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Nihal Patel
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Nihal Patel is a partner in the firm’s Financial Services Group. He counsels both financial institutions and “buy-side” market participants on a variety of regulatory and compliance issues relating to securities and derivatives trading. This includes, inter alia, advice as to numerous aspects of broker-dealer regulation and swap regulatory issues arising under Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act.

He also has substantial experience in drafting and negotiating prime brokerage, derivatives, and other trading and financing documentation. Recently, he was a member of a team that represented ISDA in the drafting of protocols and other documentation for addressing requirements of CFTC regulations adopted under Dodd-Frank. He has also been a speaker on these and related topics at industry conferences in the United States and abroad.

Nihal is a contributor to the chapters on trading and dealings with customers in Lofchie’s Guide to Broker-Dealer Regulation and the swap definition, margin, and employees chapters of Lofchie’s Guide to CPO/CTA Regulation.

He earned his B.A. from Northwestern University and his J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he served on the board of the Northwestern University Law Review. Nihal is admitted to practice in the State of New York.

Practice Areas

  • Broker-Dealer Regulation
  • Commodities & Futures Regulation
  • Derivatives & Structured Products
  • Financial Regulation
  • OTC Derivatives
  • Structured Products
  • Swap Regulation


  • New York


  • Northwestern University, School of Law J.D., 2010
  • Northwestern University B.A., 2004

Recent Articles & Comments

September 12, 2023

To those following the CFTC enforcement matters in digital assets, little that Mr. McGinley said should come as a surprise. On DeFi in particular, he defended the CFTC actions by saying that DeFi exchanges are "an obvious threat to the markets regulated and customers protected by the CFTC" and that the CFTC will continue to push to ensure that relevant digital asset commodity transactions are only conducted on regulated exchanges. For DeFi in particular, this view is essentially a ban;…

September 08, 2023

If it wasn't abundantly clear already, these cases are a reminder that it will take an act of Congress for any meaningful (legal) non-spot trading activity on decentralized protocols. Although Ms. Mersinger highlights a number of reasonable concerns as to the CFTC action and lack of clarity that ad hoc enforcement provides (rather than rules or clear guidance), the CFTC actions are brought under some basic core principles that are hard to ignore. The CEA and the CFTC rules are clear that…

September 01, 2023

The comment file on this proposal is massive, largely consisting of natural persons supporting the proposal. There is a sense that opposition to the rule as proposed is opposition to transparency in general (or puppies and babies) and that the relevant products are being used for nefarious purposes. However, as many of the trade group letters note, the SEC is not writing on a blank slate. There is a vast amount of existing regulatory and public requirements associated with equities and swaps…

July 31, 2023

It is not surprising given the IOSCO statement from last month, but the FSB statement and Mr. Gensler's statement are two additional regulatory stances urging against use of CSRs and emphasizing the uphill battle for market participants seeking to make use of those rates.

One can imagine the policy behind the footnote in the FSB statement indicating more specifically how term rate fallbacks should be drafted. Generally, FSB seems to be indicating a preference for defined rates and…