Commodities, Futures & Derivatives

Our Commodities, Futures and Derivatives team brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge, experience, and perspective.  Our group includes former federal prosecutors and CFTC enforcement attorneys, who previously held senior roles as the Chief Regulatory Officer of NYSE Liffe US, Chief Trial Attorney with the CFTC's Division of Enforcement, DOJ Criminal Division Liaison to the CFTC and FERC, and Senior Associate Director and Associate Director of the SEC's Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets).  The breadth of the team's specialized experience from serving in these roles provides keen insight and perspectives, which assist clients in a cost-effective and pragmatic manner. 

The group has handled the full spectrum of legal and regulatory issues that arise in connection with structuring, implementing, offering, and trading commodities and derivatives, as well as advisory, litigation, and enforcement matters relating to these products.  Our lawyers represent and advise domestic and international financial institutions (including futures commission merchants, swap dealers, swap execution facilities, commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators, proprietary trading firms, derivatives clearing organizations, exchanges, brokerage firms, and banks) and individuals in investigations, examinations, enforcement actions, and litigation commenced by the Department of Justice, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Futures Association, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, exchanges, and other self-regulatory organizations. 

We also provide practical and effective advice and counseling regarding legal, regulatory, and compliance issues. 

Looking Forward

For the first time since 2014, the CFTC now has a full slate of commissioners, which will advance many of Chairman Giancarlo's initiatives, including Project KISS, position limits, and fintech.  The CFTC's Division of Enforcement reached an all-time high in the number of cases alleging manipulative conduct, many of which involved the disruptive trading practice commonly known as "spoofing," which will likely continue.  As virtual currencies are on track to become another asset class, it is likely that investigations by the Division of Enforcement will expand beyond fraud and look into other potentially violative conduct, such as spoofing, wash trades, registration and recordkeeping, involving virtual currencies.  As the CFTC's budget woes continue, however, actions by the NFA and exchanges, along with continued coordination with other state and federal agencies, may see continued growth.