Our high-risk industry constantly faces market uncertainty and heavy regulation. Uncertainty is the baseline, and 2020 already promises to offer up a series of globally dramatic events.

But we can look back at 2019 satisfied that no major incidents shook the core drivers of the commodities trading business. We are incredibly grateful to you − our clients and friends − who remind us that the work the DLA Piper team does is a valued element aiding your drive towards profitability and growth. The DLA Piper team is always ready to lend its support as you continue to navigate this uniquely challenging environment.

Our team helped clients during 2019 on a number of complex customs, duties, trade sanctions, and other risk and compliance challenges, many of which involved extensive interaction with our industry's various regulators.

Here is a representative list of our 2019 matters:

  • Structured and helped to establish a new commodities marketing and trading business in the United States and Asia
  • Advised on a transportation matter that involved the delivery of off-specification corn oil and the rights of the shipper to recover costs, withhold fees and seek damages
  • Created standardized contracts for LCFS, REC, and RIN, as well as oil and gas purchase and sale agreements
  • Advised on OFAC regulations and the implications of the Iran trade sanctions on commodities marketing, trading and shipping businesses
  • Formulated and documented a structure for the financing of the purchasing and marketing of RECs
  • Assisted with capital raises for private equity companies entering into or diversifying into the commodities markets
  • Created commodities marketing and trading risk and regulatory compliance programs, including anti-corruption, FCPA, gifts and entertainment, hiring and firing of front-office personnel, response plans to regulatory inquiries, position limit and exchange trading policies and procedures
  • Advised on oil pipeline matters to terminal operator and shippers;
  • Handled international arbitration matters between commodities trading and shipping companies
  • Drafted unfunded participation, or uncommitted accounts receivable purchase agreements, and other commodities repurchase agreements
  • Advised on and assisted with the structuring of cross-border commodities purchases, operations and marketing between the United States and Mexico
  • Structured an international merger and acquisition involving entities in Australia, Spain and the United States
  • Advised on the restructuring of a shipping company and its operations in Asia, including the finance components of such restructure
  • Represented a joint venture partner in a refinery in the Gulf Coast of Texas



Glenn Reitman of the DLA Piper Commodities Marketing, Trading and Shipping group will participate on a panel addressing on the State of Private Equity in Oil and Gas on January 27, 2020 at the Houston Geological Society.

We regularly host panel discussions, roundtables and events such as a seminar on How to Avoid Fraud Claims After a Deal Is Closed, which we held in Houston in February 2019 and which carried CLE credit. Additionally, we host regular dinners with contacts throughout the industry to explore and interactively discuss topics such as How to Prepare for Dawn Raids; The State of the Commodities Markets in Mexico; and Introduction to an Innovative LNG Pricing Solutions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.