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 has extensive experience advising corporations and boards in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations and securities fraud matters. In his civil litigation practice, Mr. Yatter represents clients in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings in a wide array of complex matters, including shareholder derivative suits, antitrust cases, 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 enforcement defense and investigation experience includes representing:
- Precious metals traders at global banks in DOJ and CFTC spoofing investigations
- Senior 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 institution clients 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:
- A global bank in class actions alleging manipulation and collusion in connection with interest rate benchmarks and related financial instruments
- 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 successul 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
- “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
- “2017 Derivatives Market Year in Review,” Latham & Watkins Webcast, 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
- “2016 Derivatives Market Year in Review,” Latham & Watkins Webcast, Dec. 2016
- “Financial Regulatory Whistleblower Programs,” New York State Bar Association, Securities Regulation Committee, Oct. 2016