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About Charles

Charles (Charley) Mills focuses his practice in the areas of derivatives, commodities, crypto and securities trading law. Exchanges, market intermediaries, advisors, traders, end users and product developers turn to Charley for his deep knowledge of the regulatory agencies, the law, trading and the markets. He represents these clients in law enforcement investigations and actions, internal investigations, federal court litigation and regulatory compliance counseling involving the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice, the regulated futures exchanges, the National Futures Association and FINRA. He has tried over 60 court cases, administrative proceedings and arbitrations to successful outcomes and prevailed for clients in many appeals.

Charley is a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Derivatives and Futures Law Committee and has long served on the New York City Bar’s Committee on Futures and Derivatives Regulation. He also has served multiple terms on the Executive Committee of the Futures Industry Association’s Law and Compliance Division. He is a co-author of the treatises Derivatives Regulation (Wolter Kluwer), Broker-Dealer Regulation (PLI), and The Securities Enforcement Manual (ABA, 2007). He is on the board of editors of the Futures & Derivatives Law Report (Thomson Reuters) and was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center for 21 years, teaching courses in securities law and derivatives regulation.

As part of his community service, Charley serves as the president of the Benedictine Foundation, which supports the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children, Inc., which provides educational, vocational and residential services for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Charley is an incredibly strong and excellent advocate for his clients.
Chambers USA, 2023


Publications and Speeches

“Best Practices for Responding to Investigations and Enforcement Inquiries,” FIA Law & Compliance Division Conference, April 2023.

“CFTC & DOJ Enforcement” and “FERC Enforcement and Regulatory Developments,” FIA Forum Commodities, June 2022.

“Responding to Exchange Inquiries,” FIA Law & Compliance Division Conference, April 2022.

“FERC Enforcement: What Market Participants Ought to Know,” Energy Bar Association Annual Meeting and Conference, Washington, DC, May 2023.

“Cryptocurrencies in the Self-Directed IRA Industry,” RITA Virtual Conference, March 2021.

“The CFTC’s Enforcement Manual: Key Content and Use for Practitioners in CFTC Investigations,” FIA Law & Compliance Division Webinar, July 2019.

“Overlapping Enforcement Jurisdictions of the SEC, CFTC and DOJ,” DC Bar, May 2019.

Moderator, “True Detective: Audits, Inquiries & Investigations,” Futures Industry Association Law & Compliance Division Conference, May 2019.

“CFTC and SEC Regulation of Digital Assets: Challenging Issues of Jurisdictional Overlap,” FIA Law & Compliance Division Webinar, April 2019.

“Crypto and Blockchain,” ABA Business Law Section, Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Winter Meeting, January 2019.

Co-author, Derivatives Regulation – 2019 Cumulative Supplement, Wolters Kluwer, 2019.

“Crypto Assets/Currencies: CFTC and SEC Regulation and Enforcement,” ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, Austin, September 2018.

“Ethical Issues Posed by Whistleblowers in Internal Investigations & Compliance Programs,” Energy Bar Association 2018 Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, May 2018.

“Private Claims in Derivatives Trading,” Futures Industry Association’s 40th Annual Law & Compliance Conference, Washington, DC, May 2018.

“Cryptocurrency Futures & Derivatives,” Distributed Markets Conference, Chicago, April 2018.

“The Basics of Enforcement Actions and Civil Litigation in Derivatives Trading,” New York City Bar Program, New York, April 2018.

“Enforcement/Litigation,” ABA Business Law Section, Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Winter Meeting, January 2018.

Co-author, Broker-Dealer Regulation, PLI, 2018.

“CFTC Manipulation Authority, Traditional and New,” Futures Industry Association Annual Derivatives Law & Compliance Conference, May 2017.



Georgetown University Law Center,
Dean's List
Occidental College,
cum laude

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
New York


American Bar Association
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Bar Association of the City of New York
Energy Bar Association
Futures & Derivatives Law Report, Board of Editors





Chambers Global
Derivatives, 2020 - 2023; Derivatives: Enforcement – Spotlight Table, 2021 - 2023; Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation), 2022
Chambers USA
Nationwide Derivatives, 2019 - 2023; Nationwide Derivatives: Enforcement – Spotlight Table, 2020 - 2023; Nationwide Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation), 2019 - 2021
The Legal 500 United States
Energy: Litigation: Electric Power, 2019-2021, 2023 (Leading Lawyer, 2023); Energy Regulation: Electric Power, 2017, 2023
BL Rankings
Best Lawyers
Derivatives and Futures Law, 2007-2024; Securities/Capital Markets Law, 2007-2024; Washington, DC Lawyer of the Year, Derivatives and Futures Law, 2012, 2017, 2019, 2024
Thomson Reuters
Super Lawyers
Washington, DC, Administrative Law, Energy & Natural Resources, Securities Litigation, 2013-2023
Benedictine School for Exceptional Children Inc. Foundation, President