Michael M. Philipp counsels clients in derivatives, securities, and digital asset transactions and regulation. His advice encompasses federal, state, and self-regulatory organization (SRO) regulation, compliance, and enforcement matters. Investment managers, proprietary trading firms, dealers, banks, brokerage firms, exchanges, and commercial end users turn to him for guidance in connection with exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivative instruments and cryptocurrencies. Michael brings more than 30 years of experience counseling market participants and investment managers through business and regulatory cycles and trends impacting markets, including greater globalization and innovation in products and market infrastructures.
Michael has also been involved in a number of first-of-their-kind regulatory developments, including obtaining regulatory permission for the first swaps clearing house—well in advance of the Dodd-Frank swaps clearing mandate—and obtaining US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval of a portfolio margining program involving SEC and CFTC products. He works with clients on matters related to Commodity Exchange Act, Securities Act, CFTC, SEC, National Futures Association (NFA), and exchange regulatory and enforcement-related issues. These issues include trade practices, swap clearing and reporting, registration of swap execution facilities (SEFs), futures exchanges, clearing organizations, and swap data repositories (SDRs); retail commodity and FX transactions; and futures commission merchant (FCM), introducing broker, swap dealer, commodity pool operator (CPO), and commodity trading advisor (CTA) registration and compliance, as well as regulation and licensing issues relating to digital assets. Michael conducts internal compliance investigations and represents clients in exchange, CFTC, NFA, and state inquiries, examinations, and proceedings, including matters involving allegations relating to disruptive trading practices, such as spoofing and market manipulation.
Michael advises clients on establishing or investing in funds or operating companies focused on commodities such as gold; energy, agricultural, and environmental products; and virtual currencies and other digital assets. He also helps clients maximize their opportunities and limit their legal risks in a frequently shifting regulatory environment, develops legally compliant structures, and provides counsel to anticipate and prepare for potential compliance requirements and legal and regulatory changes.
DePaul University College of Law, 1992, J.D.
University of Chicago, 1981, B.A., with honors
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Awards and Affiliations
Ranked, Derivatives, Nationwide, Chambers USA (2022)
Member, Best ETF Law Firm, ETF Express US Awards (2021)
Highly Regarded, IFLR1000 United States (2019)
Highly Regarded, IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate (2019–2021)
Member, ETF Law Firm of the Year, ETF.com (2019)
Member, Best ETF Legal & Compliance Firm, ETFexpress (2019)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Asset Management, Law360 (2017)
Recommended, Media, technology and telecoms: Fintech, The Legal 500 US (2020, 2021)
Recommended, Finance: Structured finance: derivatives and structured products, The Legal 500 US (2019–2022)
Recommended, Finance: Structured finance, The Legal 500 US (2014–2017)
Lawyer of the Year, Derivatives and Futures Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2017, 2018, 2021)
Recognized, Derivatives and Futures Law, Chicago, The Best Lawyers in America (2007–2012, 2017–2022)
Member, Voice of Experience Board, Senior Lawyers Division of the ABA (2021–2022)
Member, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Working Group on Financial Markets
Board Member, The Ark
Former Member, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade Business Conduct and Probable Cause Committees
Program Chair, American Bar Association, Futures and Derivatives Law Committee Winter Meeting (2005)
Former Chair, Chicago Bar Association, Futures and Derivatives Law Committee
Former Member, Executive Committee of the Futures Industry Association Law and Compliance Division