Deborah North is a partner at Cleary Gottlieb’s Financial Institutions Group. Prior to that she was a partner in Allen & Overy’s derivatives and structured finance team in New York and advised on a broad range of derivatives and structured finance transactions, with a focus on OTC derivatives and structured synthetic products as well as the cross-border security arrangements that they often entail. As such, she advised clients on a range of products including several credit linked notes, structured repos, contingent credit default swaps and equity derivatives transactions. She also advised on insurance-linked products. Given her transactional and regulatory derivatives experience, she has been called upon by several clients in the legal/tech and fintech space to create documentation frameworks and multi-jurisdictional regulatory analysis for their start-up offerings.
Deborah is recognized as an expert on the clearing of OTC derivatives. Her work in this area includes advising on the standard documentation for the clearing of OTC derivatives, advising on the rulebooks for in excess of 20 existing and prospective clearing houses and engaging with the CFTC, the Federal Reserve Board and the SEC on clearing related matters. Her clients include financial institutions, industry associations and clearing houses such as CME Group. Notably, Deborah advised ISDA and market participants on a number of clearing-related U.S. law opinions that address some of the significant capital related issues in this space.
Deborah has developed an extensive derivatives regulatory practice. She has advised a number of financial institutions on their registration as swap dealers, including on all aspects of compliance materials, documentation and interaction with the CFTC, NFA and, where applicable, their European home regulators. She regularly advises clients, including industry associations such as SIFMA, SIFMA AMG, Investment Company Institute (ICI) and most recently in the context of the rules regarding swaps execution facilities and industry trade, ISDA on their comment letters and responses to regulatory proposals.
More recently, she has focused on advising on the regulations for margin for uncleared swaps and the impact of bank resolution and recovery tools on derivatives transactions, advising primarily financial institutions as well as industry associations. In the context of uncleared margin, in addition to advising individual clients she was instrumental to the U.S. focused documentation efforts for Phase 1 dealers. She is also in the process of helping U.S.-based clients and industry associations address the impact of European regulation and Brexit. Deborah advised on the template bilateral documentation published by ISDA for the U.S. QFC Stay rules and is advising U.S. and Non-U.S. GSIBs on their implementation efforts. Deborah is also currently advising market participants on the potential effect of LIBOR discontinuation.
Deborah is regularly asked to speak and write on her areas of expertise. She recently contributed the U.S. chapter to a book on global derivatives regulation.