Yvette Valdez is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Ms. Valdez is Co-Chair of the Commodities and Derivatives Regulation and Enforcement Practice, head of the US derivatives regulatory practice, Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Digital Assets & Web3 Practice, and a member of the firm’s Financial Institutions and Fintech Industry Groups and Financial Regulatory and Derivatives Practices.

Ms. Valdez advises emerging companies, financial institutions, and investment managers on complex regulatory challenges in the development of bespoke financial crypto-asset and cryptocurrency technologies including token sales, market infrastructure, trading, clearing, and settlement solutions on distributed ledger technology. She also advises clients on domestic and cross-border cutting-edge fintech initiatives in the derivatives markets.

Ms. Valdez also has significant experience representing dealers, intermediaries, and end-users in connection with derivatives (swaps and futures) legal and regulatory matters under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, as well as related CFTC, SEC, and prudential regulation.

Her regulatory practice consists of assisting foreign and domestic investment banks, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers, broker-dealers, and commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors with their derivatives regulatory compliance requirements as well as advising buy-side clients in connection with their margining, clearing, and trade execution requirements. Ms. Valdez also counsels clients in market infrastructure, trading, clearing, and settlement in the derivatives markets, including FBOTs, swap execution facilities, and designated contract markets.

Ms. Valdez has extensive experience representing financial institutions in bespoke derivatives transactions, including interest rate and credit derivatives, foreign exchange transactions, total return swaps, commodity transactions, futures, and options.

Ms. Valdez was named to Innovate Finance's 2018 Women in FinTech Powerlist in the Professional & Financial Services category in recognition of her leadership in the industry.

Ms. Valdez serves as a member of the New York State Department of Financial Services’ (NYDFS) Virtual Currency and Blockchain Advisory Board.

Speaking Engagements

  • FIA Law & Compliance Division Conference, Ethics in Derivatives and Futures Law, April 2022
  • ISDA Conference, Developments in Crypto Derivatives, March 2022
  • DC Fintech Week, Crypto and ESG, October 2021
  • FIA Law & Compliance Division Conference, The Regulation of Digital Assets Panel, April 2021
  • ABA Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Virtual Winter Meeting 2021, Crypto and Fintech Developments Panel, January 2021
  • DC Fintech Week, Building Equity into Start-Ups: Lessons from Women in Fintech Panel, October 2020

Ms. Valdez’s experience includes representing:

  • SunTrust Bank, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Credit Agricole CIB, BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A., and SMBC in connection with fixed-income, foreign exchange, commodity, and total return swap derivatives transactions* 
  • Major investment banks, in connection with the creation of derivative platforms for fixed income derivatives and general representation in relation to such derivative platforms*
  • Private equity firms and funds in connection with fixed income and credit derivatives transactions* 
  • Various energy and gas companies in connection with hedging documentation in commodity transactions including emission allowances, power, and fuel*
  • Foreign financial institutions in connection with clearing and trade execution on-boarding* 
  • Financial institutions in connection with hedging and credit enhancement transactions and risk management structures involving derivatives, including total return swaps, credit default swaps, and forward delivery agreements*
  • Foreign financial institutions in Latin America, in connection with the execution of derivatives transactions with various dealers in respect of the bank's various foreign exchange transactions and currency options and swaps with other dealers* 
  • Commercial and investment banks in connection with termination and settlement as well as collateral obligations of various derivatives transactions in respect of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy* 
  • Investment managers in connection with commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor regulatory and compliance obligations*

*Completed prior to joining Latham & Watkins

Bar Qualification

  • New York

Education

  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 2005
    Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • BA, Emory University, 2000
    magna cum laude

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish
General Recognition Thumbnail
June 4, 2021Recognition

Latham Earns Top Derivatives Rankings

Firm ranked in Band 1 by Chambers USA; seven lawyers individually recognized for premier transactional, regulatory, and enforcement capabilities.