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, Senior Counsel to the CFTC Chairman, member of the CFTC’s Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC), 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. 

Commodity Corner Blog: For regulatory and enforcement updates and trends – along with insightful analysis and perspectives - in the commodities, futures, and derivatives area, we invite you to visit McGonigle’s www.Commodity-Corner.com.   

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Looking Forward

As the Biden administration enters its second year, we can expect to see a more aggressive approach to enforcement by the CFTC and DOJ. This is particularly the case with respect to cryptocurrency: Chairman of the CFTC Rostin Benham described recent enforcement actions in the cryptocurrency space as “the tip of the iceberg.” Yet the scope of the CFTC’s authority in the cryptocurrency space remains somewhat uncertain, as some (including Commissioner Dawn D. Stump) have urged caution and suggested the Commission should give this rapidly evolving industry room to grow without undue interference from regulators. Nonetheless, market participants in this area must remain vigilant to keep abreast of the regulators’ priorities, and be prepared for active pursuit of enforcement authority.