James Oussedik, an attorney at law firm Sidley Austin in his native London, is used to doing things a bit differently. The child of an Algerian-born Francophone father, Oussedik went to a French bilingual school before attending the University of Strasbourg in France and earning his law degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He accepted a training contract with professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers but soon realized that his interests lay in working with investment funds. Oussedik, 34, has since become known for his out-of-the-box thinking, which has helped him snag clients including fund manager Alcentra, a London- and New York–based subsidiary of Bank of New York Mellon Corp. that focuses on credit strategies, for which he recently helped launch a collateralized loan obligation fund now worth more than $1 billion. On the investor side, Oussedik and his team at Sidley have also cultivated relationships with some of the world’s biggest institutions. He joined Sidley as counsel in January 2014 after spending nearly six years as managing associate at Simmons & Simmons, a London-based law firm with a more-mature European hedge funds practice. Now Oussedik is charged with building out Sidley’s profile and translating the firm’s U.S. success to Europe. That process has been marked by some innovative deals — he likens his work to mergers and acquisitions — including February’s fund launch at Alcentra, which required a unique offshore structure, as well as a foray into seed investments with London-based investment manager Tages Capital.