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Babak Nikravesh

Silicon Valley
San Francisco

Babak Nikravesh
+1 650 463 4123 (Silicon Valley)
+1 415 374 2463 (San Francisco)
+1 650 463 4199 (Silicon Valley)
+1 415 374 2499 (San Francisco)
Practice Group

Babak Nikravesh represents sovereign investors, including sovereign wealth funds, public sector pension funds, social security funds, and international organizations, on their cross-border investment strategies and operations.

Babak has worked closely with sovereign investors for nearly two decades, well before the term "sovereign wealth fund" was coined. He has advised sovereigns on hundreds of investment transactions across diverse asset classes and geographies, including fund, co-invest and direct investments in venture capital, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and debt. Babak also counsels sovereigns on the various operational and regulatory issues that arise from operating abroad, with particular emphasis on the complex tax issues relating to both sovereign institutions and their employees.

Babak's cross-border experience includes mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, international expansion and holding company structures and intangible property migration and ownership strategies. He also advises the investors, sponsors, and managers of a variety of investment funds on formation, investment, and operational matters, and represents several universities in the US and abroad on various matters.

Recognized in Chambers USA (2015 and 2016), Babak speaks and writes regularly on a variety of international tax topics, and is the author of U.S. Income Taxation of Foreign Governments, International Organizations, Central Banks and Their Employees, the leading treatise on the taxation of government-linked investors. He is a former executive committee member of the International Law Section of the State Bar of California.

Representative experience

Advised a national social security fund on tax and regulatory issues arising from the establishment of branch offices abroad.

Advised a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund on its solar energy joint venture.

Advised a Southeast Asian sovereign wealth fund on its US$285 million follow-on investment in Duquesne Light, the largest electric utility in greater Pittsburgh.

Advised an Australian superannuation fund on its investment in Waterland Private Equity Fund VII, a Dutch fund focused on investments in Northern Europe.

Advised a Canadian pension fund on a multibillion dollar restructuring of its global real estate portfolio.

Advised a Southeast Asian sovereign wealth fund on its direct investment in Neo On Business Ltd, a Brazil-based software company.

Advised an East Asian sovereign wealth fund on its investment in GSO Capital Solutions Overseas Fund III.

Advised a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund in its acquisition of an office campus in North Carolina.

Education and admissions


  • M.A., Stanford University, 1998
  • LL.M., London School of Economics and Political Science, 1997
  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1996
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1992

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • California
  • New York


California: Tax

Chambers USA


Pro Bono Achievers

The Recorder

Latest thinking and events

Published Works

New Partnership Tax Audit Rules Will Impact Private Investment Fund Vehicles

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