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“They're a very well-regarded practice – they're in the flow and they know how to get deals done.”
Chambers USA 2015 - Capital Markets: Derivatives


Latham & Watkins helps clients achieve their business objectives through careful, commercially realistic attention to structuring, documentation and negotiation.

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, and customer complaints and litigation.

Product Knowledge

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:

  • Broker-dealers
  • 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 is closely integrated 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.

Transaction Expertise

The heart of the Derivatives Practice at Latham is the team's 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.

Non-Transactional Expertise

Latham's derivatives lawyers also assist clients with derivatives issues unrelated to specific transactions. The team has structured derivatives programs for ongoing, tax-efficient swap and structured-note activity. In addition, Latham has conducted comprehensive legal audits of client swap operations. Its derivatives lawyers collaborate with lawyers in the firm Litigation Department to help clients facing derivatives-related investigations and litigation.

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