R. Michael Sweeney, Jr.

R. Michael Sweeney, Jr.: Attorney with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP


Michael Sweeney’s work in energy and commodities law began during the deregulation of energy markets in the 1990s. He focuses his practice on regulatory, enforcement and transactional issues involving energy commodities and derivatives. Michael represents energy firms and multi-commodity trading clients on matters pending before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as well as energy firms before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He has significant experience advising clients on complex regulatory and compliance issues involving the convergence of physical and financial markets for energy and other commodities. Michael continues to play a leading role in advising the nation’s largest energy and financial companies as they navigate the challenges posed by federal commodities and energy regulation, notably the financial reforms created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank).

A frequent speaker, Michael advises a broad range of clients include multi-national oil and gas companies, energy marketers, energy traders, multi-commodity trading firms, investor-owned utilities, independent power producers, and system operators, on all aspects of CFTC and FERC regulation, including representing clients in compliance audits, special calls, investigations, and contested enforcement proceedings. He also advises clients on ISDA and IECA Dodd-Frank documentation matters and regulatory issues applicable to commodity trading advisors, introducing brokers, and futures commission merchants. Michael has substantial experience developing comprehensive compliance and risk management programs for energy and non-energy clients. Finally, he has significant experience addressing FERC regulatory issues involving mergers, acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations involving, among other things, the divestiture of independent, stand-alone transmission companies, spin outs of nuclear and fossil generating portfolios, and sales of energy marketers and trading books.

Selected Experience

Counseled energy firms on Dodd-Frank consumer protection act.
Acted as lead counsel for one of the largest U.S. energy companies concerning Dodd-Frank regulatory status and compliance matters.
Advised energy companies on Dodd-Frank and CFTC compliance issues.

Awards and Rankings

Honored with BTI Consulting Group’s Client Service Award for delivering unsurpassed client service (2019)

Recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of energy: regulatory (2015)


“Dodd-Frank fundamentally changes how the energy industry does business. There are a host of issues-possible restructuring, impact on the cost of energy commodities, and more-that may come into play in the next few years. Right now, our clients need to address how they will comply with and implement the regulations as they go into effect.”

Legal Alerts

Legal Alert: Federal judge finds in favor of defendants Donald Wilson and DRW Investments, LLC in market manipulation case brought by the CFTC (December 5, 2018)
On November 30, 2018, nearly two years after the trial concluded, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York found in favor of Defendants Donald R. Wilson (Wilson) and his ...

Legal Alert: CFTC’s Updated Enforcement Advisory Attempts To Shift Incentives In Favor Of Self-Reporting And Full Cooperation (September 29, 2017)
On September 25, 2017, the Division of Enforcement (Division) of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) issued an “Updated Advisory On Self Reporting And Full Cooperation.”1 The ...

Legal Alert: The Deadline for Compliance With the U.S. Variation Margin Rules Is Approaching! Are You Ready? (December 20, 2016)
The requirement that non-cleared swaps be fully margined, which is one of the last pillars of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), will take effect ...

Legal Alert: ISDA Publishes Variation Margin Protocol (August 23, 2016)
On August 16, 2016, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) published the ISDA 2016 Variation Margin Protocol (VM Protocol). The VM Protocol is intended as a tool to help ...

Legal Alert: CFTC Proposes to Expand Mandatory Clearing to Include Additional Classes of Interest Rate Swaps (June 20, 2016)
On June 9, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding an expansion of CFTC Regulation 50.4(a). If adopted, additional classes of interest rate ...

Legal Alert: CFTC Intermediaries to Adopt and Implement Cybersecurity Programs by March 1, 2016 (February 29, 2016)
Commencing March 1, 2016, all commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, futures commission merchants, retail foreign exchange dealers, introducing brokers, major swap participants and ...

Legal Alert: CFTC and EU Regulators Agree on a Common Approach for the Regulation of CCPs (February 12, 2016)
Earlier this week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and European regulators announced that they have reached agreement on a “common approach” regarding requirements for central ...

Legal Alert: CFTC Amends Regulation 1.35 (February 3, 2016)
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Regulation 1.35 requires futures commission merchants (FCMs), retail foreign exchange dealers (RFEDs), introducing brokers (IBs) and members of a swap ...

Legal Alert: Preliminary Report on the Swap Dealer De Minimis Exception (December 10, 2015)
On November 18, the staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a much anticipated report on the de minimis exception from the “swap dealer” definition, the Swap Dealer De Minimis ...

Legal Alert: FERC Proposes Expansive Connected Entity Reporting Requirement (October 16, 2015)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed requiring the operators of centralized wholesale power markets to collect and provide to FERC a broad range of market participant data, ...


Hedging and Position Limits: An Energy Markets Perspective (June 2015)
Futures Industry Association - Market Voice magazine
The position limit regime now being considered in the U.S. provides exceptions for some hedging strategies but not others. In an article he co-authored for Market Voice magazine, Sutherland Partner ...


Chapter 9: Mandatory Clearing (2017-2014 Edition)
OTC Derivatives Regulation Under Dodd-Frank: A Guide to Registration, Reporting, Business Conduct, and Clearing, Thomson Reuters
In OTC Derivatives Regulation Under Dodd-Frank: A Guide to Registration, Reporting, Business Conduct, and Clearing by William C. Meehan and Gabriel D. Rosenberg, Sutherland Partner David McIndoe ...


“We focus on understanding our client’s business from their professional perspective-then we can counsel them on legal issues.”


Hedging in Natural Gas Markets (September 28, 2017)
Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Division of Market Oversight
Eversheds Sutherland (US) attorneys Michael Sweeney and Meghan Gruebner present “Hedging in Natural Gas Markets” to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight on ...

Webcast: Asset Optimization and Management: Potential Enforcement Exposure in Energy Commodity Markets (June 30, 2016)
ACC Energy Committee
Sutherland attorneys Gregory Kaufman, Catherine Krupka, Michael Sweeney and Stephen Tsai present Asset Optimization and Management: Potential Enforcement Exposure in Energy Commodity Markets, a ...

Webcast: Hedge Exemption Abuse (October 22, 2015)
As the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) moves from implementing final rules adopted under Title VII of Dodd-Frank to enforcing compliance with them, hedging activity of market ...

Dodd-Frank Update (November 6, 2014)
American Petroleum Institute Risk Subcommittee
Sutherland attorneys Michael Sweeney and Meghan Gruebner present “Dodd-Frank Update” to the American Petroleum Institute Risk Subcommittee on November 6, 2014.

Webcast: Round 2 - CFTC Rulemaking on Position Limits for Derivatives (January 30, 2014)
Sutherland attorneys Michael Sweeney and Meghan Gruebner will present the basic framework of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) recent proposed rulemaking on position limits for ...

Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2013)
Sutherland is proud to be a returning Gold Sponsor of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2013 Annual Meeting, taking place October 27-30 in Los Angeles. The ACC Annual Meeting is the largest ...

Navigating Uncharted Water: Anticipating the Cold Winds of Dodd-Frank Enforcement (January 31, 2013)
Association of Corporate Counsel Best Practices Committee
Sutherland Partners David Baay and Michael Sweeney and Counsel Stephanie Kinzel-Tapper present Navigating Uncharted Water: Anticipating the Cold Winds of Dodd-Frank Enforcement at Association of ...

Hot Topics in Energy Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement (November 8, 2012)
ACC Houston Energy Practice Group Luncheon
Sutherland attorneys, Susan G. Lafferty, Daniella Landers, and R. Michael Sweeney Jr are speaking on a panel at the ACC Houston Energy Practice Group luncheon on November 8, 2012. The panel, entitled ...

2nd Annual Energy Trading Compliance Conference (June 19, 2012)
Marcus Evans
Sutherland Partner R. Michael Sweeney, Jr., is speaking at the Marcus Evans 2nd Annual Energy Trading Compliance Conference, June 19, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Event moderators identify the latest ...


In the News

Five Dodd-Frank Reforms that Keep Energy Attorneys Up at Night (September 11, 2014)
Partner R. Michael Sweeney, Jr. was quoted in a Law360 article regarding stricter regulations on financial products under the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other things, to mandate tighter guidelines, the ...

Revived Dodd-Frank position limits worry energy firms (November 18, 2013)
On November 5, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted 3-1 in favor of putting a new proposal out for public comment. Like the original position limits rule finalized in October 2011, the ...

CFTC's Position Limits Could Put Energy Cos. In Costly Bind (November 6, 2013)
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is moving ahead with rules setting position limits for energy and other commodity derivatives, but experts caution that the agency's narrow view of ...

Press Releases

Three Eversheds Sutherland Partners Recognized as All-Stars for Client Service (March 28, 2019)
Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that UK Partner Mark Davenport and US Partners Jacob Dweck and R. Michael Sweeney, Jr., were named 2019 BTI Client Service All-Stars. The annual list ...

14 Sutherland Practice Areas, 62 Attorneys Named Among Nation’s Best in 2015 Legal 500 United States (June 4, 2015)
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that 14 practice areas and 62 attorneys have been ranked in the 2015 edition of The Legal 500 United States, a ...

Areas of Practice (7)

  • Energy & Commodities Derivatives
  • Energy & Infrastructure
  • Trading & Transactions
  • Regulatory & Compliance
  • Derivatives & Structured Products
  • Commodities Enforcement & Investigations
  • Electric and Gas Utilities

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
202.383.0921  Phone
University Attended:
St. Lawrence University, B.A.
Law School Attended:
Capital University Law School, J.D.; George Washington University, LL.M.
Year of First Admission:
1993, New York; 1993, Massachusetts; 2002, District of Columbia

Professional Activities
Member, Energy Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association

Birth Information:
Kingston, New York, 1965

Peer Reviews

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (9)

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