Matthew B. Kulkin


  • Chair, Futures and Derivatives Practice

With nearly two decades of experience in government and private practice, Matthew Kulkin is well positioned to help financial market clients navigate complex legislative, regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues. Mr. Kulkin joined the firm in 2022 from another international law firm where he co-chaired its financial services practice group. Before that, he served as the Director of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight.

Mr. Kulkin chairs the firm’s Futures and Derivatives Practice. He often advises clients on newly adopted rules and areas of increased regulatory focus in the commodity futures and derivatives market. Throughout his years in private practice, Mr. Kulkin’s clients have included asset managers, banks, broker-dealers, energy companies, exchanges, financial market utilities, insurance companies, non-bank financial institutions and trading venues.

As Director of the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Mr. Kulkin led a broad range of CFTC activities, including rulemakings and enforcement matters regarding swap dealers, intermediaries, trading venues, investment funds and matters involving the National Futures Association. During his time at the commission, Kulkin was also deeply involved in cases of first impression regarding cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Mr. Kulkin regularly counsels clients on compliance issues with other federal regulatory and enforcement authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the US Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Mr. Kulkin also has experience analyzing and providing strategic advice on financial services legislative proposals, particularly issues before the Senate Banking Committee, House Financial Services Committee, and the Senate and House Agriculture Committees.

Professional Activities:

Mr. Kulkin has testified before Congress on financial market structure issues and the CFTC’s statutory and regulatory authority and has briefed Members of Congress on similar topics. He has served on a National Futures Association Hearing Panel and as an expert witness in a FINRA arbitration with respect to CFTC regulations. He writes and speaks frequently on digital asset regulation, Dodd-Frank Act implementation and other financial services regulation issues. 

Mr. Kulkin previously served as Co-Chair of the Derivatives, Securitization and Project Finance Committee of the District of Columbia Bar Association. He is a member of the New York City Bar Association Futures and Derivatives Committee.


  • Over the course of his career, Mr. Kulkin has represented clients on a variety of matters. Some of his experience includes the following:


    Representing derivatives clearing organizations, designated contract markets, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers, security-based swap dealers, swap dealers, and swap execution facilities in connection with CFTC, SEC, and Department of Justice investigations. Specific engagements include representing:

    • A US-based swap dealer in connection with SEC investigation into credit default swaps dealing activity.
    • SEC and CFTC registrants in connection with recordkeeping and supervision investigations.
    • Cryptocurrency market participants, including exchanges, market makers, intermediaries, and proprietary trading companies in connection with CFTC investigations.
    • A retail precious metals dealer and precious metals trading company in CFTC investigation and settlement in connection with off-exchange retail commodity transactions.
    • A registered swap execution facility in CFTC investigation to successful resolution without penalty.


    Serving as regulatory compliance counsel for CFTC-registered commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, derivatives clearing organizations, designated contract markets, foreign boards of trade, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers, swap dealers, and swap execution facilities. Specific engagements include advising:

    • Various clients in preparing internal compliance policies and procedures governing futures, swaps, and options trading, reporting, and recordkeeping.
    • Registered entities – rulebook amendments, new product self-certification, chief compliance officer annual reports, and amendments to related policies and procedures.
    • Several registered swap dealers in connection with recordkeeping obligations, swap data reporting and business conduct standards compliance.
    • A designated contract market in connection with launch of new platform and development of new products.
    • A non-US exchanges in connection with listing of new products for trading by US persons pursuant to CFTC Part 48 rules.
    • Applicant futures commission merchants and introducing brokers in connection with NFA registration and demonstrating compliance with CFTC regulations.


    Advise clients on legislative proposals, Congressional testimony, strategic relationship building, as well as regulatory policy development, rulemaking implementation, and regulatory staff letters, including:

    • Prominent financial market participants and numerous financial services trade associations on issues related to Congressional, CFTC, SEC, NFA, and FINRA proposed regulations and policy matters.
    • Futures commission merchants, community development financial institutions, financial market infrastructure utilities, swap execution facilities, and financial market industry organizations in successfully securing CFTC no-action relief on a wide range of issues.
    • A digital asset company in connection with Congressional, SEC, and CFTC initiatives related to the regulation of digital asset markets.
    • A financial markets’ infrastructure and technology platform on financial services public policy matters focused on recordkeeping, automation, and interoperability.


Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, George Washington University Law School, 2005

      Thurgood Marshall Scholar
    • BA, Tufts University, 2002

  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

  • Government Experience

    • Commodity Futures Trading Commission

      Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight




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