Schiff Hardin has long been one of the nation’s leading law firms in securities and commodity futures law and regulation. We helped organize the Chicago Board Options Exchange more than four decades ago, leading the industry into a new type of securities trading, and we have remained ever since at the forefront of regulatory counseling in the financial markets.
In recent years, and particularly since the financial crisis and the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, the laws and regulations governing financial markets and their participants have become more complicated and burdensome. Our experience with the laws governing the financial markets, and the people who write and administer those laws, enables us to guide clients through the challenging regulatory maze they now face, while consistently looking ahead to what may come next.
We Solve Business Problems
We understand that our clients come to us not merely for help complying with current law and regulation, but to maximize business opportunities while minimizing legal and regulatory risk. Our decades-long experience assisting clients throughout the securities and futures industries means that clients receive more than legal advice from us. They also obtain practical advice on how best to solve business problems. Whether the solution involves preparing complex documentation, seeking formal or informal relief from regulators, or identifying ways in which our clients can operate successfully within a changing legal landscape, we go the extra mile to achieve that success.
We Tailor Advice to Meet the Business Needs of Our Clients
We help clients achieve their goals across the full range of markets and products spanning the securities, futures, swaps and OTC derivative industries. A brief list of representative engagements includes advice on:
- Broker-dealer, investment adviser and investment company mergers, acquisitions and changes in control;
- Broker-dealer and investment adviser supervisory programs;
- Broker-dealer confirmation delivery, books and records, and broker-dealer custody of assets;
- Commission sharing, soft dollar and directed brokerage/commission rebate arrangements;
- Family offices;
- Bank securities activities;
- Swaps and futures recordkeeping provisions for registered and unregistered entities;
- End-users regulatory parameters under the new swaps regulations;
- Commodity pool operator definition and potential exemptions;
- Forward contract exclusion to the “swap” and “future delivery” definitions; and
- Listing and trading shares in ETFs.
Where the regulatory issues are unclear, we often are asked to obtain no-action or informal relief from the staffs of regulators. Our success in obtaining such relief has been notable. We also conduct “mock audits” on behalf of clients, to help them prepare for regulatory exams.
In other instances, regulators discover facts that may raise issues under applicable federal law or self-regulatory organization rules. In those instances, we work with the regulators on behalf of our clients to resolve those regulatory concerns.
Our group includes former senior officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and law enforcement agencies (including a former Division Director and a former Regional Office Administrator) and Chief Investigative Counsel at the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). Our many years of experience working with regulators and industry participants enable us to provide efficient, finely tuned compliance advice that is not just responsive to the latest regulatory pronouncements, but also assists clients to prepare for an ever-changing legal, regulatory and business landscape.