K&L Gates’ Derivatives & Structured Products practice is a substantial part of our general financial services, investment management, public policy, energy, commodities, finance, and regulatory enforcement practices.
We capitalize on our institutional knowledge and achieve efficiencies for the benefit of clients by establishing multidisciplinary teams of practitioners in investment management, securities, commodity trading, tax, broker-dealer, securitization, bankruptcy, bank regulatory, structured products, ERISA, commercial and residential real estate, the Uniform Commercial Code, distressed debt, securities lending, repurchase and reverse-repurchase transactions, and international law.
Derivatives and structured products trade in markets throughout the world and require a global legal platform. This is especially true in light of current international reform efforts. By leveraging our experience from our global offices including those in key financial markets, we add value and provide a competitive cost advantage compared to other firms whose financial services practices may lack our breadth and depth.
In the United States, the U.S. News-Best Lawyers® 2016 survey ranked K&L Gates as a national first-tier law firm in the areas of Derivatives and Futures Law.
Our lawyers are experienced in negotiating over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange-traded derivatives and futures contracts. We offer our clients technical, substantive, and public policy experience at a time when the US$615 trillion OTC market is subject to a historic transformation to an exchange-based and centrally cleared, global market. We assist clients in all aspects of that transformation. We are experienced in handling every stage of the derivative transaction life cycle, from negotiating and executing the foundational documentation to finalizing trade confirmations for each trade.
The practitioners in the Derivatives & Structured Products practice regularly advise investment management and other end-user and select sell-side clients with respect to the full range of OTC derivatives (e.g., credit, equity, interest rate, currency, energy swaps, options, currency forwards, repos, and synthetic investments). Our counseling covers derivatives structuring, negotiation and trading, regulatory compliance, claims negotiation in bankruptcy, and other issues. Our end-user clients include hedge funds, registered investment companies, ERISA and government plans, U.S. and non-U.S. manufacturing and mining corporations, investment advisers, energy producers and marketers, utilities, individuals, and other market participants. We have an active tri-party control agreement practice that has succeeded in keeping assets from becoming enmeshed in high-profile insolvency proceedings.
We advise hedge funds, registered investment companies, retirement plans, investment advisers, U.S. and non-U.S. corporations, special purpose entities, REITs, brokerage firms, other financial institutions, energy companies, utilities, and individuals on the documentation and regulatory and compliance issues relating to their use of OTC derivative instruments, including swaps, caps, floors, collars, futures contracts, and options and exchange-traded instruments.
We regularly represent a large number of end-users in drafting, negotiating, renegotiating, and interpreting a large number of repurchase, reverse repurchase, and securities lending agreements, as well as master securities forward transaction agreements. We also regularly represent our clients with respect to securities lending and securities lending agency activities, and we draft and negotiate on their behalf related documentation. K&L Gates also advises financial institution clients in connection with transactional and securities and other regulatory issues arising in connection with a variety of structured products and synthetic investments.
We also determine whether firms may be exempt from registration as commodity pool operators (CPOs) and commodity trading advisors (CTAs) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA); register firms as CPOs, CTAs, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers; and advise them on CFTC and NFA disclosure, reporting, and record-keeping requirements. We regularly review account agreements between registered investment companies and private funds (including procedural and record-keeping agreements), ERISA plans and other clients, and futures commission merchants or broker-dealers regarding the trading of futures contracts and options, and prepare supervisory and internal liability control policies and procedures regarding futures and options advice and trading.