Dodd-Frank Act Creates Significant Changes in Bankruptcy Law Affecting Derivatives and Other Trading Counterparties

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After months of negotiations and conferences among key legislators, President Obama signed into law a final version of regulatory reform legislation on July 21, 2010. More than 2,000 pages long, the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” (the Act) provides new legal guidelines for both “financial companies” and non-financial companies and instructs federal agencies to develop a myriad of regulations to enforce the concepts provided in the Act. The Act also addresses the ability of federal regulators to step-in if state regulators fail to take action in certain liquidation and rehabilitation scenarios. Among the many areas in which companies now face a new legal and regulatory landscape, the Act makes a handful of significant changes to existing bankruptcy law. The Act creates new statutes that will arise infrequently, but that will likely have a significant effect on the rights of creditors and counterparties on the occasions when they are triggered.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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