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 sector in government and internal investigations, litigation, and regulatory 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 private commodities litigation involving claims of manipulation or collusion in benchmarks and derivatives.
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 traditional commodities, Mr. Yatter advises cryptocurrency clients on a range of compliance, advocacy, and enforcement matters at the forefront of regulatory developments involving digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT). He also advises corporations, boards, and individuals in investigations relating to the securities market and other financial matters, including insider trading and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and he represents clients in arbitration proceedings and a wide array of complex civil litigation, including shareholder derivative suits, antitrust matters, and transactional disputes.
Mr. Yatter serves on the Advisory Board of NYU School of Law’s Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement. He is also 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 and other areas of innovation.
Mr. Yatter's experience includes representing:
- A head trader at a global bank in a CFTC market manipulation investigation
- A global bank in class action litigation alleging benchmark manipulation and collusion in interest rate derivatives
- An asset management firm in an internal investigation relating to complex commodity transactions
- Cryptocurrency clients in cutting-edge regulatory and enforcement matters
- A global bank in FINRA and SEC investigations relating to trading and clearing activities
- A major broker-dealer in FINRA arbitration proceedings
- A state-chartered savings bank in a CFPB investigation
- A pharmaceutical company in connection with criminal and civil insider trading investigations
- The directors of a major financial institution in federal and state investigations and shareholder derivative suits concerning a high-profile acquisition*
- A Fortune Global 100 engineering company in one of the largest FCPA investigations in history*
- A global pharmaceutical firm in the successful defense of a multibillion dollar antitrust class action*
- A technology company and the board of a media company in stock option backdating investigations*
- A major software company in Delaware Chancery Court litigation in support of its successful US$10 billion bid to acquire a competitor*
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
- New York State Bar Association, Securities Regulation Committee, “US Regulatory and Enforcement Developments: Cryptocurrencies and ICOs” – June 2018
- NYU School of Law, Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement, “ICOs and Cryptocurrency: Innovation Meets Regulation” – June 2018
- Harvard Club, “Regulating Innovation: Enforcement Developments in Cryptocurrency” – April 2018
- New York City Bar, “Regulation of Financial Institutions: Translating Law into Compliance” – January 2018
- Latham & Watkins Webcast, “2017 Derivatives Market Year in Review” – January 2018
- Financial Revolutionist Conference, “Effects of Proposed Regulatory Changes on Banks, Investment & Trading” – October 2017
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Financial Markets Lawyers Group, “Market Abuse Enforcement in the Age of Algos and AI” – July 2017
- Financial Services Leadership Exchange, “The Evolving Regulatory Landscape for Cryptocurrencies and Distributed Ledger Technology” – April 2017
- Latham & Watkins Webcast, “2016 Derivatives Market Year in Review” – December 2016
- New York State Bar Association, Securities Regulation Committee, “Financial Regulatory Whistleblower Programs” – October 2016
*Matter handled prior to joining Latham