R. Michael Sweeney, Jr.

R. Michael Sweeney, Jr.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

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Latest Publications


FERC Proposes Expansive “Connected Entity” Reporting Requirement

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, including (i) each market...more

10/17/2015 - Affiliates Asset Management C-Suite Executives CFTC Comment Period Data Collection Disclosure Requirements FERC Investors ISOs Lenders Market Manipulation Power Plants Proposed Regulation Public Utility Reporting Requirements RTO SEC Transmission Grid Wholesale

CFTC Fines Summit Energy Services, Inc. for Violating CTA Registration Rules Under the Commodity Exchange Act

On January 16, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a settlement order requiring Summit Energy Services, Inc. (Summit Energy) to pay a $140,000 civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered commodity...more

2/5/2015 - CFTC Civil Monetary Penalty Commodities Exchange Act CTA Enforcement Actions Summit Energy

Counterparty Rights in Energy Bankruptcies

For the past several years, low interest rates and higher commodity prices have resulted in generally favorable financial conditions in the energy sector, keeping energy bankruptcy activity to a minimum. With the recent sharp...more


CFTC Grants No-Action Relief to Commodity Pool Operators with Respect to Certain Insurance-Linked Securitization Vehicles

Toward the end of 2014, the staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued two letters affecting insurance-linked securitization vehicles: CFTC...more

1/19/2015 - CFTC CPOs DSIO No-Action Relief SIFMA Swap Dealers Swaps

Congress Exempts Non-Financial End-Users, Their Agents and Certain Cooperatives From Non-Cleared Swap Margin Requirements in...

On January 8, 2015, the U.S. Senate approved legislation, by a 93-4 vote, to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (“TRIA”). The legislation, dubbed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (the...more

1/12/2015 - CFTC Commodities Exchange Act Covered Entities Major Swap Participants Margin Requirements Pending Legislation Prudential Regulation Authority Swap Dealers Swaps Terrorism Insurance TRIA

CFTC Expands Existing Clearing Relief for Treasury Affiliates

On November 24, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) issued a no-action letter to expand previously issued relief, that is available to “treasury affiliates,” from the...more

12/24/2014 - CFTC Clearing Agencies No-Action Relief Swaps Treasury Affiliates

ESMA Issues Revision of the Technical Standards on Reporting under Article 9 of EMIR

On November 10, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a consultation paper relating to the Regulatory Technical Standards and Implementing Technical Standards (collectively, the Technical Standards),...more

11/25/2014 - EMIR ESMA EU Technical Standards

CFTC Clarifies Dealer Requirement to Notify Customers of Right to Segregation of Initial Margin for Uncleared Swaps

On October 31, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (Division) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a staff interpretation regarding the notification of the right to segregation of...more

11/5/2014 - Broker-Dealer CFTC Major Swap Participants Reporting Requirements Segregated Funds

ESMA Issues Final Draft Standards for the Central Clearing of Certain Interest Rate Swaps under EMIR

On October 1, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) with respect to the central clearing of four classes of interest rate swaps (IRS). The RTS follows...more

10/16/2014 - EMIR ESMA EU Interest Rates Swaps

Regulators Publish Re-proposed Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps

On September 3, 2014, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Board) jointly adopted, with certain federal banking regulators, re-proposed rules that will require registered swap dealers, security-based swap...more

9/25/2014 - Banks Basel Committee CFTC Dodd-Frank Federal Reserve IOSCO Major Swap Participants Margin Requirements Prudential Regulation Authority SEC Swap Dealers Swap Market Swaps

ISDA Section 2(a)(iii) Amendment Limits Prerogatives of Non-Defaulting Parties

On June 19, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published a long-awaited standard amendment to Section 2(a)(iii) of the ISDA Master Agreement (the Master Agreement). Section 2(a)(iii) of the Master...more

7/23/2014 - Default Derivatives ISDA ISDA Master Agreement Swaps

Legal Alert: CFTC Division of Market Oversight Releases Questions for June 19 Roundtable on Position Limits

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will host a public roundtable on June 19, 2014, to discuss questions related to a proposed rulemaking to establish speculative position limits for 28 exempt and agricultural...more

6/19/2014 - CFTC Commodity Futures Contracts Compliance Position Limits Swaps

NFA Issues Revised Forms CPO-PQR and CTA-PR

On June 5, the National Futures Association (NFA) announced the issuance of revised Forms CPO-PQR and CTA-PR. The NFA is the self-regulatory organization to which the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has delegated...more

6/10/2014 - CFTC CPO CTA NFA Registration

Storm Clouds Continue to Gather Over Bankruptcy Code’s Safe Harbors

As noted in a previous Sutherland Legal Alert, the American Bankruptcy Institute has formed a Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 (the Commission). To further its goal of proposing changes to modernize the Bankruptcy...more

5/30/2014 - Bankruptcy Code Chapter 11 Commercial Bankruptcy Debtors-in-Possession Dodd-Frank FDIA Safe Harbors Title II

Legal Alert: CFTC Adopts Streamlined Approach for Delegation of CPO Registration

On May 12, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued a staff letter (the Staff Letter) that provides a streamlined approach for commodity pool...more

5/20/2014 - CFTC Commodity Pool Compliance CPO DSIO

CFTC Affords Market Participants a “Second Bite” at the Swap Recordkeeping and Reporting Rules

Last month, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a request for public comment on its swap data recordkeeping and reporting requirements under Part 45 of its regulations. The CFTC adopted Part 45 in 2012...more

4/3/2014 - CFTC Dodd-Frank Recordkeeping Requirements

CFTC Certifies Two More “Available to Trade” Determinations

Last week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) certified two additional available to trade determinations (MAT determinations). The latest MAT determinations cover additional interest rate swaps (IRS) and, for the...more

2/6/2014 - CFTC Credit Default Swaps Interest Rate Swaps Swaps

Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors: Are Enhanced Customer Protections on the Horizon?

On January 23, 2014, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued a Request for Comments from commodity pool operators (CPOs) and commodity trading advisors (CTAs) as to whether the NFA should adopt rules to: (1) ensure that...more

1/31/2014 - CFTC Compliance CPO CTA Deadlines Financial Regulatory Reform NFA

Legal Alerts: CFTC Certifies Additional “Available to Trade” Designation: Certain Interest Rate Swaps Must Be Executed on a SEF...

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) certified a second available to trade determination (the Second MAT Determination) in response to an application submitted by trueEX, LLC. ...more

1/28/2014 - CFTC SEFs Swap Dealers Swap Execution Facilities Swaps trueEX

Update: An End-User’s Guide to the CFTC’s Final Cross-Border Guidance

There were a number of new developments with respect to the cross-border application of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) requirements for swaps in the latter part of 2013. This...more

1/22/2014 - CFTC Cross-Border Dodd-Frank End-Users EU ISDA SIFMA Swap Dealers Swaps

CPO and CTA Annual Affirmation of Exemptions Due in March

Pursuant to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulations, persons claiming an exemption or exclusion from registration as a commodity pool operator (CPO) or a commodity trading advisor (CTA), under CFTC Regulations...more

1/22/2014 - CFTC Compliance CPO CTA Exemptions

CFTC Certifies First “Available to Trade” Designation: Certain Interest Rate Swaps Must be Executed on a SEF or DCM Beginning on...

As market participants are aware, certain swaps that are subject to mandatory clearing must be executed on a registered swap execution facility (SEF) or a designated contract market (DCM) (i.e., an exchange) once a swap is...more

1/17/2014 - CFTC Securities SEFs Swaps

Legal Alert: Final Volcker Rule: Update and Key Takeaways

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures...more

1/13/2014 - Bank Holding Company Act Banks CFTC Collateralized Debt Obligations Compliance Dodd-Frank FDIC Federal Reserve OCC Proprietary Trading Trust Preferred Securities Volcker Rule

Federal Agencies Issue Final Volcker Rule

On December 10, 2013, five federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the...more

12/16/2013 - Banks CFTC Compliance Dodd-Frank FDIC OCC SEC Volcker Rule

Bankruptcy Safe Harbors Under Attack

The “safe harbor” provisions of the Bankruptcy Code protect firms that trade derivatives, and other participants in financial and commodity markets, from the rigidity that bankruptcy law imposes on most parties. Since their...more

8/12/2013 - Bankruptcy Code Commercial Bankruptcy Consumer Bankruptcy New Legislation Safe Harbors

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