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Meet Our Professionals

Michael P. Kelley

Washington, DC Office Development Partner
Washington, DC | 202.854.2809
Fax | 202.217.2771

Clients turn to Michael Kelley for creative solutions in complex transactions, particularly in regard to litigation finance and investment funds. He has advised on transactions ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 billion. He is also a leader within Parker Poe, serving as the firm's Washington, DC Office Development Partner. In that role, he leads the DC office's community engagement and growth strategy.

Clients have praised Michael for "outstanding service" and "all the ingenuity and hard work" he puts into each deal "to ensure its success." Clients have also described him as "extremely bright and thoughtful" and highlighted his ability to offer "one of the most comprehensive yet succinct explanations I have heard." As one client told him, "You have found your calling."

His work includes helping clients obtain and structure litigation funding transactions for meritorious claims that may not be pursued otherwise because of litigation costs. In each case, he takes pride in ensuring clients understand all phases of the litigation finance process. In representing litigation funders, he counsels investors and fund managers on the structuring, documentation, issuance, and management of litigation finance funds, including providing counsel on regulatory compliance and best practices. His perspective on best practices goes beyond the legal and ethical nuts and bolts to also include managing the economics of an investment team, aligning incentives with investors' interests, and navigating the latest trends in the investment funds arena.

In addition, Michael counsels law firms and claimants seeking financing for litigation through documentation, compliance, performance of deal terms, and restructurings. Having represented funders, law firms, and companies in litigation finance facilities, he understands the complexities of these arrangements and can guide clients through the compressed timelines and other industry specific deal terms.

Michael regularly appears as a thought leader on panels to discuss the litigation finance industry, including at the LF Dealmakers Forum, LITFINCON, IMN, and Washington Arbitration Week. He has taught seminars and spoken about litigation finance at The University of Chicago’s Law School and Booth School of Business, as well as NYU School of Law.

Michael also has deep experience assisting U.S. and international companies and funds with all of their investment needs beyond litigation finance. He represents both inbound and outbound investors on the structuring, documentation, issuance, and management of investment funds. He is experienced across a broad range of asset classes, including private equity, venture capital, and blockchain.

Michael is the former general counsel of EMP Global, where he oversaw approximately $8 billion in assets across 10 different investment funds in emerging markets. He has served on investment committees and advisory boards for funds, as well as boards of directors for project companies, in Latin America, the United States, Canada, Asia, and the Middle East.

Additionally, Michael has significant experience with social impact investment funds, including creating innovative structures for blending for-profit and nonprofit capital. He also provides general corporate counsel, and he has served as an arbitrator and mediator in complex financial and trade disputes at the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution.

Outside of his legal practice, Michael volunteers with a number of social impact investment incubators in Washington, DC, and is an avid sailor and distance swimmer.

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Honors & Awards

  • Lawdragon Global 100 Leaders in Legal Finance, 2020


  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 2002-present
  • Love.Fútbol Philanthropy, Sponsor, 2016-present
  • St. Albans School, Chair of Lower School Annual Giving, 2013-2016