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David W. Blass
 

David W. Blass

Partner
 
900 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001 
 
Email:
Fax: +1-202-636-5502

Based in our Washington, D.C. office, David Blass is a Partner in the Firm’s Investment Funds Practice. David is a leading regulatory lawyer in the funds industry and has advised on matters involving innovative registered funds products, Investment Advisers Act compliance, SEC examination and enforcement matters, and broker-dealer regulatory compliance.  He is uniquely qualified to provide strategic and regulatory advice on matters involving asset management  firms and broker-dealers. 

David has extensive knowledge of the regulatory requirements of the asset management industry having  served as General Counsel of the Investment Company Institute, the trade association for registered investment funds.  He also held senior roles for over a decade at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, most recently as Chief Counsel and Associate Director in the Division of Trading and Markets, where he oversaw broker-dealer regulation and large aspects of FINRA’s regulatory program.  David was the Associate General Counsel for the SEC where he was responsible for Dodd-Frank Act implementation, among many other programmatic areas.  He also held a senior role in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, leading the office regulating registered investment advisers, including advisers to private funds.

Chambers Global
reports that clients say he is an “excellent regulatory lawyer” who is both “very knowledgeable and easy to work with.” David was notably named “Independent Counsel of the Year” by Fund Intelligence’s Mutual Fund Industry & ETF Awards in 2021.

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Accolades
  • Independent Counsel of the Year, Fund Intelligence’s Mutual Fund Industry & ETF Awards (2021)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2019-2022); Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (2021)
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms, Highly Regarded (2021-2022)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2021)
Education
  • Columbia Law School, 1998 J.D.
  • University of Alabama, 1994 B.A.
Admissions
  • New York 1999
  • District of Columbia 2009

David Blass is a Partner in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s Investment Funds Practice. David is a leading regulatory lawyer in the funds industry and has advised on matters involving innovative registered funds products, Investment Advisers Act compliance, SEC examination and enforcement matters, and broker-dealer regulatory compliance. 

Prior to joining Simpson Thacher, David served as General Counsel of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), where he was responsible for the full range of legal and regulatory matters affecting the asset management industry, including investment company, capital markets, pension and tax issues.

Before joining ICI, David held a number of senior positions for over a decade at the Securities and Exchange Commission. From 2011 to 2014, David was Chief Counsel and Associate Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets. In that role, David led a team of 45 attorneys responsible for legal and policy decisions on matters affecting the securities markets and broker-deals generally, and the private equity industry specifically. In that role, he authored several no-action letters, including an important letter for M&A brokers.  Before that, he was the Associate General Counsel, advising the SEC Chair and Commissioners on legal policy matters for the agency’s asset management, trading and markets, examination and international programs. Previously, as Assistant Director in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, he managed the office in charge of investment adviser regulation, which included private fund advisers. David has also spent time in private practice, having worked at two other international law firms. 

Chambers Global
reports that clients say he is an “excellent regulatory lawyer” who is both “very knowledgeable and easy to work with.” David was notably named “Independent Counsel of the Year” by Fund Intelligence’s Mutual Fund Industry & ETF Awards in 2021 and is consistently recognized by IFLR1000 as a “Highly Regarded Lawyer.”

David has a strong reputation as a thought leader and speaker.  David has advocated for the asset management industry before countless domestic and international regulators, and he has testified on industry’s behalf before Congress. He is a sought-after speaker in asset management and broker-dealer conferences.  He has written and delivered speeches outlining broker-dealer issues on transaction fees for the private equity industry and rulemaking impacting the asset management industry, including private funds and their advisers and the recent SEC suite of rulemakings targeting asset managers and funds.

David currently serves as Vice Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Trading and Markets Subcommittee. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., where he teaches Advanced Securities Regulation. David received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Alabama. David is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.

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    Publications

      Spotlight on
      David Blass Honored at Fund Intelligence’s Mutual Fund Industry & ETF Awards 2021