Latham & Watkins' lawyers advise clients with respect to the full range of over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange-traded derivative products.
Latham's derivatives practitioners have experience with swap, option, and structured-note transactions involving established products, such as interest rates, currencies, commodities, securities, and credit. In addition, the firm provides counsel with respect to emerging products and structures, such as those relating to weather, longevity, and property derivatives. Latham's lawyers have extensive experience with the full life cycle of relevant products. From new product development and assessment, to transaction execution and documentation, and on-going legal risk management, including defaults, regulatory-inquiry response, customer complaints, and litigation.
Latham's global Derivatives Practice team members have practical knowledge of swaps and derivatives across all asset classes. The firm's lawyers bring to bear on every transaction the unique perspective of having completed derivatives work for a wide range of clients, including:
- Commercial and investment banks
- Hedge funds
- Insurance companies
- Investment companies
- Industrial companies
- Limited partnerships
- Pension funds
- Private equity firms
- Sponsors of special purpose corporations
In addition, team lawyers follow market developments closely, and participate in derivatives-industry initiatives, such as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) documentation projects. The derivatives team integrates closely with other Latham practice groups, allowing the firm to provide multi-disciplinary legal advice regarding the complex derivatives issues that implicate a number of different laws and regulatory schemes, such as those relating to commodities, banking, securities, insolvency, partnerships, and tax.
The heart of the Derivatives Practice at Latham is the work on complex OTC derivatives transactions. Whether clients are engaging in derivatives for hedging, investment, or arbitrage purposes, and whether their deals involve a single jurisdiction or multiple jurisdictions, the team helps its clients achieve their business objectives through careful, commercially realistic attention to structuring, documentation, and negotiation. Latham's lawyers have particular expertise in the areas of credit, equity, and commodity derivatives, and with all types of derivative structures, ranging from simple swaps, forwards, and options to sophisticated hybrid securities and related credit and collateral issues.
Latham lawyers are actively involved in assisting market participants, trade associations, and other interested parties in responding to proposed rulemakings by the CFTC and SEC relating to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank). Encouraging regulators to implement final rules that will support fair, efficient, and well-functioning markets without imposing undue burdens or risks on Latham’s clients and market participants as a whole.
Latham also has a thorough understanding of the regulatory challenges that affect clients at national, European, and international levels, enabling the firm to deliver incisive advice on critical financial regulatory issues arising under EMIR, MiFIDII, and other directives. In particular, the Latham team advises corporate clients on all aspects of regulatory and risk management, enforcement, and compliance work under EMIR across multiple jurisdictions.
Latham’s strong presence in the market allows lawyers to provide clients with regulatory advice across key jurisdictions, including the United States (US), the European Union (EU), and Asia. Latham lawyers assist derivatives market participants in formulating their regulatory compliance efforts under US, EU, and Asia regulations and the rules of self-regulatory organizations. Latham clients include domestic and non-US entities, both financial and non-financial, global enterprises with affiliates throughout the world, and US and non-US trading utilities and intermediaries. Given the broad extraterritorial implications of Dodd-Frank and EMIR, the ability to manage compliance across jurisdictional and entity lines is crucial.
Enforcement and Litigation
The Latham team advises clients in complex investigations and litigation matters involving derivatives, utilizing the firm's experience with the CFTC and other regulators to assist clients in navigating a complex and rapidly developing regulatory and enforcement environment. Latham lawyers have been involved in several of the most high-profile CFTC enforcement matters in recent years.