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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April 19, 2017

President Trump Signs Buy American and Hire American Executive Order

On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed an important executive order promoting “Buy American” and “Hire American” policies.

March 13, 2017

Death Knell to Merger Litigation for Massachusetts Corporations?

In IBEW Local No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed the dismissal of direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty by EMC shareholders challenging the merger of EMC and Dell, Inc. This WilmerHale Client Alert was republished in Bloomberg BNA's Mergers & Acquisitions Law Report.

February 28, 2017

Hedge Fund Law Report Highlights WilmerHale's CFTC Year in Review

The Hedge Fund Law Report profiled a webinar by WilmerHale's Futures and Derivatives Practice that analyzed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's major actions in 2016 and its top priorities for 2017.

February 24, 2017

Form SHC Deadline Approaching for Investment Advisers and Other Reporters

Investment advisers should take note that they may be required to file Treasury International Capital Benchmark (TIC) Form SHC by Friday, March 3, 2017.

January 24, 2017

CFTC Proposes Greater Flexibility for Electronic Record-Keepers

In a move that affects everyone required under its rules to maintain records, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's is proposing to permit greater flexibility in the technology used for electronic record retention and production, to remove the requirement that records be stored in their “native file format” and to no longer require use of a third-party technical consultant. If adopted, the proposed rule will enable record-keepers to update and potentially streamline their current record storage technology and systems.

January 23, 2017

2016 CFTC Year-in-Review and a Look Forward

In 2016, the CFTC continued to pursue high-profile enforcement cases and to test its new enforcement authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. This WilmerHale Client Alert was republished by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation and the Futures and Derivatives Law Report.

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." This WilmerHale Client Alert was republished by The Investment Lawyer (April 2017, Vol. 24, No. 4).

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. This WilmerHale Client Alert was also published by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation on December 13, 2016.

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.