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Commodities Investigations

Our leading global Investigations team represents clients in investigations involving physical commodities, financial over-the-counter derivatives and regulated futures trading before enforcement regulators and criminal authorities around the world.

Aided by the broader firm’s in depth understanding of the commodities markets from a regulatory advisory perspective, our investigations practitioners draw upon their years of experience both as private practitioners and as former prosecutors and government enforcement attorneys to help client navigate their enforcement risk, quickly identifying key issues and thereafter delivering strategic, holistic and practical advice.

Allen & Overy’s enforcement defence team represents global trading companies, high frequency trading firms, exchanges, financial institutions, commodity traders and companies, including major integrated oil companies, merchants and intermediaries, in investigations and follow on litigation in every jurisdiction in which commodities and related derivatives markets are centered.  Our highly experienced attorneys have defended clients in proceedings involving allegations of price manipulation, fraud (including insider trading), false reporting, disruptive practices (including spoofing), trade practice violations (including wash trading, EFRPs and blocks), and various other regulatory violations, among other activities. 

We advise on these issues in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, with notable experience of handling CFTC proceedings. 

Our experience includes:

  • Representing a financial institution in a CFTC investigation related to alleged manipulation of aluminium markets.
  • Representing a major U.S. bank in a global regulatory and compliance review of its sales practices for derivatives structured products and securitisations. This involved a review of sales practices in retail structured products, derivatives (equity, credit, rates, FX, commodities), and ABS globally.
  • Advising an international commodities trading company as a defendant in a criminal investigation regarding allegedly fraudulent importation of U.S. biodiesel into Europe through the port of Antwerp.
  • Advising a leading manufacturer and marketer of valves, actuators and controls on a criminal investigation (and subsequently prosecution) by the Department of Customs and Excise of Hong Kong over an alleged breach of local import and export of strategic commodities regulations.
 

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