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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November 30, 2016

Regulators Implement Enhanced Oversight and Propose Transparency for the Treasury Market

On October 24, 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York held a conference on "The Evolving Structure of the US Treasury Market."

November 29, 2016

FERC Enforcement Office Remains Focused on Market Manipulation and Compliance Programs

This month, the Office of Enforcement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its tenth Annual Report on Enforcement. The report provides FY2016 statistics on the investigative and enforcement activities conducted by OE's four divisions—Investigations, Audits and Accounting, Energy Market Oversight, and Analytics and Surveillance.

November 17, 2016

Update on NFA's Swap Dealer Examinations and Upcoming Priorities

Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA), the self-regulatory organization for the US derivatives industry, have signaled their expectation—now nearly four years after swap dealers first became provisionally registered—that firms have had sufficient time to implement fully the CFTC's swap regulations.

November 9, 2016

CFTC Revises Proposed Reg AT

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission on November 3, 2016, proposed revisions  to proposed Regulation Automated Trading (Reg AT). Reg AT, if adopted, will broadly affect those in the futures industry who trade electronically, imposing new registration and supervision requirements on algorithmic traders.

November 7, 2016

FTC/DOJ Guidance to Human Resource Professionals—Enforcement Scrutiny of Employment-Related Conduct

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice issued their Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals. This WilmerHale Client Alert, which was also published by Bloomberg BNA's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report on November 25, 2016, summarizes the key lessons and practical impact from the HR Guidance for businesses' employment practices.

October 20, 2016

Banking Regulators Release Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Enhanced Cyber Risk Management Standards

The agencies are considering establishing two tiers of enhanced standards—basic enhanced standards for all covered firms and even more stringent enhanced standards for systems that are "sector-critical."

October 12, 2016

District Court Judge Rejects CFTC Manipulative Intent Standard

On September 30, 2016, Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York issued an order resolving competing motions for summary judgment in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's ongoing action against Donald R. Wilson and his firm, DRW Investments LLC, for allegedly manipulating and attempting to manipulate the settlement price of certain interest rate futures contracts.

October 6, 2016

Energy Sector Alert Series: Federal Reserve Board Seeks New Limits on Bank Activities in Physical Commodities

As a result of both legislative mandates as well as Congressional and public concern, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has been examining whether to impose new restrictions on the activities of banks related to physical commodities.

August 10, 2016

Civil Penalties Set to Increase Significantly, Many Present Retroactivity Concerns

Over the past several months, many federal agencies have adopted rules significantly increasing the maximum civil monetary penalties (CMPs) they can potentially impose. The increased penalty amounts were adopted in response to recent legislation from Congress requiring that federal agencies make adjustments to “catch up” with inflation.

August 4, 2016

White House Issues Final Guidance on Climate Change Impact Analysis

On August 1, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released its final guidance on how and when federal agencies should consider the direct and indirect impacts from climate change, including from greenhouse gas emissions, in environmental reviews conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act.