Futures and Derivatives SECURITIES

WilmerHale’s futures and derivatives practice focuses on advising firm clients on rulemaking, compliance and enforcement regarding futures and derivatives, including advising clients with respect to the recent regulatory reform mandates which provide for extensive new regulations of the swaps and over-the-counter derivatives markets.

Our practice provides advice on all facets of US commodity futures and securities regulatory issues, including the regulation of futures exchanges and clearinghouses, commodity pools and commodity trading advisors, and futures commission merchants. We also advise our clients with respect to the clearing and trading of over-the-counter derivatives, including advising investment banks on the margin of capital effects of different types of derivatives, and market end-users with respect to issues they face in the markets.

Our team—led by the former General Counsel and Chief Counsel, Division of Economic Analysis at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)—handles complex matters involving the overlapping jurisdiction of securities and futures regulations, as well as compliance issues facing financial market participants. Partnering with our enforcement and litigation colleagues, we are well positioned to handle a wide variety of enforcement matters and practice actively before the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We also work with clients to facilitate cross-border transactions and assist clients in complying with, or gaining exemption from, US commodity futures and securities requirements.

WilmerHale represents many of the largest domestic and international banks, broker-dealers, private equity, hedge funds and end users in a wide variety of legal, compliance and regulatory matters involving derivatives. The futures and derivatives practice focuses primarily on the regulatory needs of financial market participants and their dealings with the CFTC, National Futures Association, SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other regulators. We have advised on many areas relating to derivatives and other complex products, including information barriers/conflicts of interest, sales practice, trading issues, margin, and net capital requirements.

In addition, we represent a wide variety of clients, including banks, hedge funds, mutual funds, insurance companies and corporations in the structuring, negotiation and documentation of a broad range of equity, fixed income, currency, commodity and credit derivatives. This practice includes the negotiation of International Swaps and Derivatives Association master agreements, trade confirmations and custody and account control arrangements to protect end-user assets in the event of a dealer insolvency. We represent hedge funds in the negotiation of the full range of trading agreements, including prime brokerage, term financing, securities lending and repurchase agreements. We also assist clients with respect to brokerage arrangements, compliance programs, disclosure requirements and fund management.

WilmerHale’s futures and derivatives practice focuses on advising firm clients on rulemaking, compliance and enforcement regarding futures and derivatives, including advising clients with respect to the recent regulatory reform mandates which provide for extensive new regulations of the swaps and over-the-counter derivatives markets.

Our practice provides advice on all facets of US commodity futures and securities regulatory issues, including the regulation of futures exchanges and clearinghouses, commodity pools and commodity trading advisors, and futures commission merchants. We also advise our clients with respect to the clearing and trading of over-the-counter derivatives, including advising investment banks on the margin of capital effects of different types of derivatives, and market end-users with respect to issues they face in the markets.

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Publications & News

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September 17, 2014

Swap Dealer Chief Compliance Officer Requirements – First Year in Review

The CFTC by regulation requires each registered swap dealer to designate a chief compliance officer to carry out certain duties relating to swaps activities and to furnish an annual report describing the swap dealer’s compliance procedures and assessing its performance.

July 31, 2014

FinCEN Releases Long-Awaited Proposal on Customer Due Diligence (CCD) and Beneficial Ownership

On July 30, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued proposed regulations that would formalize certain financial institutions’ Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements and expand the degree to which those institutions must look beyond the nominal account holder to identify the natural persons who own or control certain legal entity customers.

June 24, 2014

Navigating the CFTC's Cross-Border Guidance – A Primer for Market Participants

An article by Jeannette Boot, Gail Bernstein and Abi Bamgboye, published in the May 2014 edition of Futures & Derivatives Law Report, Vol. 34, Issue 5.

May 6, 2014

The CFTC’s Implementation of Financial Market Reform: Progress and Legal Challenges

An article written by Dan Berkovitz, published in the Futures and Derivatives Law Report, April 2014 edition.

May 1, 2014

CFTC Issues Oral Recordkeeping No-Action Relief to Asset Managers

On April 25, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) extended time-limited no-action relief for certain asset manager members of swap execution facilities (SEFs) and designated contract markets (DCMs) from the oral recordkeeping requirement of CFTC Regulation 1.35(a) in connection with the execution of swaps.

February 6, 2014

2013 CFTC Enforcement Year-in-Review, and a Look Forward

In recent years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) has brought cases of ever-greater significance, against respondents with greater name recognition, for consistently increasing civil monetary penalties.

December 23, 2013

The Volcker Rule Handbook: A Detailed Look at the Final Rule Implementing Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act

Three and a half years after passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, the much anticipated final Volcker Rule has been issued.

November 6, 2013

CFTC Approves Proposed Rules on Position Limits

On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) proposed new rules on speculative position limits and, separately, on the aggregation of related accounts

November 1, 2013

WilmerHale Among U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” and Again Named International Arbitration “Law Firm of the Year”

The 2014 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list names WilmerHale as “Law Firm of the Year” in International Arbitration—this is the second consecutive year that the firm has won this honor—and honors WilmerHale as a first-tier law firm in 27 national and 60 metro-area rankings.

October 7, 2013

Addressing the Need for Speed: CFTC Seeks Comment on Risk Controls for Automated Trading Environments

On September 12, 2013, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) published a Concept Release on Risk Controls and System Safeguards for Automated Trading Environments (“Concept Release” or “Release”).