About Daniel J. Davis

From derivatives products to cryptocurrencies, Dan Davis helps clients navigate ever-changing regulatory requirements. Drawing on his years of experience as General Counsel at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Dan understands how financial services agencies operate. As an experienced complex civil litigation attorney, Dan can defend clients in any forum.

Regulatory perspective meets business-oriented counsel

Clients trust Dan’s experience to help mitigate risks in the face of investigations and enforcement actions and to assess rules issued by financial agencies. From futures commission merchants to swap dealers to derivatives clearing organizations, he is well-positioned to advise on potential enforcement priorities, staff relief and exemptive orders, and submit comments on proposed financial agency rules. Dan has particular experience in handling fraud-related allegations under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and can help clients develop compliance practices for meeting regulatory requirements. He also has successfully challenged rulemakings by financial agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) first rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regarding proxy access and the SEC’s attempt to regulate fixed indexed annuities.

In Dan’s role at the CFTC, he assisted with the creation and development of LabCFTC, the agency’s hub for engagement with the fintech community to promote innovation and fair competition. He is highly experienced with helping crypto exchanges, bank and other fintech entities in working with distributed ledger technologies. He also provides counsel on meeting regulatory requirements when bringing new products to market. Dan had a distinguished career at the CFTC, receiving the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in 2019. This award is the CFTC’s highest honor, given to one employee annually in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments and superior service dedicated to realizing the vision, mission and values of the CFTC.

Dan has the full range of litigation experience, having practiced in federal and state court, defending clients in arbitration and jury trial, and arguing ten cases before the federal courts of appeals. He excels at crisis litigation, having successfully obtained a rarely granted writ of mandamus on behalf of the CFTC. Dan uses his extensive litigation experience to advise clients on both litigation and regulatory matters.

Previously, Dan served as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division for the US Department of Justice. He also clerked for the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. While in law school, Dan served as Executive Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review.

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Practice Focus

  • Regulatory and enforcement matters associated with derivatives products
  • Regulatory issues and developments involving cryptoassets
  • Commercial and civil litigation
  • Administrative Procedure Act challenges to agency rulemakings
  • Labor and employment matters

Representative Experience

  • While at the CFTC:
    • Handled crisis management litigations. Cases involved reversal of district court decision and obtaining writ of mandamus.
    • Negotiated with other financial agencies regarding jurisdictional and statutory questions.
    • Reviewed more than 40 final rules in all areas of CFTC jurisdiction affecting registered entities. Also reviewed staff no-action letters, exemptive and registration orders, and interpretive guidance.
    • Conducted internal investigations of CFTC matters.
    • Reviewed proposed enforcement actions. Evaluated key legal theories advanced by Division of Enforcement.
    • Oversaw CFTC’s first FinTech initiative.

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