Douglas J. Donahue

Special Counsel
New York,  NY  U.S.A.
Phone212 504 6511

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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Derivatives & Structured Products
  • Financial Regulation
  • Insurance Products
  • Insurance and Reinsurance
  • Municipal Derivatives
  • Municipal Securitization
  • OTC Derivatives
  • Securitization & Asset Based Finance
  • Structured Products
  • Swap Regulation
University St. Francis College, B.S., 2001
Law SchoolNew York University School of Law, J.D., 2004
Admitted2005, New York

Doug Donahue has a diverse practice that focuses on transactional and advisory matters related to derivatives. He represents both buy and sell-side institutions, including some of the foremost dealers, banks, and hedge funds, in connection with the development, structuring, negotiation and documentation of a wide variety of financial products. These products include total return swaps, swap intermediations, credit derivatives, interest rate swaps, commodity swaps, currency swaps, and other funded and unfunded products. Doug also advises such clients on regulatory issues, particularly those arising in the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act, related to derivatives. He has extensive experience with hybrid products that combine securitization and/or project finance techniques and derivatives.

Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business recently recognized Doug as an “Up and Coming” attorney in the derivatives space, noting that impressed clients described him as incredibly fast and really thorough, as well as extremely smart but practical, too.” Doug was also recognized as a key individual in the 2014 US edition of Legal500. In addition, Derivatives Intelligence & Derivatives Week named Doug a 2012 Rising Star of Derivatives.

In addition, Doug has broad experience in the use of derivatives and financial products in the municipal markets, including interest rate swaps, rate locks, credit default swaps, total return swaps, forward delivery agreements, forward bond purchase agreements and gas prepay financings.

Doug received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.S. from St. Francis College. He is admitted to practice in the State of New York.


Notable transactions and advisory matters in which Doug has been involved include:

•Representing the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (“ISDA”) in connection with the structuring and documentation of an industry wide effort to amend existing master agreements governing swaps to address the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. Such representation includes, (i) the drafting of Dodd-Frank Act related industry standard provisions that are part of ISDA Protocols, and (ii) advising ISDA and Markit Group Limited (“Markit”) on the development of a joint-venture technology offering intended to ease some of the administrative burdens of complying with the Dodd-Frank Act, which is available to all market participants.
•Advising several swap dealers and end-users on the development of internal compliance policies and procedures relating to their derivatives businesses to comply with regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act.
•Representing a major financial institution as an intermediary with respect to a significant portion of an insurance company's portfolio of derivative transactions with CDOs in order to provide such insurance company with liquidity relief by replacing such insurance company, whose ratings would have required it to overcollateralize such transactions, in such transactions.
•Advising a number of major financial institutions and large end-users in connection with the development of internal policies and documentation related to cleared derivatives.
•Representing a major financial institution in connection with a total return swap transaction pursuant to which such financial institution hedged a substantial portion of its exposure to a large structured vehicle with a notional $213 billion in investment portfolios consisting of managed, static, levered and unlevered bespoke single-tranche portfolio credit default swaps that replicate economics of CDOs and CDO-squareds, and associated rate swaps, cross-currency swaps and complex collateral arrangements.
•Advising a number of major financial institutions in connection with the recent credit rating downgrades of such institutions, including (i) analyzing hundreds of contracts to determine the impact of such downgrades, and (ii) developing a strategy to remediate the consequences of such downgrades.
•Establishing and structuring indices tracking the convertible bond market for Markit and a group of dealers, including the creation of index rules and industry standard documentation utilized to trade such indices.
•Advising a major dealer in connection with the creation and development of a risk-management database covering material information from over 1,000 structured and other complex financings sponsored by such dealer or involving a swap transaction to which such dealer is a party. Review and analyze the legal documentation for such financings and populate such database.
•Developing documentation for derivative transactions with high net worth individuals.
•Performing a comprehensive risk analysis of a gas prepay financing for a major financial institution.

News & Resources


News Releases

Cadwalader Named 2014 Americas Derivatives Law Firm of the Year; Ray Shirazi Recognized as Top Derivatives Lawyer Sep 19, 2014

Recent Press

Cadwalader Continues to Dominate Law-Firm Ranking Jul 25, 2014


Cadwalader Named 2014 Americas Derivatives Law Firm of the Year; Ray Shirazi Recognized as Top Derivatives Lawyer Sep 19, 2014


Clients & Friends Memos

S&P's New Counterparty Risk Criteria for Structured Finance Securities Offer Additional Flexibility for Derivative Transactions Sep 28, 2012

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Office Information

Douglas J. Donahue

New YorkNY 10281-0006


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