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

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.