Commodities, Futures & Derivatives

  • Represented a swaps 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
  • Represented international bank in connection with document request relating to CFTC investigation of potential uneconomic transaction
  • Represent a global quantitative firm setting up a swap dealer
  • Represent a swap execution facility launching the trading of unregulated cash commodities
  • Represent 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
  • Represent a senior broker with a financial services firm in an ongoing CFTC investigation
  • Represent a senior energy trader in an ongoing FERC investigation
  • Advising a swap execution facility on regulatory compliance matters
  • 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
  • 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
  • Advised a commodity pool operator on significant issues raised in an NFA examination
  • Defend an individual in a pending CFTC enforcement action in Boston federal court alleged to have fraudulently sold virtual currency in cash market transactions
  • Counseling 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 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
  • 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
  • Counsel to a large retail firm’s Best Execution Committee that decides on routing of listed options orders
  • Represent an institutional broker-dealer in a FINRA investigation of options order handling
  • Represented a market maker’s use of options for hedging in an investigation by a self-regulatory organization

Looking Forward

With the finalization of a number of significant rules, especially relating to swap dealers and the long-awaited position limits rule, the CFTC’s focus will shift to ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, those rules. Corporate compliance programs will be under heightened regulatory scrutiny, resulting in steeper penalties and undertakings. Notwithstanding the pandemic making remote surveillance more challenging, firms should proactively review existing practices to ensure full compliance with recently-issued advisories. We also anticipate the increased coordination between the CFTC and DOJ will result in a number of parallel civil and criminal proceedings, especially relating to anti-money laundering laws and cryptocurrencies. Our FinTech clients should pay close attention to potential registration requirements given increasing regulatory scrutiny in that area. Growing interest in Environmental, Social and Governance investment products and climate-related derivatives will also demand attention to transparent and enforceable metrics in product design and marketing.