Firms To Watch: Structured finance: derivatives and structured products

Led by ‘exceptional’ Fabien Carruzzo, the team at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP frequently acts for buy-side clients on transactional, trading and regulatory issues concerning a range of derivatives products.

Structured finance: derivatives and structured products in United States

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

The ‘first-class’ team at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP acts for buy-side and sell-side clients across the full spectrum of asset classes, and is well-placed to leverage the expertise of the firm’s regulatory, tax and financial restructuring groups to advise on transactional mandates. The practice’s workload includes currency-, commodity-, fixed income- and fund-linked products, in addition to credit-linked notes, repackagings and workouts of distressed assets. Based in New York, Ivan Loncar, who acts for dealers, banks and other financial institutions on matters concerning unfunded derivatives, counter-party types and funded derivatives products, jointly leads the team alongside James Frazier. Also in the firm’s New York office, Lary Stromfeld has demonstrable experience advising on innovative market structures, financial products, litigation and regulatory issues, while Brian Foster maintains a broad transactional and regulatory practice. New York’s senior counsel Richard Schetman remains a key contact in the group. Following the departures of Steven Lofchie and Ray Shirazi in February 2022, Peter Malyshev joined from Reed Smith LLP and Mercedes Tunstall arrived from Loeb & Loeb LLP in April 2022, both of whom operate from the firm’s Washington DC office.

Practice head(s):

James Frazier; Ivan Loncar

Other key lawyers:

Richard Schetman; Brian Foster; Lary Stromfeld; Peter Malyshev; Mercedes Tunstall; Jed Miller


‘First-class and all-around.’

‘Hyper responsive, always have the right expert(s) to address any issues, very commercial while being protective of our interests.’

Key clients

Assured Guaranty Corp.

BNP Paribas

Federal Reserve’s Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC)

MBIA, Inc.

Morgan Stanley

Nearwater Capital

Nodal Exchange

Société Générale S.A.

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Z Capital

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Counting US and non-US issuers, financial institutions, exchanges, clearing houses and financial trade associations among its key roster of clients, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has demonstrable experience advising on the full gamut of derivatives matters, in addition to related transactions and regulatory issues. The New York-based practice is also noted for its expertise in the development of new derivatives templates and market protocols. ‘Top-notchClayton Simmons focuses on structuring, documentation and regulatory issues concerning over-the-counter derivatives, securities-backed credit facilities and other structured financial products, while counsel Brandon Hammer provides ‘concise, crisp and effective guidance’ on netting, financial regulatory and bankruptcy mandates. Michael Dayan stands out for his expertise in equity derivatives and Deborah North, who joined the firm from Allen & Overy LLP in January 2023, focuses on over-the-counter derivatives and structured synthetic products. Counsel Brian Morris is another key contact in the group.

Other key lawyers:

Clayton Simmons; Brandon Hammer; Michael Dayan; Deborah North; Brian Morris


‘Cleary is able to provide comprehensive support from a transactional side. Given the experience of their bankruptcy experts in providing transactional support, it often leads to a very experienced regulatory team that is able to provide holistic views.’

‘The primary attorney we have worked with is Brandon Hammer. Brandon has been a fantastic external advisor. He is prompt, attentive, understanding, humorous, empathetic and generally attentive.

‘We have always found the team an absolute pleasure to deal with, super quick to respond with concise and helpful analysis on complex points of law. The team was able to distil the issues for us into clear and easy to follow practical advice.’

Key clients



International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)

Advance/Newhouse Partnership

Jefferies Financial Services Inc.

Equity Residential

Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC)

Mantle Ridge

Morgan Stanley

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Goldman Sachs

W. P. Carey

Ad Hoc Dealer Group (including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Barclays)


Crédit Agricole

Banco Santander, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Represented Citigroup and Mizuho in connection with variable prepaid forward transactions with Softbank on a concentrated position in shares of T-Mobile, secured by shares of such company with an aggregate value of over $860m.
  • Represented Advance/Newhouse Partnership, a shareholder of Charter Communications Inc., in ongoing liability management relating to collar plus revolving loan transactions totalling $1.78bn.
  • Representing Mantle Ridge in its acquisition of exposure to 9.8% of Dollar Tree, Inc., worth approximately $2.3bn, through the use of various derivatives structures.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP houses a robust margin loan and back-leverage practice, representing both borrowers and lenders in equity-based financings, and continues to showcase its capability in over-the-counter derivatives transactions. Counting financial institutions, trade groups, government departments and hedge funds among its key list of clients, the New York-based practice is noted for its regulatory expertise, with regard to SEC and FINRA developments and the Dodd-Frank Act. Mark Mendez, who advises on forward sale agreements, structured stock buyback transactions, variance and correlation swaps, in addition to affiliate margin loans, jointly leads the practice alongside Christopher Schell, who is noted for his expertise in developing new financial products. Mark DiFiore handles a range of equity-linked transactions, while Derek Walters represents financial institutions in large-scale transactions concerning margin loans. Senior counsels John Brandow and Ray Ibrahim remain key contacts in the team, and Caitlin Wood was promoted to partner in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Mark Mendez; Christopher Schell

Other key lawyers:

Mark DiFiore; Caitlin Wood; John Brandow; Ray Ibrahim

Key clients

Brookfield Capital




Galaxy Digital



XP Control

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP acts for an array of buy-side and sell-side clients on the transactional and regulatory aspects of derivatives mandates, and is well-placed to leverage the expertise of the firm’s wider regulatory, tax, asset management and restructuring and insolvency practices to offer a full service to its client roster. Co-head Robert McLaughlin stands out for his expertise in derivative transactions, including futures, over-the-counter derivatives and cleared swaps, and credit support arrangements, while fellow co-head Ray Shirazi has ‘solid experience’ in equity derivatives, involving structured products and trade securities. Other key contacts include David Mitchell, who handles regulatory, transactional and litigation mandates concerning commodities, futures, and derivatives, and Washington-based William Breslin, who focuses on over-the-counter, and exchange-traded and cleared derivatives. Steven Lofchie acts for financial institutions on regulatory issues and financial instruments, and Nihal Patel is praised as a ‘clear communicator and an efficient manager of transactions’. Darren Littlejohn left the firm in September 2022. All partners are based in the firm’s New York office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Robert McLaughlin; Ray Shirazi

Other key lawyers:

David Mitchell; William Breslin; Steven Lofchie; Nihal Patel


‘This team has deep and broad experience. Their knowledge has helped us design a new product, using their perspective to guide us.’

‘Ray Shirazi has solid experience, in substance and in seeing things from the client’s perspective.’

‘Nihal Patel is a very quick study, is a clear communicator and an efficient manager of transactions.’

Key clients

Bank of Nova Scotia


National Western Life Insurance Company

TD Securities


Latham & Watkins LLP

Based in New York, Latham & Watkins LLP covers the full range of over-the-counter and exchange-traded derivatives products, advising on swap, option and structured-note transactions involving interest rates, currencies, commodities, securities and credit, as well as derivatives relating to cryptocurrencies and digital assets. In addition to housing a robust commodities and derivatives regulation and enforcement practice, other key areas of expertise include equity-linked products and acting for US and international lenders and borrowers on margin loan transactions. Rafal Gawlowski chairs the financial institutions industry group and Witold Balaban, who splits his time between the firm’s New York and London offices, is noted for his standout experience advising on equity derivatives. Yvette Valdez acts for emerging companies, financial institutions and investment managers on regulatory issues associated with crypto-assets, and jointly leads the commodities and derivatives regulation and enforcement practice alongside enforcement expert Douglas Yatter. Courtenay Myers Lima advises on the structuring and distribution of innovative structured products, while Catherine Lee and Reza Mojtabaee-Zamani focus on equity-linked matters. Eric Rice, who was promoted to partner in January 2023, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Rafal Gawlowski; Yvette Valdez; Doug Yatter; Courtenay Myers Lima

Other key lawyers:

Witold Balaban; Catherine Lee; Reza Mojtabaee-Zamani; Eric Rice


‘The team is responsive and collaborative. They help clients work through difficult structures and develop creative solutions for unique legal issues.’

‘Witold Balaban is a leader in the derivatives industry and a go-to lawyer for all equity derivatives and securities law questions.’

‘Rafal Gawlowski is knowledgeable, responsive and wonderful with clients.’

‘Catherine Lee brings knowledge and experience, helping her to easily understand and respond to client needs.’

‘Reza Mojtabaee-Zamani is a brilliant lawyer, who never makes clients feel silly for asking different questions.’

Key clients

Carlyle Group

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mizuho

J. Wood Capital Advisors LLC

JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas

JP Morgan Chase

MSD Capital

Samuel Reed

Sculptor Capital Management

Diversified Energy Company

Orion Energy Partners

Symphony Communication Services

Andreessen Horowitz (“a16z”)

Oaktree Capital

Searchlight Capital Partners

General Motors Financial Company, Inc.

Credit Suisse AG, London Branch

Credit Suisse AG, Nassau Branch

Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., Utrecht Branch

Work highlights

  • Representing Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Mizuho as lenders in connection with a pre-IPO margin loan secured over 75.01% of the issued share capital of Arm Limited, the UK-based semiconductor and software design company.
  • Advised Sculptor Capital Management on a $350m Rule 144A offering of collateralized fund obligations (CFO) in the form of senior secured notes, mezzanine secured notes and subordinated notes linked to the underlying private equity and credit strategies managed by Sculptor.
  • Represented Diversified Energy Company in the first upstream asset backed securitization with features aligned with the Sustainability-Linked Bond (SLB) Principles of the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).

Mayer Brown

Counting banks, broker-dealers, investment platforms and trade associations among its key roster of clients, Mayer Brown covers the full range of transactional and regulatory mandates in the derivatives and structured products arenas, and is complemented by a robust investigations and enforcement practice. The team, which is well-placed to leverage the firm’s international footprint, is led by New York-based ‘leading expertAnna Pinedo, who specializes in foreign exchange, equity and credit derivatives products, and structured derivatives transactions. Operating from the firm’s Chicago office, Matthew Kluchenek has demonstrable experience representing clients in investigation and enforcement actions by the CFTC, CME Group, ICE Futures and the US Department of Justice, while Palo Alto-based Remmelt Reigersman focuses on the tax aspects of structured products transactions. In New York, Curtis Doty handles the commercial and insolvency aspects of netting and collateral arrangements for over-the-counter derivatives, while counsel Marla Matusic advises on the structuring and trading of derivatives and structured financial products. The New York office is also home to counsel Pamela Sackmann, who focuses on a range of over-the-counter derivatives products.

Practice head(s):

Anna Pinedo

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Kluchenek; Remmelt Reigersman; Curtis Doty; Pamela Sackmann; Marla Matusic


‘The practice we work with has a significant amount of expertise.’

‘Anna Pinedo is a leading expert in her field of work, which is why we continue to work with her. Her advice and help is quick and to the point, while still being thorough.’

Key clients

Bank of Montreal/BMO Capital Markets

Bitnomial Exchange

International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)

Association of German Banks

SMBC and SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc.

ING Group

HSBC USA Inc. and HSBC (USA) Securities Inc. and HSBC Bank plc

Société Générale

Credit Agricole CIB

Walleye Trading Advisors

Luxor Technology Corp

First Financial Bank

CHS Inc.

Bank of America Securities

BNP Paribas

Slate Path Capital

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

National Bank of Canada (NBC)

Toronto Dominion


UBS Securities LLC

Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P.



Halo Investing

Work highlights

  • Advising issuers and broker-dealers on compliance with the SEC’s amended regulatory framework governing security-based swap entities.
  • Advising HSBC USA on approximately 700 structured notes deals raising over $2.3bn in Q1-3 of 2022.
  • Advising issuers and broker-dealers on compliance with the SEC’s amended regulatory framework governing security-based swap entities.

Allen & Overy LLP

In the firm’s New York office, the team at Allen & Overy LLP acts for financial institutions on swap dealer registration and compliance issues concerning regulatory reform in the derivatives arena. Other key areas of expertise include cryptocurrency and digital assets, in addition to advising derivative trade associations on emissions allowance trading, voluntary carbon credits and collateral management. David Lucking heads the global international capital markets group and is noted for his experience across a range of derivatives and structured finance transactions, in addition to handling matters concerning the ISDA. Senior associate James Bryson, whose practice encompasses both transactional and regulatory mandates, is another key contact in the group, while Deborah North left the firm in November 2022.

Practice head(s):

David Lucking

Other key lawyers:

James Bryson

Key clients

ISDA Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee

LCH Limited

GMR (Global Mining Research)

Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC)

LCH SwapAgent

Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure, Ullico and Ferrovial

Work highlights

  • Advised the Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee on various matters, including the settlement of credit derivative transactions (CDS) referencing the Russian Federation.
  • Acting for a multinational bank on structured finance transactions, providing financing on various assets for hedge funds and private equity sponsors.

Clifford Chance

Noted for its robust structured products capability, Clifford Chance provides ‘actionable and practical advice on complex and novel mandates’, from structured real estate transactions and CLOs, synthetic credit risk transfer matters and mortgage-backed repos to over-the-counter derivatives and securities lending. Gareth Old, who specialises in risk transfer transactions, jointly leads the team alongside Lee Askenazi, who advises on all aspects of residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and CLOs. Following the departure of David Felsenthal to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in March 2022, Darren Littlejohn joined the firm from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in October 2022 and regularly advises on regulatory reforms concerning derivatives. Other key contacts in the group include Alistair Dunlop and Washington DC-based Robert Hagan, both of whom handle securitization and structured finance transactions, while James Gouwar focuses on tax aspects of mortgage- and asset-backed transactions, collateralized loan and debt obligations, as well as real estate mortgage investment conduits. All named partners operate from the firm’s office in New York, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Old; Lee Askenazi

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hagan; Alistair Dunlop; James Gouwar; David Martinez; Jacklyn Hoffman; Darren Littlejohn


‘Actionable, practical advice on complex and novel mandates.’

‘Gareth Old is clear, practical and very responsive.’

Key clients

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Bayview Asset Management

Western Alliance Bank

JP Morgan

Deutsche Bank AG

ICBC Standard Bank Plc

International Association of Credit Portfolio Managers

Angelo Gordon

United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Oceanview Asset Selector LLC

Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC

Chimera Investment Corporation

Waterfall Asset Management, LLC

ReadyCap Commercial, LLC

Western Alliance Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising opinions for SIFMA on the enforceability of the standard form repurchase, securities lending and forward agreements.
  • Advising a range of global financial institutions investment managers and corporates on IBOR transition issues, including their impact on swap and securities documentation and implementation issues.
  • Advising Bayview Asset Management on swaps, repos, securities lending and other trading arrangements, including review of documents and applicable regulations.


Katten has demonstrable experience advising on regulatory mandates, encompassing enforcement proceedings, CFTC investigations and litigation cases, associated with over-the-counter and exchange-traded derivatives products. Counting US and international investment banks, hedge funds and proprietary trading firms among its key roster of clients, the team has the capability to advise on futures, over-the-counter and structured products transactions. In the Chicago office, Lance Zinman is the global chair of the firm’s financial markets and funds department and Christian Kemnitz leads the financial markets litigation and enforcement group, while Washington DC-based Daniel Davis and New York’s Carl Kennedy co-chair the financial markets and regulation practice. Kennedy handles regulatory matters concerning the Dodd-Frank Act and New York-based Gary DeWaal is noted for his experience advising on exchange-traded derivatives and crypto-assets, while Chicago’s senior counsel Kevin Foley handles compliance issues associated with the CEA and the CFTC. In the firm’s New York office, Stephen Morris joined from Morgan Stanley in April 2022, and Ilene Froom arrived from Reed Smith LLP in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Lance Zinman; Daniel Davis; Carl Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Gary DeWaal; Kevin Foley; Christian Kemnitz; Stephen Morris; Ilene Froom

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is noted for its capability in handling transactional, regulatory and enforcement matters across a broad range of asset classes, including equity, commodity, interest rate, currency, agricultural and weather derivatives products. The team, which is well-placed to advise on insolvency-related mandates, sits within the firm’s wider investment management group and has experience in the financial services, energy and agricultural sectors. Praised as ‘exceptionally sharp, resourceful and responsive’, New York based Thomas D’Ambrosio focuses on structured and derivatives transactions, often encompassing regulatory and insolvency issues, and jointly leads the team alongside Michael Philipp, who operates from the firm’s office in Chicago. In Boston, Edwin Smith handles equity and credit derivatives, interest rate and currency swaps, total return swaps, and other commodity swaps, while Katherine Dobson Buckley advises on cross-border and US futures, derivatives and prime brokerage matters. Key clients include NextEra Energy, Entergy Corporation and KalshiEX Inc., among others.

Practice head(s):

Thomas D’Ambrosio; Michael Philipp

Other key lawyers:

Edwin Smith; Katherine Dobson Buckley


‘Thomas D’Ambrosio is exceptionally sharp, resourceful and responsive. Incredibly thorough and creative in addressing problems.’

Key clients

Entergy Corporation

Ameren Corporation

NextEra Energy, Inc.



Corporate Office Properties Trust

Long Road Energy

BNY Mellon

BNP Asset Management


Exodus Point Capital Management


American Water Works Company

KalshiEX Inc.

Merrill Lynch

Work highlights

  • Represented NextEra Energy in the sale of a $1.95bn offering of 40 million equity units.
  • Assisted KalshiEX Inc. in its event market product listing regulatory analysis and ongoing interaction with the SEC.
  • Assisting Entergy Corporation with transactions related to the representation of Entergy’s prior establishment of a $1bn at-the-market equity issuance program and increase of the program to $2bn.

White & Case LLP

With demonstrable experience advising on finance-linked derivatives, White & Case LLP acts for buy-side and sell-side clients across a broad range of asset classes, covering interest rates, foreign exchange, credits, equities and commodities, as well as securities lending transactions and structured products. Based in New York, the ‘knowledgeable, practical and extremely responsive’ team assists on cross-border transactions with offices in the UK, Canada and Latin America, and is well-placed to handle the regulatory aspects of derivatives mandates. Investment and commercial banks, private equity and hedge funds rely on the expertise of Ian Cuillerier in structured transactions, while Edward So acts for financial institutions on developing ESG and digital asset derivatives in the over-the-counter and regulated markets. Securities and repo transactions expert Rhys Bortignon left the firm in April 2024.

Practice head(s):

Ian Cuillerier

Other key lawyers:

Edward So


‘The structured finance team is very creative, thoughtful, commercial and focused on delivering a quality commercial outcome while mitigating risk exposure.’

‘I value their patience and thoughtfulness and ability to distil complex commercial and legal questions in a way that is very approachable by both legal and commercial professionals of all experience levels.’

‘The team members are knowledgeable, practical and extremely responsive.’

‘Ian Cuillerier is extremely responsive. His advice is clear, practical and helpful. He is knowledgeable from both a transactional perspective and a regulatory perspective.’

‘Very high level lawyers with strong knowledge of derivative market and derivative documentation.’

‘Ian Cuillerier is a very accessible and available partner, always ready to assist us when requested.’

Key clients

AEGEA Saneamento e Participações S.A

Avangrid Renewables, LLC


Braskem Idesa

Clean Energy Future-Trumbull LLC

Cumulus Digital

EIG Global Energy Partners

Falcon’s Beyond Global, LLC

Ormat Technologies, Inc.


Toesca Renovables SpA

VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland offers ‘top-notch, practicable and implementable advice’ on a range of matters concerning financing arrangements, global hedging strategies, insurance products, synthetic investments in crude oil, weather and freight derivatives, as well as power purchase agreements. Counting Fannie Mae, The Commercial Energy Working Group and United States Commodity Funds among its key roster of clients, the Washington DC-based team is noted for its buy-side capability and expertise in the energy sector. Of counsel James Cain, who is recognized for his knowledge of the Dodd-Frank Act, jointly leads the practice alongside David McIndoe, who represents clients trading energy, agricultural, metal and environmental commodities in the physical and financial markets. ‘Valued and trusted advisorRaymond Ramirez handles derivatives trading and compliance mandates, while Meltem Kodaman focuses on derivatives contracts. Alexander Holtan left the firm in November 2022.

Practice head(s):

James Cain; David McIndoe

Other key lawyers:

Raymond Ramirez; Meltem Kodaman


‘Eversheds has a diverse and deep team to assist clients with derivatives (and derivatives embedded within structured finance transactions). They bring with them a wide view of the industry, since they are one of the few firms that represent a large number of end-users (non-dealers).’

‘The Eversheds team is a diverse team. They also have a relatively deep bench for this area of the law. They work hard to understand your business, goals and constraints, and they partner with you to develop solutions.’

‘Top-notch, practicable and implementable advice. Fees are reasonable, and we have never had an issue with billing.’

‘The team is attuned to all aspects of derivatives and structured products.’

‘Regarding derivatives, the ES team has a deep understanding of the regulatory and transactional landscape and a keen focus of understanding their clients’ requirements in this space.’

‘We have worked closely with Raymond Ramirez on complex and less substantive derivatives matters. His advice is timely, clear, concise and his personality makes him a pleasure to work with. Ray has a thorough understanding of our derivatives requirements and we consider him a valued and trusted advisor.’

Key clients

The Commercial Energy Working Group

Federal National Mortgage Association

United States Commodity Funds

Work highlights

  • Advising the Commercial Energy Working Group in connection with derivatives reform following the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection.
  • Advising Fannie Mae on the derivatives regulatory implications of several multi-million dollar mortgage-based securitization transaction.
  • Assisted USCF with its launch of each of its ETFs and ETPs and have developed operating documentation and regulatory compliance policies and procedures for USCF, as well as required disclosures under US federal securities and commodities regulations.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.

Counting international banks and other financial institutions among its key roster of clients, Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. handles a range of derivatives, including commodity and energy-related swaps, in addition to over-the-counter products, hedging agreements and regulatory matters. Praised for his ‘business-side experience’, Matthew Frankle represents banks and broker-dealers in equity financing transactions, while Brian Sung focuses on derivatives and commodities transactions, with demonstrable experience in cryptocurrency. Energy expert Phil Lookadoo has a strong Dodd-Frank Act and CFTC regulatory compliance practice, and Giorgio Bovenzi advises international banks on cross-border structuring of financial products. Practice heads Todd Cubbage and Monika Sanford (Singh) operate from the firm’s Charlotte and Austin offices respectively, and Houston’s Kim Mai is another key contact in the group. All named partners are based in the firm’s New York office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Todd Cubbage; Monika Sanford (Singh)

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Frankle; Brian Sung; Phil Lookadoo; Giorgio Bovenzi; Kim Mai


‘Matthew Frankle has business-side experience and a strong understanding of the products.’

Key clients

Endeavor Energy Resources, L.P.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Praised as ‘extremely strong in advising sovereign clients on derivatives and structured products’, Hogan Lovells US LLP also counts US and international financial institutions, corporates and Latin American-based companies among its key roster of clients. The New York-based team handles a broad range of derivatives and regulatory matters, including REITs and equity derivatives, in addition to ATM offerings. Evan Koster leads the practice and covers a range of asset classes, such as commodities, fixed income, foreign exchange and equities, while senior associate Lauren Kimmel advises on over-the-counter and exchange-traded derivative products, in addition to related regulatory schemes. Koster and Kimmel form a ‘standout team’.

Practice head(s):

Evan Koster

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Kimmel


‘The team is extremely strong in advising sovereign clients on derivatives and structured products. Evan Koster in particular is very strong.’

‘Evan Koster and Lauren Kimmel are a standout team. They are diligent, responsive and detail-oriented.’

‘This practice is strong in terms of Latin America coverage. They have wide knowledge of different assets and transaction types.’

Morrison Foerster

Noted for its cross-border capability, the ‘fully dedicated’ team at Morrison Foerster has demonstrable experience advising on commodities and physical commodities transactions, in addition to handling regulatory matters and enforcement issues. Insolvency risk mitigation is another key area of expertise, in addition to representing fintech start-ups with compliance and trading mandates. Based in New York, David Kaufman acts for financial institutions and end-user clients on structured transactions involving commodity, equity, fixed income and equity derivatives. Kaufman jointly leads the practice alongside Vladimir Maly, who divides his time between the firm’s offices in London and New York, and focuses on equity derivatives in cross-border financings, M&A and other corporate transactions. Of counsel Chrys Carey, who operates from Washington DC, is a key contact for derivatives regulatory and compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

David Kaufman; Vladimir Maly

Other key lawyers:

Chrys Carey


‘Partners are fully dedicated to serving their clients.’

‘Vladimir Maly did outstanding work on all projects we executed last year. He understands very quickly what the legal implications are, he is able to volunteer structuring improvements, and he makes himself easily reachable. Vladimir is also extremely precise in all matters of derivatives law.’

Key clients


Arrowgrass Master Fund Limited

AXA Investment Managers

Bank of Montreal and BMO Capital Markets


Ping An Real Estate Capital

Royal Bank of Canada and RBC Capital Markets

Tiberius Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised various domestic middle market banks on derivatives matters relating to financial regulatory reform, including the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • Advised various investment banks on derivatives matters relating to financial regulatory reform, including MiFID 2/MiFIR and Basel III.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP acts for financial institutions and global corporations in negotiating and structuring derivatives transactions in the fixed-income and energy sectors, in addition to handling regulatory matters and enforcement actions relating to exchange-traded derivatives, counting the likes of Microsoft and Goldman Sachs among its key list of clients. Al Sawyers assists clients entering into various swaps agreements, including interest rate, credit default, currency and equity swaps, while Nikiforos Mathews has expertise in derivative instruments and swap agreements, as well as negotiating hedging transactions relating to leveraged loans and infrastructure deals. Sawyers and Nikiforos lead the New York-based team alongside Robert Moyle, who focuses on securitizations. Of counsel Jonas Robison is another key contact in the group and advises on issues concerning derivatives regulations and CFTC mandates.

Practice head(s):

Al Sawyers; Nikiforos Mathews; Robert Moyle

Other key lawyers:

Jonas Robison; Alan Knoll

Key clients


Goldman Sachs

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acts for buy-side clients on a range of derivatives instruments and transactions, with expertise across a range of underlying asset classes, including credit, equity, fixed income, distressed debt, commodities and foreign currency exchange. Based in New York, practice leader Manuel Frey focuses on broad-based, cross-border over-the-counter derivatives, structured products and hedge funds, with demonstrable experience advising on the structuring, negotiation and execution of derivative, synthetic and financing products and structures. Frey also regularly assists departments across the firm with the derivatives aspects of acquisitions, financing transactions and corporate restructurings. Counting banks, investment funds and corporate end-users among his key roster of clients, Frey is frequently supported by Matthew Goldstein and Brian Grieve.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Frey

Other key lawyers:

Brad Finkelstein; Matthew Goldstein; Brian Grieve

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP acts for US and multinational financial institutions, private equity houses, hedge funds, asset managers and market infrastructure providers on a broad range of derivatives and structured products mandates, often involving cross-border elements. Key areas of expertise include equity financing transactions involving equity derivatives and margin loans, digital assets including cryptocurrencies and related technological infrastructure, as well as regulatory compliance issues. The New York-based team is led by Donna Parisi, who assists clients with the development and structuring of new financial products, in addition to over-the-counter derivatives transactions across the full spectrum of asset classes. Geoffrey Goldman handles credit and equity derivatives mandates, as well as regulatory issues, while Azam Aziz advises on the structuring and documentation of over-the-counter derivatives products. Counsel Kerri Durso is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Donna Parisi

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Goldman; Azam Aziz; Kerri Durso; Bjorn Bjerke

Key clients

Intercontinental Exchange and affiliates (ICE)


Morgan Stanley

Bank of America

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Acting for ICE and its subsidiaries on ongoing development of swap and futures clearing organizations, trading facilities and platforms and related businesses.
  • Advising digital asset market participants with respect to digital assets including cryptocurrencies and the related technological infrastructure, including spot, lending and derivatives transactions.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s transactional and regulatory expertise, spanning a broad range of over-the-counter derivatives, is complemented by the team’s capability in enforcement and derivatives-related litigation. The practice advises financial institutions on restructuring securities portfolios and derivatives exposures, in addition to structured finance transactions and matters concerning the Dodd-Frank Act. In the firm’s New York office, practice leader Yossi Vebman has experience advising on transactions involving equity-linked and other derivative financial products, and James Stringfellow is another key contact in the group, focusing on public and private securitizations.

Practice head(s):

Yossi Vebman

Other key lawyers:

James Stringfellow

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises on derivatives in the physical commodities markets, including energy, environmental commodities, metals and agricultural products, with demonstrable experience in listed and over-the-counter derivatives. The ‘deeply knowledgeable’ team acts for lenders, marketers, producers and commercial users of derivatives across a range of structured transactions, enforcement defense matters and regulatory issues. In the firm’s Washington DC office, senior counsel Paul Pantano represents clients in investigations and regulatory mandates before the CFTC, self-regulatory organizations and the FERC, and Neal Kumar focuses on derivatives regulatory matters. Based in New York, Thomas French leads the practice and Rita Molesworth advises on work concerning the Dodd Frank Act, while John Thomas handles physical commodity and commodity derivatives trading mandates. Counsel Margo Bailey, who operates from the Washington DC office, is another key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Thomas French

Other key lawyers:

Paul Pantano; Rita Molesworth; John Thomas; Margo Bailey; Neal Kumar


‘In my experience, the firm, specifically the partners I work with, are deeply knowledgeable subject-matter experts. What makes them unique is their ability to address client issues practically, rather than philosophically, leaving the client unable to determine a practical solution.’

Key clients

Citigroup Energy Inc.

Futures Industry Association Inc. (FIA)

Vitol Inc.

Mitsui Busan Commodities Ltd.

NextEra Energy Resources


CBOE Digital (ErisX)

FTX US Derivatives


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP handles regulatory and compliance matters associated with regulations and guidance issued by the CFTC, SEC and US federal banking agencies, in addition to non-US regulators. The team’s current workload includes regulatory and transactional advice concerning initial margin implementation and LIBOR transition matters, as well as CFTC enforcement cases and digital asset mandates related to derivatives. In the firm’s Washington DC office, practice leader Jeffrey Steiner has experience in over-the-counter products and listed derivatives, commodities, regulatory and enforcement issues, and is frequently supported by Michael Bopp. New York-based Darius Mehraban, whose practice covers equity derivative structures, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Steiner

Other key lawyers:

Michael Bopp; Darius Mehraban

Key clients

International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)

Honeywell International

B. Dyson Capital Advisors

Intel Corporation

Celanese Corporation

Burford Capital

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Collectively led by David Taub and John Lutz,  the team at McDermott Will & Emery LLP is well-versed in exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives, with demonstrable experience advising on the derivatives aspects of municipal insolvencies, as well as weather derivatives. The practice is also well-placed to leverage its regulatory and tax expertise to advise on matters concerning tax hedging, trading policies and risk management procedures. Taub acts for financial institutions and other market participants on a range of derivatives transactions, including repos, swaps and forward delivery agreements, while Lutz and Kramer advise on the tax aspects of derivatives and structured products. Both Taub and Lutz operate from the firm’s office in New York, while Kramer is based in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

David Taub; John Lutz

Key clients



Bank of America/Merrill Lynch


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Reed Smith LLP

Counting banks, traders, exporters, borrowers, development banks and export credit agencies among its key roster of clients, Reed Smith LLP is noted for its capability in handling structured trade and commodity finance mandates, over-the-counter transactions and regulatory matters. The team is also well-placed to leverage the firm’s global footprint to act for clients both domestically and internationally. In the firm’s Washington DC office, Edwin Nazario was promoted to partner and Jonathan Ammons joined from Winston & Strawn LLP in January 2023, while Houston-based Craig Enochs remains a key contact in the group. Both Jonathan Marcus and Christine Parker left for in-house roles, while Peter Malyshev departedin April 2022 and Ilene Froom left in July 2022. Stan Perry leads the team from the firm’s office in Houston.

Practice head(s):

Stan Perry

Other key lawyers:

Edwin Nazario; Jonathan Ammons; Craig Enochs

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP counts a broad range of asset managers, from institutional managers to start-ups, institutional investors and corporations, as well as private fund sponsors, mutual funds, financial institutions and sovereign wealth funds, among its key roster of clients. The practice advises on investment transactions involving commodities, futures and a range of derivatives, in addition to product structuring and regulatory matters. In the firm’s Boston office, practice leader Leigh Fraser acts for buy-side clients in negotiations concerning ISDA master agreements, master derivatives confirmations and repurchase agreements, and advises on derivatives regulatory reforms under the Dodd-Frank Act. Other key contacts in the group include New York-based Isabel Dische and Chicago-based Jeremy Liabo, who acts for asset managers on commodities mandates.

Practice head(s):

Leigh Fraser

Other key lawyers:

Isabel Dische; Jeremy Liabo; Molly Moore; Egan Cammack

Work highlights

  • Advising an investment firm with offices in the US, the UK and Singapore on derivatives, CFTC registration, securities financing matters and regulatory issues.
  • Advising a global investment management firm on a variety of derivatives, Dodd-Frank and CFTC regulatory issues for its various private funds and separately managed accounts.
  • Advising an alternative investment firm on US commodities laws and regulations, including navigating National Futures Association exams and negotiating trading documentation, trade structuring and providing advice regarding US and EU derivatives regulatory issues for a variety of investment product types.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Praised as ‘well-versed in derivatives and structured products’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP counts investment banks, private equity funds and corporations among its key roster of clients, with demonstrable experience in handling over-the-counter transactions and equity-linked derivatives. In the firm’s New York office, ‘exceptional partnerJonathan Lindabury leads the team and is noted for his expertise in margin loans and equity derivatives transactions, in addition to related regulatory matters. Based in Washington DC, regulatory expert David Blass is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Lindabury

Other key lawyers:

David Blass


‘Strength of lead derivatives attorney backed by great all around firm.’

‘Jonathan Lindabury is an exceptional partner who brings his years of in-house experience to give practical and timely advice on difficult situations.’

‘David Blass and others who used to work at regulatory agencies bring their unique expertise and insight into regulatory and enforcement process to bear in a practical and cost-effective manner.’

‘The Simpson Thacher team is well-versed in derivatives and structured products. Their knowledge of the market is first-rate.’

‘I find the Simpson team to be extremely collaborative and commercial. They spot the relevant issues and do a very good job of explaining impact and advising on risk level. They are well-calibrated and communicate in a clear and concise way.’

Key clients



Apax Partners


Aston Martin

BC Partners

Best Buy




Cigna Corporation

Dell Technologies


Essential Utilities

First Reserve

GFL Environmental

Goldman Sachs

Hellman & Friedman

Hilton Worldwide Holdings

Invitation Homes



Morgan Stanley

Mosaic Company


Office Depot

Quantum Energy Partners

Silver Lake

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