Douglas Yatter is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins and is a member of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice and the Financial Institutions and Energy Industry Groups. Leading the firm's CFTC enforcement and commodities litigation practice, he advises clients across the financial services industry and the energy and agricultural sectors in government and internal investigations, litigation, and regulatory matters. As a member of Latham’s Global Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Task Force, he advises cryptocurrency clients on their most significant regulatory and enforcement matters.
As a former Chief Trial Attorney in the Division of Enforcement of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Mr. Yatter's experience with commodities regulation enables him to assist large financial institutions, commodity trading firms, energy companies, fintech ventures, and other clients in navigating a complex and rapidly developing regulatory and enforcement environment. He also draws on his experience to represent clients in class actions and other litigation involving claims of manipulation or collusion in benchmarks and financial products.
At the CFTC, Mr. Yatter was a leader of two of the agency’s highest profile enforcement matters, including both the ISDAFIX benchmark investigation and the investigation of the collapse of MF Global. He also conducted and supervised various other matters involving violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, including fraud, manipulation, false reporting, spoofing, trade practice abuses, customer protection, insider trading, and cybersecurity. His work addressed swaps, futures, and other derivatives across various markets, often in coordination with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the National Futures Association (NFA), and other domestic and international authorities. In all, his cases resulted in orders for sanctions totaling nearly US$1.6 billion.
In addition to commodities, Mr. Yatter advises clients in the securities industry on SEC and FINRA investigations. He has extensive experience advising corporations and boards in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations, as well as insider trading and securities fraud matters.
Mr. Yatter’s cryptocurrency practice includes advising clients on a range of compliance, advocacy, and enforcement matters at the forefront of regulatory developments involving digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT). His recent matters in this sector have included investigations by the CFTC, SEC, and Department of Justice on regulatory compliance for token offerings, centralized and decentralized trading platforms, insider trading, and market manipulation.
In his extensive civil litigation practice, Mr. Yatter represents clients in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings in a wide array of complex matters, including securities and shareholder derivative suits, antitrust cases, and transactional disputes.
In 2019, Mr. Yatter was co-lead trial counsel for DXC Technology in the arbitration of a post-merger dispute against Hewlett Packard Enterprise, winning a US$666 million award for DXC. In the past year, he also represented a global bank in the successful defense of two class actions alleging manipulation and collusion in connection with interest rate benchmarks and related derivatives, obtaining complete dismissals in both cases.
Mr. Yatter serves on the Advisory Board of NYU School of Law’s Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American Bar Association Derivatives & Futures Law Committee and the Futures Industry Association Law & Compliance Division. Early in his career, he clerked for Judge Dennis Jacobs of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Mr. Yatter is a frequent speaker on enforcement topics and industry trends, including cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, and other areas of innovation.
Mr. Yatter's enforcement defense and investigation experience includes representing:
- A global bank in a CFTC market manipulation investigation
- Precious metals traders at global banks in DOJ and CFTC spoofing investigations
- Senior interest rate traders at global banks in CFTC market manipulation investigations
- Leading cryptocurrency clients in cutting-edge regulatory and enforcement matters involving the CFTC, SEC, and DOJ
- An asset management firm in an internal investigation relating to complex physical commodity transactions
- A global bank in FINRA and SEC investigations relating to trading and clearing of equities and equity options
- Registered firms and traders in NFA and CME investigations and disciplinary proceedings
- Financial institutions in connection with CFPB investigations of consumer banking and money transfers
- A pharmaceutical company in connection with criminal and civil insider trading investigations
- A Fortune Global 100 engineering company in one of the largest FCPA investigations in history*
- An international telecom company in an investigation of potential FCPA compliance issues*
- The directors of a major financial institution in investigations by the SEC, New York Attorney General, and Congress concerning a high-profile acquisition*
- A technology company and the board of a media company in stock option backdating investigations*
Mr. Yatter's civil litigation and arbitration experience includes representing:
- DXC Technology Company as co-lead trial counsel in the arbitration of a post-merger dispute against Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, winning a US$666 million award for DXC
- A global bank in the successful defense of two class actions alleging manipulation and collusion in connection with interest rate benchmarks and related derivatives, obtaining complete dismissals in both cases
- A leading broker-dealer in FINRA arbitration proceedings
- The directors of a major financial institution in federal and state shareholder suits concerning a high-profile acquisition*
- A global pharmaceutical company in the successful defense of a multibillion dollar antitrust class action, including successful briefing at every level of the federal courts*
- A major software company in Delaware Chancery Court litigation through trial in support of its successful US$10 billion bid to acquire a competitor*
*Matter handled prior to joining Latham
Mr. Yatter also maintains an active pro bono practice, which has included constitutional litigation, asylum cases, and representation of a nonprofit cultural organization in a government investigation.
Recent Speaking Engagements
- “Advancement of Digital Assets and Addressing Financial Crime Risk,” NYU School of Law, Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement, Mar. 2020
- “Enforcement Developments,” ABA Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Winter Meeting, Jan. 2020
- “CFTC Enforcement Trends,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Financial Markets Lawyers Group, Jan. 2020
- “Cryptocurrencies and ICOs: Regulation and Enforcement,” Cornell Law School, Nov. 2019
- “Governance of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency,” NYU School of Law and NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Graduate Program in Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy, Mar. 2019
- “US Regulatory and Enforcement Developments: Cryptocurrencies and ICOs,” New York State Bar Association, Securities Regulation Committee, Jun. 2018
- “ICOs and Cryptocurrency: Innovation Meets Regulation,” NYU School of Law, Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement, Jun. 2018
- “Regulating Innovation: Enforcement Developments in Cryptocurrency,” Harvard Club, Apr. 2018
- “Regulation of Financial Institutions: Translating Law into Compliance,” New York City Bar Association, Jan. 2018
- “Effects of Proposed Regulatory Changes on Banks, Investment & Trading,” Financial Revolutionist Conference, Oct. 2017
- “Market Abuse Enforcement in the Age of Algos and AI,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Financial Markets Lawyers Group, Jul. 2017
- “The Evolving Regulatory Landscape for Cryptocurrencies and Distributed Ledger Technology,” Financial Services Leadership Exchange, Apr. 2017
- “Financial Regulatory Whistleblower Programs,” New York State Bar Association, Securities Regulation Committee, Oct. 2016