Commodities, Futures & Derivatives

Sullivan & Cromwell’s Commodities, Futures and Derivatives Group provides a full range of transactional, advisory and litigation services in connection with the structuring, offering and trading of commodity and derivative products.

The Firm advises on the development of new products, the structuring and implementation of complex transactions and the obtaining of necessary regulatory relief. Clients also rely on S&C for responses to governmental inquiries and defense against governmental and private actions.

S&C marshals insights and ideas from across the Firm’s various disciplines to offer truly coordinated representation.

The Group handles matters such as:

  • advice on the development of new technologies, financial indices, electronic trading systems, exchanges and clearing houses;
     
  • regulatory and transactional advice regarding derivatives;
     
  • regulatory and transactional advice to hedge fund groups;
     
  • compliance and investigatory reviews of commodities and derivatives businesses;
     
  • policy, legislative and regulatory comment and advice relating to commodities, securities, banking and international law issues affecting commodities and derivatives;
     
  • advice to banks, investment banks, hedge funds, utilities and others on trading issues; and
     
  • coordinating global advice regarding the status of trading, advisory and information systems under the laws of multiple jurisdictions.

SELECTED REPRESENTATIONS

Sullivan & Cromwell has:

  • Advised on the development of new technologies, financial indices, electronic trading systems, exchanges and clearing houses in connection with the trading and clearing of futures, options and OTC derivatives, including advice on structuring, regulatory, intellectual property and other issues and transactional representation.
     
  • Provided regulatory and transactional advice regarding derivatives, including advice on structuring and documenting transactions and advice on securities, commodities, banking, insurance, cross-border margin, insolvency and other issues.
     
  • Reviewed compliance and investigatory policies of commodities and derivatives businesses, including training and development of internal policies and procedures to govern businesses and establishment of structured product review committees to comply with regulatory guidance.
     
  • Provided policy, legislative and regulatory comment and advice relating to commodities, securities, banking and international law issues affecting commodities and derivatives.
     
  • Represented banks, investment banks, hedge funds, utilities and others on trading issues including the establishment of trading ventures involving commodities, securities, currencies and derivatives.
     
  • Coordinated global advice regarding the status of trading, advisory and information systems under the laws of multiple jurisdictions.
     
  • Represented clients in connection with the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and the proposal and implementation of regulations pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, including regular and extensive written communications and meetings with Congress, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the SEC and relevant banking agencies, and an ongoing role in the development of the regulatory model for OTC derivatives generally.
     
  • Represented trade associations including International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Managed Funds Association, Futures Industry Association, Private Equity Growth Capital Council and others in meetings with regulators and legislators and in comments on a wide range of rulemaking issues.
     
  • Structured, negotiated and documented joint ventures regarding electronic trading platforms, clearing operations and other services, including the organization of ICE and the clearing relationship between ICE and the London Clearing House, and the development of facilities to provide clearing services to the foreign exchange and other markets.
     
  • Represented LCH.Clearnet in the development of the SwapClear client clearing model with respect to interest rate swaps, including the implementation of a futures commission merchant clearing model in the United States.
     
  • Performed public offerings and private placements of a wide range of securities indexed to commodities, equity securities, currencies and indices.
     
  • Developed new types of derivative products linked to energy commodities and credit and insurance references.
     
  • Developed internal policies and procedures and training for energy companies, banks and others.
     
  • Structured, developed and achieved regulatory approval of electronic exchanges and trading platforms including:
    • trueEX Group, a newly organized electronic exchange and swap execution facility for swaps;
       
    • Electronic Liquidity Exchange ELX, a consortium established primarily for the purpose of trading Treasury futures;
       
    • LCH.Clearnet in connection with the expansion of the SwapClear clearing service for interest rate swaps into the U.S. and the development of a futures commission merchant clearing model; and
       
    • IntercontinentalExchange.
       
  • Represented commodities firms in Department of Justice, CFTC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, SEC, and exchange investigations and proceedings.
     
  • Represented clients in class actions and complex private litigations, often arising from government enforcement efforts.
     
  • Coordinated responses to proceedings involving multiple agencies, including those occurring cross-border.

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Peer Reviews

  • 4.9/5.0 20 reviews
  • Legal Knowledge

    5.0/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    4.9/5.0
  • Judgment

    4.9/5.0
  • Communication

    4.9/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    4.9/5.0

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Client Reviews

  • 4.3/5.0 13 reviews
  • 92% client recommended 12 recommendations
  • Communication

    4.4/5.0
  • Responsiveness

    4.1/5.0
  • Quality of Service

    4.5/5.0
  • Value for Money

    4.0/5.0

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Diversity

Sullivan & Cromwell is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. We believe that diversity is vital to the Firm’s ability to provide our clients with the highest level of service. Accordingly, the Firm’s culture and policies value the unique abilities and perspectives of every individual and support diversity in its broadest sense, including race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability and religious affiliation. 

The Firm’s Diversity Committee, which is charged with assisting in the development of a diverse and inclusive workforce, is comprised of lawyers who hold positions of leadership and influence within the Firm. A member of the Firm’s Management Committee co-chairs the Diversity Committee. Other members of the Diversity Committee include the Firm’s senior chairman, practice group managing partners, hiring partners, assigning partners, chairs of the Firm’s associate affinity networks, and chairs of the Women’s Initiative Committee. The Firm also has a Diversity Management Department (“DMD”), which is charged with developing, implementing and coordinating the Firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, events and programs. Realizing the importance of an integrated approach, the DMD works closely with our Recruiting, Professional Development and Legal Personnel Departments to monitor the effectiveness of our extensive diversity initiatives and programs to further the Firm’s mission.

This ongoing commitment has led to great results, including the increased diversity of our partnership. As of January 1, 2013, the Firm had elected thirty-nine partners worldwide in the prior six years; of these thirty-nine partners, thirteen are women, eleven are minorities, and one is openly gay.

In its most recent rankings, Vault listed S&C as among the “20 Best Law Firms for LGBT Diversity.” In addition, MultiCultural Law magazine has named S&C to its annual lists of the “Top 100 Law Firms for Women” and “Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity” for several years, including most recently in 2012. Click here for Diversity Recognitions.

In addition, our lawyers have diverse backgrounds; they speak over 30 languages fluently and they come from approximately 40 different countries and 150 different law schools.