Seward & Kissel’s derivatives team has decades of experience advising end-user clients on all aspects of the key trading and counterparty relationship arrangements they need to execute their trading and hedging strategies with necessary legal and credit risk protection.  Many of our practitioners were deeply involved in assisting clients throughout the market crises of 2007 – 2008, including the Lehman bankruptcy and its aftermath, and the lessons learned from that experience inform our approach to managing counterparty risk.  This means that every client we advise benefits from our thorough understanding of the credit terms, termination events and default remedies that are the most important features of these arrangements.  And our knowledge of the relevant regulatory, bankruptcy and insolvency regimes allows us to provide our clients with the advice they require to understand and manage their counterparty risk.

Our team’s market judgement and legal experience is tethered to a fundamentally pragmatic view of how trading relationships should be established and maintained.  We work closely with each client to understand their needs and concerns, and tailor our approach as required to achieve the results each client demands and do so in the most cost effective way.

We have worked with clients using all of the various trading strategies employed by the market, whether the purpose is to gain exposure to risk, to hedge risk, or to finance the trading activities of the client. Our team is familiar with all the market-standard master agreements, as well as the proprietary documentation utilized by many banks and dealers for opening prime brokerage, clearing and other accounts related to our clients’ trading activity.

Key areas of expertise in trading and counterparty relationship arrangements include:

  • ISDA Master Agreements (including the related Credit Support Annex)
  • Prime brokerage agreements
  • Term commitment and lock-up arrangements
  • Futures clearing agreements (including with respect to cleared OTC derivatives)
  • Repurchase agreements (including market standard MRA and GMRA forms, FICC cleared and sponsored member arrangements, bespoke repo financing and term repo facilities)
  • Securities lending arrangements (both using standard master agreements on MSLA and GMSLA forms, as well as bespoke arrangements or those linked to prime brokerage or derivatives/synthetic exposure)
  • ABS forward transaction agreements (MSFTA)
  • Tri-party custody and collateral segregation arrangements (including related account control agreements)
  • Term sheets and templates for ISDA, prime brokerage, clearing, repo and forward trading arrangements
  • Benchmarking of key terms against the market
  • Compliance matrix creation and maintenance (including consultation with relevant IT resources to devise appropriate data capture and tracking technology