Our leading Derivatives law practice focuses on the creation and use of derivatives and derivatives-based products in implementing investment, hedging, monetization, arbitrage, M&A and restructuring strategies. We act for leading banks, dealers and derivatives users, as well as for exchanges, clearing agencies and service providers.
Our derivatives specialists, located in each of our Canadian offices, have considerable transactional, regulatory and product experience and are supported by a team of dedicated practitioners in related specialty areas. Our cross-disciplinary approach (including Restructuring & Insolvency, Financial Services, Financial Services Regulatory, Capital Markets, Structured Finance, Tax, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution) allows us to provide efficient, creative, and solution-oriented derivatives advice.
The Blakes Derivatives practice began in the earliest days of the Canadian swaps market with the development of many of the formative opinions, documentation standards and legal structures in Canada. That commitment to the derivatives market continues today and can be seen through our frequent work for and with Canada’s securities regulators and industry associations like ISDA, as well as through regular client publications and speaking engagements on developing areas derivatives law. This industry work builds our know-how and brings a practical focus to the key issues facing our clients.
We also have a deep understanding of the broader issues and business context that affect our derivatives clients, including related accounting treatment for derivatives, the contracting capacity of institutional counterparties, the capital adequacy implications for financial institutions, the efficacy of collateral security arrangements and all aspects relevant to the validity and enforcement of derivatives and related collateral under Canada’s insolvency laws.
Blakes frequently plays an active role in helping to shape regulatory developments impacting over-the-counter (OTC), listed and retail, and debt-like derivatives in Canada. Several of our partners have assisted the Ontario Securities Commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators as they have developed securities-based rules to regulate OTC and retail derivatives, futures and marketplaces. Our experience dealing with the application of Canadian securities regulations to derivatives is unmatched among Canadian law firms and has become critical to our ability to advise clients, as the OTC derivatives market has become increasingly regulated. This orientation also positions us to understand and advise on the Canadian aspects of emerging issues of relevance to our derivatives clients, including topics such as artificial intelligence applications, cryptocurrencies, blockchain and benchmark regulation.