Commodities, Futures & Derivatives

  • Represented a swaps dealer in a joint DOJ and CFTC investigation into alleged manipulation of the ISDAFix rates benchmark
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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.