Michael Best advises dealers and end users on a full range of derivative products throughout the entire derivatives lifecycle, including regulatory compliance, transaction documentation, and enforcement.


Counseling Bank Clients

We serve as primary outside counsel to national, regional, and community banks throughout the United States for their derivatives product lines, including counsel on customer documentation and Dodd-Frank compliance.

Efficiently and cost-effectively, we prepare and negotiate International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) documents for our clients’ interest rate portfolios. We work with loan counsel to ensure that the swap obligations are secured by the same collateral as the loan. In addition, we work with the bank’s upstream dealer on its back-to-back trades, including negotiating the ISDA Master Agreement, Schedule, and Credit Support Annex.

We also provide guidance on the evolving regulatory issues facing our bank clients, such as compliance with rules on the conduct of swap dealers, eligible contract participants, clearing, swap execution facilities, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and the municipal advisor rules. We provide in-house training and webinars on these and other derivatives-related topics.


LIBOR Transition Services 

Our attorneys counsel lenders, borrowers, and derivatives counterparties on the LIBOR phase-out and its impact on contract terms. Millions of loan agreements and other financial contracts that reference LIBOR need review and amendment.

To help banks process LIBOR amendments in large numbers, Michael Best developed an efficient process that combines decades of human experience with a proprietary software platform. Using the platform’s advanced AI tools, we can quickly identify and inventory relevant contracts and language. Our High-Volume Documentation team then reviews the identified contracts and drafts necessary amendments.

We provide high-volume documentation services to financial services clients throughout the United States. We’ve adapted our approach for a variety of loan documentation projects and are now applying it to the LIBOR transition. Michael Best’s technology-enhanced review process saves time and money—and we pass that along to our clients.

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Advising End Users

We work with end users of almost every variety, from hedge funds to private equity sponsors, manufacturers, insurance companies, REITs and real estate developers, municipalities, and individuals. Our experience encompasses many kinds of transactions, such as:

  • Interest rate swaps
  • Caps, collars, and floors
  • Foreign exchange transactions
  • Currency swaps
  • Equity options
  • Total return swaps
  • Credit default swaps
  • Forward delivery agreements
  • Commodity hedges

In every transaction, we help our end-user clients understand and negotiate all of the documentation required to make and (when applicable) clear trades. These include the ISDA Master Agreement and Schedule, Credit Support Annex, Cleared Derivatives Addenda to Futures Agreements, Cleared Derivatives Execution Agreements, Swap Execution Facility documents, and Dodd-Frank Protocols.

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