Given the possible advantages of multiple employer plans (MEPs) – in transferring fiduciary responsibility and administrative burdens and in reducing plan costs – they may be an attractive business opportunity for TPAs. This may be especially true if legislation is passed this year to authorize Open MEPs. At the same time, TPAs need to be aware of the issues related to their compensation if they act as an MEP sponsor.
Drinker Biddle’s Investment Management Group serves a wide range of national and multinational financial services businesses with sophisticated legal advice and proactive counsel on investment management issues. Our team is nationally ranked as one of the top investment management practices in the country by Chambers USA and The Legal 500.
Our investment management lawyers maintain a long-standing practice involving commodity futures and derivative financial products. We represent the full range of institutional derivatives market participants, including international banks, commodity trading advisors, futures fund sponsors, brokerage firms, proprietary trading firms, domestic futures exchanges, clearing organizations, and swap execution facilities.
Our Commodity and Derivatives practice includes both a regulatory counseling and transactional practice, with an emphasis on formation and operation of domestic and offshore futures funds. We regularly consult with industry regulators and have extensive relationships with senior officials at the Department of Justice, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Securities Exchange Commission, the National Futures Association, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
We also provide legal counsel with respect to transactions involving derivative financial products. With the expansion of the derivative financial products market, we have developed, negotiated and documented a wide variety of transactions, including exchange-traded products, hybrid and structured notes, swaps and various types of options and over-the-counter derivative products of all types. We have represented commercial banks, portfolio managers, investment banks, traders and advisers in transactions involving derivative financial products.
Our team is supported by the Firm’s Regulatory Enforcement Team which has extensive experience in investment management litigation and enforcement proceedings, as well as compliance issues facing financial market participants.
CFTC and Derivatives Defense Practices and Commodity and Derivative Financial Products Practices
Drinker Biddle’s SEC & Regulatory Enforcement Team is part of the White Collar Criminal Defense and Internal Investigations Team. Our Team regularly represents investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, hedge funds, private equity firms, and other members of the financial industry in connection with investigations and enforcement actions instituted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the National Futures Association (NFA), other self-regulatory organizations, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and state attorneys general, as well as in securities fraud investigations conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Our Team has extensive experience handling a wide variety of financial regulatory defense matters, compliance matters with enforcement exposure, white collar criminal defense, and internal corporate and firm investigations, as well as civil, regulatory, administrative, and criminal investigations, hearings, and trials. It includes SEC alumni, who served the agency for more than two decades in senior roles—collectively as an assistant director, senior trial counsel, and branch chief in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. In these roles, they led complex and high-profile investigations covering a range of violations, including complex market manipulation and supervisory and compliance failures. They worked closely with the CFTC, CME, and DOJ, while also working on the multi-agency investigations into the failures of MF Global and Peregrine Financial. Our Team also includes DOJ alumni with decades of trial experience.
A sampling of our representations include:
CFTC, NFA, and CME Investigations, Litigation, and Independent Monitor Appointment
- Represented U.S.-based and U.K.-based commodity trading adviser and commodity pool operator in connection with parallel CFTC and NFA investigations.
- Appointed by the Hon. Judge Amy J. St. Eve of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to serve as independent monitor for one of the first “spoofing” manipulative trading enforcement actions instituted by the CFTC (CFTC v. Igor B. Oystacher and 3Red Trading LLC, 15-cv-9196 (N.D. Ill.)).
- Represented an individual in connection with a CFTC investigation focused on foreign currency trading in a pooled investment vehicle.
- Represented a former trader charged in a market manipulation action filed by the CFTC.
- Represented a NFA-member firm at a Business Conduct Committee hearing in connection with a complaint alleging violations of NFA Rule 2-45 (prohibition of loans by commodity pools to CPOs and related entities).
- Represented a CME trader in an investigation by CME Market Regulation related to a CFTC sweep of possible manipulative trading in exchange of futures for physical trading