Commodities, Futures & Derivatives

Our Commodities, Futures and Derivatives team brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge, experience, and perspective.  Our group includes former federal prosecutors and CFTC enforcement attorneys, who previously held senior roles as the Chief Regulatory Officer of NYSE Liffe US, Chief Trial Attorney with the CFTC's Division of Enforcement, DOJ Criminal Division Liaison to the CFTC and FERC, and Senior Associate Director and Associate Director of the SEC's Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets).  The breadth of the team's specialized experience from serving in these roles provides keen insight and perspectives, which assist clients in a cost-effective and pragmatic manner. 

The group has handled the full spectrum of legal and regulatory issues that arise in connection with structuring, implementing, offering, and trading commodities and derivatives, as well as advisory, litigation, and enforcement matters relating to these products.  Our lawyers represent and advise domestic and international financial institutions (including futures commission merchants, swap dealers, swap execution facilities, commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators, proprietary trading firms, derivatives clearing organizations, exchanges, brokerage firms, and banks) and individuals in investigations, examinations, enforcement actions, and litigation commenced by the Department of Justice, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Futures Association, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, exchanges, and other self-regulatory organizations. 

We also provide practical and effective advice and counseling regarding legal, regulatory, and compliance issues. 

Commodity Corner Blog: For regulatory and enforcement updates and trends – along with insightful analysis and perspectives - in the commodities, futures, and derivatives area, we invite you to visit Murphy & McGonigle’s   

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Looking Forward

With the finalization of a number of significant rules, especially relating to swap dealers and the long-awaited position limits rule, the CFTC’s focus will shift to ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, those rules. Corporate compliance programs will be under heightened regulatory scrutiny, resulting in steeper penalties and undertakings. Notwithstanding the pandemic making remote surveillance more challenging, firms should proactively review existing practices to ensure full compliance with recently-issued advisories. We also anticipate the increased coordination between the CFTC and DOJ will result in a number of parallel civil and criminal proceedings, especially relating to anti-money laundering laws and cryptocurrencies. Our FinTech clients should pay close attention to potential registration requirements given increasing regulatory scrutiny in that area. Growing interest in Environmental, Social and Governance investment products and climate-related derivatives will also demand attention to transparent and enforceable metrics in product design and marketing.