Michael S. Hong
  1. Partner

Mr. Hong is a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the Investment Management Group. He advises sophisticated private fund managers across all asset classes in their most complex, high-value transactions. Mr. Hong’s advice encompasses fund formation, M&A-related transactions (with a special expertise around co-investments), and ongoing investment-related advice on behalf of private equity, growth capital, credit, hedge, energy, real estate, co-investment and fund of funds managers.

Mr. Hong also has extensive experience advising clients on secondary transaction matters, including GP-led secondary transactions. He also regularly advises clients in connection with GP-stake sales, as well as purchases, spin-outs and joint ventures involving alternative asset managers. Mr. Hong also regularly represents investment professionals in connection with their employment arrangements with fund sponsors.

His clients include Harvest Partners, Trilantic Capital Management, Lightyear Capital, Tailwind Capital Management, Cornell Capital, Cowen Investment Management, BeaconLight Capital and BBAM. Prior to joining Davis Polk, Mr. Hong also advised Apollo Global Management and GSO/Blackstone on the formation of numerous private funds, managed accounts and related matters. 

Mr. Hong is featured regularly in various industry publications. See "Kainos Co-Founder Says Colleagues Illegally Took Her Ownership Stake," The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2019, “Fundraising Cooled in 2018 as Megafunds Took a Bigger Slice of the Pie,” The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2019 and “Davis Polk Hires Michael Hong in New York,” Hedge Fund Law Report, May 31, 2018.

Recognition

Mr. Hong has been recognized as a leading fund formation lawyer in various industry publications:

  • Private Funds Management Magazine – One of the “30 Most Influential Private Equity Lawyers Under the Age of 40” stating, “[w]hen a big fund is being marketed, don't be shocked to find Michael Hong as part of the process.”
  • Chambers USA
    • Clients comment: "He has a lot of market knowledge, is very practical and has a lot of experience" and provides “great service to his clients.”
  • The Legal 500 U.S. – One of a select few “Next Generation Lawyers”: Investment Fund Formation and Management
  • IFLR1000 – "Highly Regarded," Private Equity, Private Equity Funds and Investment Management
  • Who’s Who Legal – Described as “a much-respected and energetic lawyer”
  • Super Lawyers – “New York Metro Rising Star”
  • Lawdragon – “Insights: Private Funds”

Of Note

MEMBERSHIPS
  • Partnership for New York City, David Rockefeller Fellow, 2018-19
  • Member, Committee on Private Investment Funds, New York City Bar
Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, "Investing Responsibly in Today's Society," 2019 Maples Investment Funds Forum in the Cayman Islands
  • Speaker, "Trends in Private Equity Fund Investments," American College of Investment Counsel's Spring Investment Forum 2019
  • Speaker, “Sponsor-Led Fund Restructurings,” Practising Law Institute’s Nineteenth Annual Private Equity Forum 2018
  • Annual IBA/ABA International Conference on Private Investment Funds in London, England, topics ranging from the multijurisdictional fiduciary obligations of fund managers to current trends in marketing and private equity
  • Speaker, “Delaware Law Developments 2013: What All Business Lawyers Need to Know,” Practising Law Institute

Mr. Hong is also frequently asked by in-house legal departments to present on special topics

ARTICLES

Mr. Hong is also a contributor to comment letters on behalf of the American Investment Committee.

Professional History

  • Partner, Davis Polk since 2018
  • Partner, Paul, Weiss, 2013-2018
  • Associate, Paul, Weiss, 2004-2013

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York

Education

  • Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), University of Toronto, 2000
    • with high distinction
  • J.D., University of Toronto Faculty of Law, 2004
    • Gerald W. Schwartz Gold Medal
  • M.B.A., University of Toronto, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, 2004