An expert advisor. That's how clients describe Ropes & Gray LLP asset management partner Jeremy Liabo.
This isn't surprising. Liabo has helped his clients maximize the value of their assets, working closely with funds and investors on often complex derivatives and futures issues. Liabo also represents clients in connection with regulatory inquiries, investigations and exams.
"Jeremy is consistently one of nation’s most sought-after lawyers for complex Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issues," said a nominator. "Given the highly specialized nature of derivatives and commodities issues faced by asset managers, few lawyers practice in this area, making Jeremy especially valuable to those of us who are working to stay compliant with esoteric derivatives regulations. From my vantage point, Jeremy is one of the best lawyers in his field nationally."
The nominator has worked closely with Liabo on matters ranging from potential investments to regulatory inquiries. Recently, Liabo also played an especially important role in helping a global asset manager navigate a particularly challenging regulatory exam. The exam involved multiple registrants and a high volume of requests and complex questions but ultimately concluded with the issuance of a clean examination report.
Stephen Humenik, the Global Head of Derivatives Legal at Crytpto.com, said that the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2008, shifted the regulatory, compliance and enforcement considerations for asset managers and financial institutions. At the time, Liabo was working as a legal intern for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and watched the legislation get introduced, crafted and passed.
By understanding the paradigm shift that Dodd-Frank created, while building a career around the CFTC's expanding regulatory agenda, Liabo has turned himself into one of the most invaluable lawyers for the funds and asset management firms impacted by complicated derivatives and commodities laws, Humenik said.
"Clients revere Jeremy’s deep understanding of CFTC regulations," Humenik said. "Jeremy differentiates himself by having the most current understanding of derivatives and commodities law. Jeremy’s deep understanding of derivatives and commodities law makes him unique because few attorneys operate in this space, and few at his caliber."
Few have worked as closely with Liabo as Deborah Monson, a retired partner who practiced at Ropes & Gray and served as his mentor.
Monson said that she recognized something special about Liabo early in their partnership. Liabo joined the firm having already built a solid career, having served as counsel at Eris Exchange, where he advised the exchange on derivatives and commodities laws.
Once he arrived a Ropes & Gray, Liabo only built on this experience, excelling in keeping abreast of and reacting to the constant flow of changes to commodities and futures laws.
"That’s where Jeremy excels: In derivatives, commodities and futures laws, there are highly technical regulations and also quickly changing rules. Lawyers who practice in this area need to understand the fundamental regulations, and also keep abreast of updates and developments," Monson said. "Jeremy understands the technical aspects of the law, stays on-top of the changes and new rules, and then analyzes and interprets them for clients who need a practical understanding of how the regulations affect their particular business."