About Stephen R. Morris

With deep experience as in-house counsel at a leading multinational financial institution and as a trial attorney with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Stephen Morris understands the business goals of his clients and the regulatory challenges they face.

Counsel rooted in regulatory and financial institution experience

The regulatory environment surrounding futures and derivatives is constantly evolving. Stephen is well-versed in this sector and is a trusted advisor to clients with needs ranging from routine documentation matters to regulatory investigations and enforcement issues. As a senior in-house coverage attorney for the institutional listed derivatives and clearing business of a top-tier broker-dealer/futures commission merchant (FCM), with over 14 years' experience in that role, he has deep experience with all aspects of the law and regulation governing the execution and clearing of futures, equity options and cleared swaps.

Stephen sees the opportunities and potential pitfalls for financial institutions interested in the burgeoning cryptoasset market. He provides analysis and counsel on a variety of regulatory issues relating to digital assets, digital asset securities and cryptocurrencies arising under US federal and state banking, securities and commodities laws and regulations.

Stephen is active in the futures and derivatives community, frequently serving as a panel chair for the Futures Industry Association (FIA) Legal & Compliance Conference. Earlier in his career, he clerked for the Honorable I. Leo Glasser, Senior Judge, US District Court, Eastern District of New York.

Prior to becoming an attorney, he served as a philosophy professor at Central Connecticut State University and Temple University. Stephen enjoys giving back to his community as a USA Boxing Bronze Level Certified Coach with Ironbound Boxing & Education, a free boxing gym in Newark, New Jersey.

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Practice Focus

  • Futures, equity options and cleared swaps regulation
  • Broker-dealer regulation
  • CFTC-related investigations and enforcement actions
  • FCM compliance manual and compliance notice development and review
  • Cryptocurrency and digital asset regulatory compliance

Publications

  • 2022
    The Lawyer as a Friend: An Aristotelian Inquiry | Journal of the Legal Profession
  • 2000
    Socratic Perspectives on American Constitutionalism | Stanford Agora
  • 1998
    For Strangers, Unborn Babes, Uncreated Worlds: The Mission of Malcolm X | Flames of Fire: Black Religious Leadership From the Slave Community to the Million Man March

Presentations and Events