I am pleased to announce that I have been selected by a renowned international conference provider to conduct a two-day seminar titled “Anti-Manipulation in Energy Market Regulation & Compliance.” The seminar will be held on October 8-9, 2013, at NBC Tower in Chicago. I look forward to conducting this important seminar as part of my law firm’s ongoing efforts to educate market participants about the importance of an ongoing and proactive approach to energy trading compliance.
The seminar will be a comprehensive, in-depth, examination of some current and past developments relevant to anti-manipulation regulation and compliance. In particular, I intend to focus on identifying and preventing manipulative conduct in the energy trading arena. To that end, I plan to examine some recent regulatory and enforcement developments. In particular, I will analyze certain trading and hedging strategies that recently have been identified as potentially manipulative. i plan to examine the risks associated with trading physical and financial positions at same delivery points, anti-disruptive trading practices, uneconomic trading, dynamic hedging, and anti-manipulative conduct under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Also, I plan to offer an overview of the best industry practices and standards for creating and implementing a culture of compliance within an energy marketing organization. Further, I will examine some unique steps that physical energy companies can implement to minimize their exposure to an inadvertent violation of the anti-manipulation rules. In addition, the seminar will identify and offer solutions for the best practices in documentation negotiation and drafting including master trading agreements, confirmations, credit, and collateral and netting agreements.
For more information about the seminar, please click on the following link:
On August 13, 2012, the commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) published a long-awaited final rule which defined the term “swap” pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act (the “DFA”). This rule completes the “definitional phase” of the DFA and starts the clock for compliance for several important DFA final rules, including real-time reporting, business conduct standards, and registration of swap dealers and major swap participants. On October 12, 2012, market participants will be required to be in compliance with all applicable rules under the DFA.
For energy market participants, the “swap” definition final rule also clarified the treatment of certain transactions which are not traditionally deemed swaps but, nonetheless, were included in the final rule. In particular, the final rule includes guidance about commodity options embedded in forward contracts. The CFTC sets out criteria for determining whether a forward contract that contains an embedded option will be considered a swap or “an excluded non-financial commodity forward contract (and not a swap).” Further, the final rule provides additional conditions for determining whether a forward contract with embedded “volumetric” optionality is a swap or an excluded forward contract. These types of transactions are of particular interest to many energy companies because they appear to include some very common energy transactions: tolling, take-or-pay, full requirement, transmission or transportation, gas wellhead, and heat-rate transactions. Read more
I will conduct a two-day, in-depth, Dodd-Frank Act seminar in New York City on June 28-29, 2012. This seminar will provide a review and analysis of the latest developments in the Dodd-Frank rulemaking process. It will include a detailed examination of the final rules, including Swap Dealer, Major Swap Participant, Trade Option Exemption, Real-Time Reporting and Recordkeeping, Business Conduct Standards, and the Market Manipulation Prohibition.
The seminar will also offer a cross-functional overview of some practical steps that energy market participants can take in order to better identify, quantify, and manage the risks and exposures from the Dodd-Frank Act. It will also offer a practitioner’s review of the hedging risks and challenges stemming from the Dodd-Frank regulation. In particular, it will examine the Dodd-Frank Act’s impact on creating and implementing trading/risk policies and procedures, master trading agreements, netting and collateral agreements, and related documentation.
To view the seminar agenda or register, please follow the attached link:
On April 18, 2012, the long-awaited definitions of Swap Dealer, Major Swap Participants, and Eligible Contract Participant were adopted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). Also, at the same meeting, the CFTC adopted the final and interim rule regarding commodity options. As these final rules continue to add more pieces to the Dodd-Frank Act puzzle, market participants are facing a tremendous task of identifying what needs to be done, depending on their respective classification under the Dodd-Frank Act. Those who are most likely to be classified as end users for the purpose of the Dodd-Frank Act finally have some clarity as to their reporting and registration obligations under the Act. Read more
As of April 2, 2012, Kolobara Law Firm, LLC is available to assist market participants in the commodities and derivatives trading arena with their legal and compliance needs. I wanted to offer a service that, as an in-house attorney, I often wished for: timely assistance without having to first spend a considerable amount of time educating outside help about the underlying business. Kolobara Law Firm is focused on transactional and compliance matters related to commodities and derivatives trading, with particular emphasis on energy trading matters: transactions, risk management, and compliance. Read more
On October 4, 2011, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York issued a new opinion in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case. The Court ruled that [section 553(a) of] the Bankruptcy Code prohibits a swap counterparty from setting off amounts owed to the debtor against amounts owed by the debtor to affiliates of the swap counterparty (“triangular setoff”), despite the Code’s safe harbor provisions and the language in the ISDA Master Agreement permitting such setoffs . In re Lehman Brothers, Inc., No. 08-01420 (JMP), 2011 WL 4553015 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Oct. 4, 2011). Read more
Establishing the Right Approach to Energy Trading Compliance in Light of Changing Regulation presentation
Slides prepared for the Energy Trading Operations and Technology Summit 2011, held in Houston, TX on November 16, 2011.
Recently, I was asked to do a follow-up seminar on the Dodd-Frank Act. The first seminar I conducted this past March was one of the most productive and enjoyable seminars I have ever done. The seminar attendees were engaging and very anxious to share their own experiences with various aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act. I learned a great deal from them and was happy to share my views on the upcoming changes in the energy trading universe. I was amazed to learn how many different aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act will impact different energy market participants, and how nuanced those impacts can be. Having the seminar attendees from different areas of energy business, including utilities, public power and gas, merchant generators, LDCs, and energy marketers, allows for a vibrant exchange of ideas and a unique learning opportunity. Read more
Presented at 4th Annual Risk Management in Energy Trading Conference on November 8, 2011, in Houston, TX.