Trading & Markets Counseling

Murphy & McGonigle's Trading and Markets Counseling practice represents exchanges and other market participants in seeking regulatory approval for complex proposals and in otherwise advising as to execution and clearing regulatory structures in the U.S. equities and options markets. Our practice is distinguished by the sophistication of the projects our clients entrust to us and the rare blend of legal, regulatory and market expertise our attorneys bring to those projects. In particular, we advise exchanges, markets, trading firms, private funds, clearing firms, clearing agencies and their related entities, guiding them through the transformational change that globalization, technology, competition and regulation have brought to the entire market structure. Our attorneys draw on a depth of knowledge and expertise that has been shaped not only by decades of advising clients as outside counsel on trading-related issues, but also by service as senior market regulators and policy makers at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and substantial time spent in and around the securities markets. In their former lives, our attorneys have played leadership roles at some of the most innovative trading-related firms of the last decade. Our partners include a former proprietary trader and equity analyst, the former general counsel of an institutional broker operating a leading Alternative Trading System (Instinet), and the former President of an exchange-affiliated institutional broker-dealer (Archipelago's Wave Securities).

Our core areas of expertise include: complex equity or options market structure issues; short sale regulation; broker-dealer financial responsibility; securities credit regulation; securities lending; underwriting and securities analyst issues; issuer repurchases; transfer agents; Dodd-Frank Act provisions relating to securities-based swap dealers; broker-dealer liquidations; new trading programs and products and related requests for exemptions and no action relief; and the SRO rule filing process.

Looking Forward

In 2021, the SEC’s Trading & Markets Division will likely need to provide additional guidance and extend relief provided in the early stages of the pandemic. The Commission and FINRA will address significant implementation issues regarding the amendments to Rule 15c2-11 and the October 2021 registration compliance date for security-based swap dealers. Trading of digital securities will expand along with associated regulatory issues. Congressional and Administration actions targeting Chinese companies may disrupt the trading market for their securities. Volatility will continue to be a key factor in 2021, as will the reaction of global markets as various geopolitical issues play out, including major trade issues and the results of the U.S. presidential election.