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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July 28, 2016

FERC Goes Back to the Drawing Board on Data Collection Rule

On July 21, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposed a new data collection rule that would require market-based rate sellers and entities trading virtual products or holding firm transmission rights in wholesale electric markets to report detailed information on their ownership structure, financial and legal connections with other entities, and other related information.

July 13, 2016

Civil Fines Jump Across Agencies Under Inflation Adjustment Act

Civil fines across federal agencies have recently been increased dramatically under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act) (Sec. 701 of Public Law 114-74), with some more than doubling. Companies violating the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Improvements Act, the Securities and Exchange Act, or the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), among others, could soon face civil monetary penalties that are up to 150% higher than the existing levels. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the 2015 Act would increase the federal government's revenue by $1.3 billion over the next ten years. 

May 31, 2016

FinCEN Finalizes Beneficial Ownership and Customer Due Diligence Requirements

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on May 11 released its long-awaited Final Rule that will require certain financial institutions to “look through” the nominal account holder to identify the account's beneficial owners who own or control (directly or indirectly) certain legal entity customers.

May 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

March 11, 2016

Oil and Gas Sector Should Seize Opportunity to Shape Methane Regulations

On March 10, President Obama announced that Canada would join the United States in its goal to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. The President said that the countries together would “move swiftly to establish comprehensive standards to meet that goal.”

March 10, 2016

Energy Sector Alert Series: Hot Topics in California

Important energy issues continue to arise at the intersection of law and policy in California. Here are eight hot topics that require the attention of entities with interests in California's energy sector.

March 4, 2016

German Cum/Ex-Trades: Enhanced Risks and Industry-Wide Challenges

The German and international financial industries and their advisors have come under new pressure to investigate so-called 'cum/ex' trades conducted between 2000 and 2012.

February 11, 2016

SEC Adopts Rules on Non-US Firms That “Arrange, Negotiate, or Execute” Security-Based Swaps in the US

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted rules that will affect firms operating in the global security-based swap market. Specifically, the SEC is requiring non-US firms that arrange, negotiate, or execute security-based swaps using personnel located in the United States to include those security-based swaps in their calculations of whether they reach the threshold requiring security-based swap dealer registration.

January 26, 2016

2015 CFTC Year-in-Review, and a Look Forward

CFTC continues to bring high-profile, large-penalty enforcement cases; begins bringing cases to enforce Dodd-Frank Act implementing regulations; and embarks on post-Dodd-Frank Act regulatory initiatives.

December 22, 2015

FERC Investigations and Enforcement Remain Focused on Market Manipulation

The Office of Enforcement (OE) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently released its annual report for the past fiscal year. The report provides FY2015 statistics on the investigative and enforcement activities conducted by the OE's four divisions—Investigations, Audits and Accounting, Energy Market Oversight, and Analytics and Surveillance.