What We Do

Derivative & Trading Agreements

For more information on how we can advise you on derivatives, contact Ron Feldman.


Derivatives advice forms a significant part of Cummings Fisher’s legal services.

Our derivatives practice advises on and negotiates all the trading documents funds need, across all trading strategies and sizes of fund. We have extensive experience of negotiating counterparty documentation for OTC derivatives, futures, securities financing, clearing and prime brokerage with counterparties across the globe.

We take a robust, yet pragmatic and commercial, approach to negotiations. We also regularly advise on individual transactions (e.g. structuring, lifecycle events and defaults) and the regulatory landscape applicable to trading. We work with a diverse range of investment funds, financial institutions and investment managers.

Our service model is flexible and designed to meet each client’s needs.  We draw from partnership level advice in London as well as a team of professional document negotiators located in Belfast. We resource each project at the most cost-effective level without compromising quality or efficiency.

We are active participants in industry working groups and are at the forefront of both legal developments and market practice.

Some of the areas in which we are market leaders include:

Counterparty Documentation

We review and negotiate all of the elements of the prime and clearing brokerage documentation from fund inception through its entire lifecycle.  Our experience of the alternative investment world allows us to be cognisant of and consider the commercial realities of a fund’s negotiating position at each point of its lifecycle.  We ensure that, at each stage, our advice is appropriate to each client’s needs and cost sensitivities.

The documents we regularly negotiate include:

  • Prime brokerage agreements
  • Clearing agreements
  • Margin and financing term lock-up agreements
  • ISDA Master Agreements
  • Collateral documentation
  • Repo and stock loan documentation (GMRA, GMSLA, MRA etc.)
  • Master confirmations agreements, including portfolio swap arrangements
  • Futures and cleared OTC derivatives agreements

Transactional work

We provide client-specific advice in relation to transactions across the full range of underlyings, including:

  • Interest rate swaps
  • Equity derivatives (e.g. total return swaps, CfDs)
  • Credit default swaps
  • FX derivatives (including share class hedging and passive currency overlay arrangements)
  • Commodity derivatives
  • Structured repo transactions

The depth of experience of our team lead us to advise, at speed, in relation to live trading issues where advice needs to be given quickly and decisively. We have the expertise, and market experience, to provide that service.

Derivatives regulation

Our team advises on all aspects of trading regulation, including EMIR, SFTR and AIFMD, with particular focus on updates and amendments to regulation which affect trading documentation.

Our team’s skill and experience means that we are ideally placed to work with clients to put into place the correct documentation and systems needed to comply with forthcoming regulatory initial margin rules (coming into effect for buy side firms in either September 2019 or 2020 depending on the size of the trading book).  We have extensive experience of negotiating segregated independent amount solutions for clients, which helped them protect their initial margin before the new rules came into existence. 

Our derivatives lawyers are active participants in ISDA working groups and fully up to speed with the “Next Gen” ISDA documentation.

Through use of our London partners and Belfast documentation unit we provide each client with a fully scalable solution for their initial margin project and price our services individually for each client’s needs.

Document management and data extraction

We understand how important it is for a manager to be able to access accurate trading documentation details at speed.  Our links with the Condor Alternative Legal Solutions platform allows us to offer our clients bespoke document management and data extraction/analytics solutions which are tailored to each client’s needs.

For more information on how we can advise you on derivatives, contact Ron Feldman.



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Company no. 0C425693. Cummings Fisher is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 658842.