law, and how they affect other areas of law and society.