Energy & Commodities Investigations

‘Impressive at bringing together FERC and CFTC expertise’, and has a strong track record in significant investigations before both bodies. - Legal 500

Cadwalader's Energy & Commodities attorneys regularly represent clients before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), congressional committees and in investigations performed by foreign regulators. We also advise on compliance and enforcement issues before the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and certain state utility commissions. Numerous members of the team worked for the federal government prior to joining the firm, including the former Enforcement Director of the CFTC and a Chief Trial Attorney and Counsel to the Director in the Division of Enforcement of the CFTC. Their knowledge and accomplishments as former attorneys with the federal government enables them to provide clients with informed advice about the investigative process and the substantive provisions of the applicable statutes and regulations. Members of the team have regularly been named by Chambers and Partners USA and Legal 500 as leaders in their field.

Enforcement Defense:  Cadwalader's enforcement defense team has represented commodity traders and companies in investigations and litigation involving physical commodities, and financial over-the-counter derivatives and regulated futures trading. Our highly experienced attorneys defend clients in civil and criminal proceedings that involve allegations of fraud, manipulation, false reporting, wash trading and various other regulatory violations. Cadwalader's professionals have a depth of knowledge from their work on a wide variety of cases in all sectors of the commodity industry, including domestic and international energy, agriculture, metals, foreign currency and interest-rate markets.

When criminal authorities are involved in energy and commodity enforcement investigations, the enforcement defense team works closely with the Cadwalader's leading business fraud practice. The Business Fraud Group regularly represents corporations, their boards, audit committees, directors and senior officers, law firms, international bodies and individuals in federal and state criminal, civil and administrative proceedings and litigation, as well as in congressional investigations and hearings. Our lawyers have assisted many clients in avoiding prosecution in complex investigations through the employment of effective strategy and defense skills.

Strategic Market Advice and the Dodd-Frank Act: Our lawyers have been actively involved in all major proceedings related to market rules and have advised clients on a large number of regulatory reviews and investigations in the last decade. We maintain current knowledge of all U.S. market rules at the ISO/RTO and control area level and routinely monitor regulatory developments with compliance implications. Our policies offer practical guidance on the full range of compliance issues facing trading companies today and can be tailored to the level of detail desired by each client. We understand regulatory risk in both developed and developing markets, and address all relevant issues, including scheduling, spot market trading, price reporting, information-sharing, price manipulation, prohibited transactions and recordkeeping. We also advise and offer compliance training on anti-money laundering, Patriot Act, Office of Foreign Asset Control and antitrust requirements.

Furthermore, professionals at Cadwalader advise clients on the changing regulatory environment that commercial and financial institutions will face as a result of the financial reforms enacted under the Dodd-Frank Act. We offer analysis of the reach and impact of the new regulations and how the new regulations will require modifications to current business models and conduct standards.

CFTC Enforcement Matters

  • Scores of wholesale energy and commodity dealers, marketers and end users in CFTC and joint CFTC-FERC investigations, several of which were closed without the initiation of enforcement actions
  • Negotiated many settlements with the CFTC on behalf of energy and commodity trading companies
  • Financial institution in CFTC investigation of metals markets
  • Multiple institutions in CFTC investigations of EFRPs
  • FCM in CFTC investigation of risk controls and supervision
  • Oil company trader in CFTC investigation of international oil market
  • Mutual fund in CFTC wash trading investigation
  • Commodity merchant in CFTC investigation of crude market
  • Exchange in CFTC fraud investigation
  • Trader in CFTC investigation of natural gas market
  • Energy companies regarding Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) compliance
  • Several FCMs in CFTC investigations of segregated funds
  • Oil company in CFTC and FSA manipulation investigation of crude markets
  • Introducing Broker in CFTC fraud investigation
  • Hedge fund under investigation by the CFTC for certain trading in natural gas markets
  • Exchange in CFTC wash trading investigation
  • Performed regulatory compliance audit for international agribusiness company
  • Hedge fund in government inquiry associated with fund's agriculture trading
  • Energy company in CFTC investigation involving coal markets
  • Algorithmic trading operation in CFTC investigation regarding speculative limits
  • FCM related to CFTC investigation concerning supervision of personnel
  • Floor broker in CFTC manipulation investigation of crude futures trading
  • Financial institution in CFTC investigation involving commodity research
  • Advised on operational risk by proprietary trading owner in arbitration proceeding
  • Algorithmic trading operation in CFTC investigation of natural gas trading on the NYMEX
  • Financial institution in CFTC manipulation investigation of certain energy futures trading activity
  • Oil company in CFTC investigation associated with company's trading in WTI crude
  • ECM in CFTC fraud investigation
  • International agriculture company in CFTC investigation involving swaps
  • Confidential company in CFTC investigation concerning issues related to failure to supervise

FERC Enforcement Matters

  • Scores of wholesale energy and commodity dealers, marketers and end users in FERC and joint FERC-CFTC investigations, several of which were closed without the initiation of enforcement actions
  • Represented an energy trading company and individual traders regarding FERC manipulation investigation of relational trading, physical power schedules and congestion revenue rights in Western markets, resulting in no enforcement action
  • Represented energy marketer regarding FERC investigation of transmission access in the southeast, resulting in no enforcement action
  • Represented an energy trading company and individuals regarding FERC manipulation investigation of power schedules and inaccurate information claims in the CAISO market, resulting in favorable settlement
  • Represented an asset manager/generator regarding CFTC review of generator obligations in ERCOT, currently pending
  • Represented financial institution and asset/manager/generator regarding FERC investigation of capacity supply obligation in ISO-NE, resulting in no enforcement action
  • Represented financial institution regarding claims of ICE index manipulation to benefit a financial position, currently in federal court
  • Represented energy marketer regarding bidding of power plant and provision of information in ISO-NE
  • Represented demand response enrolling participant and demand response provider regarding claims of fraud in the determination of baselines for demand response, resulting in no enforcement action for that participant
  • Represented an energy trading company and individual traders regarding FERC’s manipulation investigation of relational and loss leader trading involving financial products, physical transactions and virtual trading in the eastern interconnect markets including NYISO, ISO-NE, PJM, MISO and Ontario, resulting in a settlement
  • Represented an energy trading company regarding FERC enforcement’s investigation of Lake Erie electricity loop flow causation and impact, resulting in no enforcement action
  • Represented energy trading companies and individual traders regarding FERC investigation of manipulation and tariff violation allegations in the western markets and, separately, in the eastern markets, resulting in closed matters and a settlement
  • Represented market systems developer accused of aiding manipulative conduct before California and U.S. legislative committees, the FERC and California PUC and California attorney general, resulting in no enforcement action
  • Assisted multiple clients with initial inquiries from market monitors, and various FERC divisions and offices regarding natural gas and electricity matters throughout the U.S.
  • Assisted a demand response provider regarding enforcement and compliance matters
  • Assisted a demand response provider regarding an internal review of enrollment and metering issues in an eastern market
  • Represented energy marketer regarding its responses to CAISO MMU data requests
  • Represented generator regarding NYISO fuel oil investigation
  • Representing a generator regarding FERC investigation of potential violations of Part 12 of regulations related to hydro operations
  • Assisted generator regarding self-report to FERC for late-filed market based rate application, electronic quarterly reports, changes in status
  • Assisted entity regarding self-report to FERC related to Standards of Conduct OASIS postings
  • Assisting financing entity regarding FERC review of natural gas trading
  • Assist energy marketer regarding FERC investigation of CAISO DA/RT scheduling at the interties
  • Assist energy marketer regarding FERC investigation of NYISO gas costs for reliability needed plant
  • Assisted wind generator regarding NERC enforcement matter
  • Advised on and conducted compliance audit regarding regulated utility and marketing affiliate FERC standards of conduct (e.g. including cross subsidy, functional separation, transmission and interconnection issues) and NERC rule implementation
  • Advised energy companies regarding Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) compliance as it relates to energy products including those arguably regulated by FERC
  • Provided several clients with “root cause” analyses and internal audit services
  • Established compliance regimes and evaluation metrics for scores of energy companies, including on-going energy trading and scheduling advisory services
  • Revised natural gas marketers sales and energy asset management operations to ensure FERC compliance, including with Order 712
  • Advised energy market participant regarding Texas anti-fraud and anti-manipulation rules and accurate information provisions

Additional U.S. and International Agency Enforcement Matters

  • International bank in foreign currency investigation
  • Oil company in FTC investigation of energy markets
  • Wind generator regarding NERC enforcement matter
  • FCM in NFA investigation of retail FOREX trading
  • Financial institution in multi-agency global investigation of interest rates
  • Registrant in National Futures Association audit
  • Bank in government investigation of exchange traded fund
  • Hedge fund in SEC investigation concerning securitized instruments
  • Hedge fund in joint fraud investigation by the SEC, CFTC, and CBOE
  • Oil company related to CME investigation of front-running activity
  • Oil company in CBOE insider trading investigation
  • Trading company in FTC investigation of gasoline and crude
  • UK agriculture company in global wash trading investigation
  • U.S. agriculture company in CME investigation
  • Hedge fund in multi-agency investigation related to the flash crash
  • FCM and IB in trading system investigation 

7 Attorneys

Billinson, George D. Counsel Washington
T. +1 202 862 2411
Greenberg, Andrew M. Associate New York
T. +1 212 504 6077
Halper, Jason M. Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 6300
Haskell, Mark R. Partner Washington
T. +1 202 862 2407
Moreno, Joseph V. Partner Washington
T. +1 202 862 2262
New York
T. +1 212 504 6262
Shipp, Bryan Associate New York
T. +1 212 504 5615
Snyder, Brett Special Counsel Washington
T. +1 202 862 2252

Finance Forum 2017

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