V. Rafael Stone

Rafael Stone chairs the firm’s Investment Management practice group and advises over 30 public pension funds located throughout the United States, in all aspects of public pension fund alternative investments. His practice focuses on U.S. and international private equity, hedge funds, infrastructure, real estate, opportunistic funds and direct investments. In his role as Chair of the Investment Management practice, Rafael has successfully navigated through a significant number of workouts and overseen litigation involving disputes between our investor clients and the fund managers. He has practiced in this area since 1989. In 2015, Rafael was named to The National Black Lawyers Top 100 list, a professional honorary association recognizing preeminent black lawyers nationally. Rafael is a frequent speaker at alternative investment conferences across the country.

Representative Clients:

Lead counsel and member-in-charge of:

  • 3M Employee Retirement Income Plan Trust
  • Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System
  • Arizona State Retirement System
  • California Public Employees' Retirement System
  • Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund
  • Educational Retirement Board of New Mexico
  • Employees' Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas
  • Employees Retirement System of Texas
  • Fresno County Employees' Retirement Association
  • Indiana Public Retirement System
  • Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System
  • Kansas Public Employees Retirement System
  • Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System
  • Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension Plans
  • Los Angeles Water and Power Employees' Retirement Plan
  • Maryland State Retirement and Pension System
  • Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board
  • Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System
  • New Hampshire Retirement System
  • New York City Pension Funds and Retirement Systems
  • New York State Common Retirement Fund
  • New York State Teachers' Retirement System
  • Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund
  • Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago
  • Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho
  • San Francisco City and County Employees Retirement System
  • Seattle City Employees' Retirement System
  • Teacher Retirement System of Texas
  • West Virginia Investment Management Board
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Africa Investor, Advisory Board

Washington State Bar Association

American Bar Association

King County Bar Association

Loren Miller Bar Association

National Association of Public Pension Attorneys

Pension Real Estate Association

Port of Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport Policy Advisory Group

Real Estate Executive Council, Leadership Advisory Board

African American Heritage Foundation

  • Member, 1992-Present
  • Chair, 1992-1996

Seattle Times Corporation, Board of Directors

Blethen Corporation, Board of Directors


Changing Faces

Private Equity Africa magazine, July 2011


Overview of Fundraising in the U.S. and Current LP/Consultant Legal Issues

EMPEA Immersions; discussion regarding domestic fundraising and current legal landscape for institutional investors and regulators; Seattle, WA, June 2016

Roundtable on U.S. Pension Funds & Endowments Investing in Africa

Africa Investor’s CEO Investment Summit; discussion regarding top public and private pension funds in the U.S.; their international strategies and requirements for potential or increased investment in Africa, New York City, NY, September 2015

National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP)

Examine effect of the ILPA guidelines on negotiating private equity fund terms; ILPA principles review -roundtable discussion on key provisions; ILPA case studies: The Waterfall of Returns and Key Person Provision; Management Fee Debate, Los Angeles, CA, March 2012

Africa Investor CEO Institutional Investment Summit

Delivering International Investment and Pension Funds in Africa; discussion regarding U.S. pension funds investing internationally; giving advice to pension funds on the opportunities in Africa; additional discussion regarding what African funds should do to position themselves to receive funds, New York City, NY (New York Stock Exchange), September 2011

Africa Investor Analysts’ and Fund Managers’ Forum

African Capital Markets: Forecasts, Themes, Partnerships; discussion related to the state of the global capital raising market for Africa-focused funds; additional discussion regarding regulating and operating African capital markets; portfolio management strategies; and analysis of market trends and forecasts for 2011, London, England, March 2011

Africa Investor Index Series Summit

The Value Proposition for Pension Funds; discussion related to opportunities and access for global pension funds to invest in Africa; additional discussions regarding regulations for investing in Africa to Africa's banking community to private equity, bonds market and upcoming IPO opportunities in Africa, New York City, NY (New York Stock Exchange) - September 2010

The 7th Annual Consortium

2010: The Next Ascent, What's Next for Alternatives (Hedge Funds, Real Estate and Private Equity); additional discussions ranging from policy driven investment strategy and regulatory changes, public equities and fixed income to new initiatives within the emerging market arena and new trends in asset allocation, New York City, NY, June, 2010

South Africa Private Equity Congress, Keynote Address

Stalking Out Success and Channeling Capital in Difficult Times; additional discussions related to private equity developments in South Africa, opportunities and deal flow across private equity sub-sectors, debt capital market update, assessing emerging market appeal in a global economic climate, infrastructure's piece of the pie, and local and international experience with private equity portfolio allocation, Cape Town, South Africa, February, 2009

Portfolio Perspectives

Institutional Financial Forum, discussions related to the complex investment world where global competition, regulatory practices, growth of the industry, and the landscape of opportunities have changed. Particular emphasis on International Private Equity - Direct and Fund of Funds, Albuquerque, NM , November, 2008

Private Equity – the past, present and a look to the future

Leading Strategies, Leading Returns, discussion related to buyouts, deal origination, structuring and financing, portfolio oversight and exiting investments, San Francisco, CA, October 2006

A Hedge Fund Review and Reality Check

Alternative Investment Summit, discussion related to the effect of hedge funds on liquidity; choosing the best hedge fund manager; criteria for plan sponsors, update on SEC hedge fund registration rule, Scottsdale, AZ, January 2006

Plan Sponsor Search Activity: What's Current and What's on the Horizon

Plan Sponsor and Minority Manager Consortium, 2004: New Products, New Players, discussion related to current and future emerging and minority manager searches by plan sponsors, New York City, NY, June 2004

Fund Documents from the Investor Viewpoint

Private Equity Summit, providing financial reporting & tax services for private equity funds, LP reporting, tax issues, developments in terms and conditions, co-investment and incentive arrangements, Pasadena, California, March 2003

Managing and Controlling Risk in the 21st Century

Public Funds Academy, legal problems associated with private equity investing including the rights of general and limited partners, IRR calculations, discretion vs. non discretion, the role of the advisory committee, and achieving portfolio diversification, San Francisco, CA, November 1999

Alternative Investments - Reaching New Peaks

Pensions 2000, issues related to the middle and smaller funds investing in alternative investments, Telluride, CO, January 1996

Third Annual 1996 Australian Pensions and Investments Conference

Issues relating to international investing in Japan, China and Korea, New South Wales and Queensland, Australia, January-February 1996

National Association of Public Pension Attorneys Annual Meeting

Legal problems associated with economically-targeted investments and social investing, Seattle, WA, June 1995

Global Perspective of the World’s Capital Markets

Fifth Educational Conference in Ireland, asset allocation issues in the global economy of the 1990s, Killarney, Ireland, May 1995

Pensions Renaissance

Pensions 2000, legal problems associated with real estate venture capital, mortgage-backed securities, and the Wall Street approach vs. the institutional approach to investing in real estate, Napa, CA, September 1994

Alternative Investments- Reaching New Peaks

Pensions 2000, legal problems associated with direct investments, Aspen, CO, February 1994

Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation

Issues relating to pension fund investment in alternative investments, December 1993

The New Europe - 1992 and Beyond

Pensions 2000, fiduciary duty of trustees regarding real estate problems, Milan, Italy, October 1992

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Investment Management (Chair)BusinessMergers & AcquisitionsReal Estate


Tel: 206.447.8999Fax: 206.749.2015


Chambers USA Nationwide Leading Individual, Investment Funds: Investor Representation, 2019

The National Black Lawyers - Top 100, 2015

Top Lawyer, Seattle Metropolitan magazine, 2010

Washington Super Lawyers list, 2002-2005

Who’s Who in American Law, 1984-Present

Washington State Bar Association Affirmative Action Award, 1996, co-recipient with Foster Pepper PLLC

Martindale-Hubbell AV rating


J.D., University of Washington School of Law, 1973

B.A., University of Washington, 1970

Bar Admissions

Washington, 1973

Arizona, 2010

District of Columbia, 2000

New York, 2000




Foster Pepper PLLC

  • Member, 1979-Present
  • Associate, 1973-1979

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