Derivatives

LEADERS

Overview

Gibson Dunn’s derivatives practice advises clients on regulatory, policy, transactional and enforcement matters related to all aspects of commodities and derivatives. The practice is comprised of lawyers with prior government experience at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Capitol Hill and the White House. Regardless of how our clients use derivatives, we are uniquely equipped to provide cutting-edge legal, policy and compliance advice on all issues pertaining to their derivatives-related activities.

Our diverse client base includes swap dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, asset managers, private funds, sovereign wealth funds, commercial end-users, insurance companies and other financial end-users, market utilities, futures commission merchants and industry trade associations.

EXPERIENCE & RECENT REPRESENTATIONS

We help our clients solve complex regulatory compliance issues, answer difficult interpretive questions regarding derivatives and navigate government investigatory matters before the CFTC, the SEC and the U.S. federal banking agencies. In addition, we provide legislative advice on derivatives policy issues before the U.S. Congress. Our lawyers have firsthand experience drafting and interpreting Dodd-Frank Act regulations and working constructively with agency principals and staff in connection with the development of no-action relief and interpretive guidance. Additionally, we frequently engage with lawmakers and policymakers in the United States, Europe and other jurisdictions to inform them of the ways in which derivatives legislative and regulatory proposals would impact our clients. As a result of our engagement, we have guided beneficial legislative changes through to enactment. Indeed, we have drafted and been the lead advocates for some of the most significant changes to the Dodd-Frank Act since it was signed into law. We know how to build coalitions to get results.

Our lawyers are skilled in negotiating documentation relevant to the full range of over-the-counter and exchange-traded instruments, including equity derivatives, credit derivatives and total return products, commodities, interest rates and foreign exchange hedging, and credit- and equity-linked securities issuances. Our transactional representations have covered transaction negotiation, documentation and execution as well as ongoing legal risk management and enforcement (including defaults and close-outs), regulatory-inquiry response and litigation and bankruptcy-related work. We have deep familiarity not only with established products and structures, but also with the development and execution of innovative and “bespoke” products and risk management structures to address clients’ new or unique needs.

We have substantial experience handling CFTC and exchange enforcement investigations and related internal investigations. We defend claims brought under the Commodity Exchange Act by the CFTC and private plaintiffs, including class actions. Our enforcement and investigations team has decades of combined involvement in government enforcement and litigation against the CFTC, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Federal Trade Commission, UK regulators and others. Our lawyers’ knowledge of how government agencies conduct investigations and prosecute enforcement actions enables them to assist clients in successfully navigating those processes.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS