Sidley’s derivatives practice is recognized as a global market leader. With more than 30 lawyers and a diverse client base, our team is well known for its exceptional work in the derivatives space, repeatedly earning acknowledgment from numerous industry publications, including Chambers USA and Global and U.S. News — Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” Leveraging our experience and market depth, we offer a holistic approach to domestic and international banks, insurance companies, financial products companies, investment funds, investment advisers, commodity pools, introducing brokers, futures commission merchants, trading platforms, clearinghouses, and a wide spectrum of end users. Clients consistently look to us for our legal, business, and practical insights to help them navigate complex transactional and regulatory issues that arise in the course of structuring, offering, documenting, and trading derivatives.
First-Tier National Ranking in Derivatives and Futures Law
2022 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Survey
We bring value to our clients in the following ways:
- Extensive swap experience: Our work in the global derivatives markets spans both OTC and exchange-traded derivative products. Lawyers on our team assist with structuring and documenting transactions involving derivatives and related trading and financing techniques, including swaps, futures, options, forwards, and collars. We advise on trading and clearing documentation, including ISDA Master Agreements, as well as securities loan, repurchase, futures customer, prime brokerage, master give-up, and master netting agreements. Our product experience ranges from the more traditional interest rate, currency, commodity, credit, equity, and inflation markets to the more bespoke catastrophe, longevity/mortality, and other evolving markets.
- Structured products work: We routinely represent swap counterparties in securitization, structured finance, and financing transactions. These transactions require comprehensive knowledge of a varied set of issues ranging from cross-collateralization, inter-creditor, and bankruptcy issues to the application of the new derivatives regulatory schemes, as well as rating agency criteria in rated transactions. We also have experience negotiating derivatives in finance transactions involving municipal and other governmental entities, which present additional issues relating to capacity, authority, and sovereign immunity.
“The team is excellent … particular strengths are its expertise in the legal and regulatory structure of US capital markets, and its understanding of how the details function in practice.”
Chambers USA: Nationwide Derivatives, 2021
- Deep regulatory bench: Our derivatives lawyers regularly counsel clients on the full spectrum of regulatory and compliance issues associated with transacting in derivatives. Long at the forefront of the ever-changing derivatives regulatory landscape, Sidley lawyers are well-versed in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) in the United States, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) in the European Union, and the Asian derivatives regulatory regimes.
- Regulatory agency insight: Also valuable to clients is our extensive experience working with regulators at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Futures Association, the Financial Conduct Authority, futures exchanges, clearinghouses, and swap execution facilities, among others. In addition to being active participants in derivatives industry associations, we have been engaged by several leading industry associations such as ISDA, SIFMA, and MFA on various derivatives regulatory matters.
- Integrated services: Sidley’s derivatives practice offers a multidisciplinary and multijurisdictional approach to advising our clients, drawing on the resources of a full-service global law firm. We frequently collaborate with colleagues across all our offices and practice areas, including, among others, energy, bankruptcy/restructuring, litigation, ERISA, tax, securities enforcement and regulatory, insurance, fintech, and blockchain. This global and cross-practice network enables us to offer clients seamless and efficient service in nearly every area of derivatives law.