Commodities & Derivatives
Our lawyers draw on their wealth of experience in the highest levels of government, industry, and private practice to counsel members of the commodities and derivatives industry on a variety of formation, compliance, regulatory, and litigation matters.
Our team brings an unparalleled depth of understanding to legal issues involving commodities and derivatives, drawing on decades of experience in and out of government. We advise on the full spectrum of regulatory and compliance questions arising in connection with the offering or use of commodities, derivatives, and digital assets, and represent our clients in high-stakes litigation and enforcement actions surrounding these increasingly important drivers of the global financial marketplace.
Our group includes former senior compliance officers at major financial institutions, former federal prosecutors, and enforcement or regulatory attorneys who have served as:
- Chief Trial Attorney in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) Division of Enforcement
- Senior Counsel to the CFTC Chairman and a CFTC Commissioner
- Counsel in the CFTC's Division of Market Oversight
- Department of Justice Criminal Division liaison to the CFTC and FERC
- Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets)
In the private sector, our team members have served as the chief regulatory officer of NYSE Liffe US and as senior enforcement counsel with the CME Group, among other senior roles. The breadth and depth of the group's collective experience in the specialized world of commodities and derivative products enable the team to provide clients with pragmatic and efficient counsel.
We provide practical and learned counsel to a wide range of domestic and international financial institutions. Among them are futures commission merchants, swap dealers, swap execution facilities, exchanges, clearinghouses, commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators, proprietary trading firms, brokerage firms, digital asset firms and investors, and banks.
Government Investigations and Enforcement
Represented a swap dealer in a joint DOJ and CFTC investigation into alleged manipulation of the ISDAFix rates benchmark.
Represented international bank in connection with CFTC investigation relating to client fee reconciliations.
Prearranged trading restrictions
Defended the futures commission merchant affiliate of a major US-based international bank in a CME/CBOT investigation of one of its associated person's repeated violation of prearranged trading restrictions in her trading of Treasury options.
Defended an individual in a pending CFTC enforcement action in Boston federal court alleged to have fraudulently sold virtual currency in cash market transactions.
Third-party document request
Represented international bank in connection with document request relating to CFTC investigation of potential uneconomic transaction.
Represented a senior broker with a financial services firm in an ongoing CFTC investigation.
Senior energy trader
Represented a senior energy trader in an ongoing FERC investigation.
Represented the futures commission merchant affiliate of a major British bank in a NYMEX examination which led to charges of systemic violation of the CFTC Part 30 requirements for safeguarding foreign futures customer funds.
Options order handling
Represent an institutional broker-dealer in a FINRA investigation of options order handling.
Market maker hedging
Represented a market maker's use of options for hedging in an investigation by a self-regulatory organization.
Regulatory and Compliance
Launching swap dealer
Represented a global quantitative firm setting up a swap dealer. Counseled a global quantitative trading firm setting up a swap dealer, with a particular focus on the risk management program requirements for swap dealers.
Advised a swap execution facility on regulatory compliance matters. Advised a swap execution facility on regulatory compliance matters.Advised a swap execution facility regarding the legal and regulatory issues arising from its initiation of trading in unregulated cash commodities.
Guided the creator of a novel financial derivative through the legal and regulatory issues of setting up a swap execution facility and derivatives clearing organization.
Unregulated cash commodities
Represented a swap execution facility launching the trading of unregulated cash commodities.
Represented a spin-off of a national securities exchange launching a gold-trading platform.
Represented commodity trading advisor firm in connection with NFA examination and ongoing compliance issues.
Advised investment adviser relating to its CFTC registration obligations.
Advised a commodity pool operator on significant issues raised in an NFA examination.
Advised the spin-off of a national securities exchange on securities, commodities, money transmitter, and commercial law issues arising out of its launch of a gold-trading platform where the ownership interests in the gold are recorded on a distributed ledger.
Routing of option orders
Counseled a large retail firm's Best Execution Committee that decides on routing of listed options orders.
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