Jim Audette is an associate in Chapman and Cutler’s Corporate and Securities Department and a member of its Private Funds Group and Investment Management Group. He participated in the firm’s summer associate program in 2011 and joined the firm in 2012.

Jim’s practice consists of a variety of corporate and securities transactions. Jim has significant experience representing registered investment companies and their sponsors. He has assisted in the creation, registration and ongoing compliance obligations of and related to several hundred unit investment trusts. He has also participated in several initial public offerings of closed-end funds. Jim has represented registered investment advisers and broker-dealers relating to a variety of filings and interactions with securities regulators, including registration statements, periodic reporting and no-action and exemptive relief requests with the SEC, CFTC and FINRA.

In addition to his registered investment company practice, Jim also represents institutional investors of private investment funds, including private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate funds and infrastructure funds. Jim regularly negotiates and structures private fund investments on behalf of public pension plans, financial institutions and family offices.

Jim’s capital markets and corporate governance experience includes acting as issuer’s and underwriters’ counsel in investment grade debt offerings and exchange offers for several Fortune 500 companies, including large public utilities and railroads. He has also assisted in the preparation of proxy materials for reporting companies’ annual meetings and has successfully contested the inclusion of activist shareholder proposals in those materials with the SEC. In addition, Jim has served as issuer’s counsel in the initial public offering of bank holding company common stock.

Jim’s mergers and acquisition experience includes acting as buyer’s counsel in several acquisitions of and asset purchases from banks, bank holding companies and investment advisers, including the negotiating of definitive agreements and the drafting and filing of the registration statement/proxy materials with the SEC.

Prior to attending law school, Jim completed a finance internship with RMB Capital Management and taught courses on the law school admissions test for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. He also worked in a Chicago-based creditors’ rights law firm as a clerk, analyzing credit reports and assets, and as a research assistant examining constitutional issues regarding the Thirteenth Amendment.

Representative Transactions

  • Representation of investment advisers and broker-dealers in matters regarding their organization, federal and state registration, preparation of offering materials, regulatory analysis and compliance obligations.
  • Representation of several hundred unit investment trusts and their sponsors in matters regarding their organization, federal and state registration, primary and secondary market offerings, advertising and continuing compliance obligations. These funds have consisted of equity securities, municipal bonds, corporate bonds, U.S. Treasury securities, preferred stocks, real estate investment trusts, shares of other investment companies and derivatives.
  • Representation of underwriters in connection with investment grade senior notes offering of NYSE-traded energy company.
  • Representation of a NYSE-traded national railroad in connection with its investment grade senior notes offerings.
  • Representation of a regional bank in its acquisition of a national bank’s Chicago area branches.
  • Representation of a bank holding company in its acquisition of several community banking organizations.
  • Representation of an emerging technology company being acquired by a private equity fund.
  • Representation of a bank holding company in its initial public offering.
  • Representation of a bank holding company in its registration of securities offered pursuant to a merger.
  • Representation of a bank holding company of a registered investment adviser.
  • Representation of a lease-financing company in its premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.



University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2012

  • Notes Editor, Journal of College and University Law

Loyola University, Chicago, B.B.A., Economics, cum laude, 2009



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