Tess Weil

Tess's focus

“From the outset, I chose to focus my legal career on derivatives and structured products because I was drawn to the intellectual challenge that results from the constant innovation in the market. Nearly twenty years later and I still find myself fully engaged every day, more often than not facing new market conditions and questions of first impression. On any given day a trader will call me out of the blue and need an immediate view of the risk in taking a particular position in the markets. And that’s what makes my practice so challenging and rewarding, representing the most innovative traders in the market who are very often looking for strategic insight along with legal advice.”

Tess has been with the firm since 2006 and heads up our markets and trading practice group. She advises traders on the full spectrum of OTC and exchange-traded instruments in both the cash and derivatives markets and has broad experience in all types of financing structures from simple vanilla arrangements to complex structured products. She also has significant experience with central clearing infrastructure and risk and its documentation as well as collateral management and prime brokerage agreements. She has comprehensive familiarity with the standard master agreements in both the domestic and international capital markets including ISDA forms and the standard repurchase and stock lending agreements. She knows what is and is not negotiable, viewing such awareness as a key dimension of her practice.

“In our area, it is not only the law that counts. You need to understand why market practice has evolved in particular ways…what sensitivities the banks might have and why they have them… what barriers your client might meet in implementing and exploiting a particular strategy.”

Her experience and enthusiasm for representing the buy-side remains a particular point of pride and a unique aspect of PMW’s markets and trading practice. “We’re not a big law firm that represents large financial institutions. We are laser focused on serving the hedge funds and institutional investors on the buy-side of the market, which means we are constantly helping clients push the envelop with innovative trading strategies.”

“We’re very proud of the role that PMW has come to serve in the market. Whether we are negotiating terms of a trade, on bespoke products or developing new industry-wide documentation, our focus is 100% on supporting the trading desks and institutional investors on the buy-side. That means we can always advocate and serve our clients in a manner that is completely and exclusively aligned with their interest, uncompromised by any conflicting representation of large financial institutions or investment banks on the sell-side.”

As her practice has grown, so has the range of her clients – hedge funds, 40 Act funds, sovereign wealth funds, State pension funds and university endowments have all come to her door, all with unique problems to solve. To be able to pursue such a practice in a small innovative law firm has made the work all the more enjoyable:

“Part of the reward in building and growing the practice at PMW is that our work is rooted in collaboration. For us teamwork is not just a matter of lip service – it’s fundamental to how our practice group functions and for the firm as a whole. It’s what allows each of us to be more effective individually and it also ensures that we provide the highest level of service possible to our clients.”

Prior to joining the firm, Tess was Counsel at Sutherland Asbill and Brennan in New York and an Associate at Linklaters, working in both their New York and London offices.


Loyola University School of Law, J.D., high honors, William Crow scholar, member, Loyola Law Review. Visiting student at Fordham University Law School, Notes Editor, Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law

University of Dallas, B.A. and M.A. in politics and literature

Bar Admissions

New York