Sidley’s derivatives group consists of an experienced team of over 25 lawyers. These lawyers devote their full-time practice to the derivatives market and represent a wide range of market participants, including domestic and international banks, insurance companies, financial products companies, funds, investment advisors and a wide spectrum of end-users in both domestic and international derivatives transactions. In addition to transactional work, our derivatives lawyers regularly counsel clients on the various regulatory issues associated with the changing regulatory environment, both in the United States and European Union.
Our understanding of, and work in, the derivatives markets spans both over-the-counter and exchange-traded derivative products around the globe. Our lawyers have extensive experience with structuring and documenting transactions involving derivatives and related trading and financing techniques, including swaps, futures, options, forwards, collars, repurchase agreements, novations, participation agreements as well as over-the-counter trading documentation such as prime brokerage agreements and master give-up agreements and clearing documentation. Our derivatives experience ranges from the more traditional interest rate, currency, commodity, credit, equity, credit and inflation markets to the more bespoke catastrophe, longevity/mortality and other evolving markets.
We routinely represent swap counterparties in securitization, structured finance and financing transactions. These transactions require comprehensive knowledge of a unique set of issues ranging from cross-collateralization, inter-creditor and bankruptcy issues to the application of rating agency criteria in rated transactions. We also have extensive experience negotiating derivatives in finance transactions involving municipal and other governmental entities, which also present additional issues relating to capacity, authority and sovereign immunity.
In addition to our over-the-counter experience, Sidley also represents derivatives exchanges, clearinghouses, swap execution facilities (SEF’s) as well as members and end-users of exchange traded derivatives products.
As a result of our extensive transactional derivatives practice, Sidley lawyers have been at the forefront of the developing derivatives regulatory landscape and are well versed in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) in the U.S. as well as the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) in the European Union. As a component of our derivatives practice, a Sidley lawyer is designated to exclusively monitor, coordinate and oversee the various Dodd-Frank and EMIR issues as they impact our various practice areas. In addition to counseling clients on a variety of different derivatives regulatory matters, we have been recognized as leaders in the derivatives regulatory arena and have been engaged by leading derivatives industry associations such as ISDA, SIFMA and MFA on various derivatives regulatory related matters.