Melissa S. Gainor is an investment funds partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Prior to joining Kirkland, Melissa worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Division of Investment Management, where she led the Investment Adviser Regulation Office. In this role, she oversaw all rulemaking affecting registered investment advisers, including significant new proposals recently promulgated by the SEC related to the regulation of private fund advisers, Form PF amendments, and cybersecurity risk management for investment advisers. During her time at the SEC, Melissa led initiatives to modernize rules for investment adviser marketing, ETFs and fund of funds arrangements. She also worked closely with the Division of Examinations and the Division of Enforcement on interpretative matters regarding the application of the securities laws to all types of investment advisers.

Prior to joining the SEC, Melissa was in private practice where she served as counsel to investment advisers, investment companies, and boards of directors.



SEC Staff Excellence Award


Admissions & Qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts


  • Boston University School of LawJ.D.magna cum laude2004
  • Boston CollegeB.A., Political Sciencemagna cum laude1999