Michael Brooks focuses his practice in the areas of energy, commodities and derivatives law. He represents energy companies and commodity trading companies in a wide variety of commercial, regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters and routinely advises clients regarding federal rules and regulations governing the trading, ownership, transportation and transmission of energy commodities. His counsel includes advising clients regarding emerging technologies and related privacy, cybersecurity, commercial and regulatory issues.
In addition to actively representing clients in investigations and regulatory matters involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and designated contract markets such as CME Group and ICE Futures U.S., Michael conducts internal compliance reviews and trainings, works with clients to develop effective compliance programs and collaborates with commercial teams to structure large commodity transactions and acquisitions to comply with FERC and CFTC regulations. He also advises clients regarding compliance with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) petroleum market manipulation regulations.
Recent Notable Matters
Energy companies — representing clients in non-public investigations conducted by FERC surrounding allegations of manipulation of natural gas and electricity markets
Large Commodity Trading Companies — representing clients in non-public investigations conducted by the CFTC involving energy and agricultural commodities and metals
Non-U.S. companies — representing clients in extraterritorial investigations conducted by the CFTC, including raising jurisdictional defenses and operating pursuant to protocols in keeping with international memoranda of understanding
Participants in U.S. futures markets — representing and/or advising clients in non-public exchange inquiries from CME Group and ICE Futures U.S. related to allegations of fraud, fictitious trades, wash and accommodation trades, spoofing, non-bona fide exchanges for related position (EFRPs), block trades, and position limit violations
ISO/RTO market participants — advising clients regarding transaction-specific compliance and/or representing clients in non-public investigations related to trading in the various ISOs/RTOs, including PJM Interconnection, ISO New England, the New York ISO, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the California ISO (CAISO) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
Small businesses to large and multinational companies — conducting investigations and reviews of compliance practices and advising clients regarding implementation of effective compliance programs, conducting compliance trainings, and providing transactional advice regarding regulatory compliance
LNG importers/exporters — advising regarding a broad range of issues arising from the importation, exportation, transportation and storage of LNG
Publications and Speeches
“Regulators,” Energy Bar Association Energy Law Academy Course 107: An Introduction to Energy Trading, September 2020.
“Electricity – the Changing Grid,” Birmingham Bar Association, September 2020.
“The Unsinkable: A Look at Blockchain’s Potential and Pitfalls,” Pipeline & Gas Journal, June 2018.
“Another Year of Enforcement at FERC and CFTC,” Law360, January 2017.
“Court Clarifies Application of FERC Anti-Manipulation Rule to Demand Response Service Providers,” Electric Light & Power, July 19, 2016.
“Handling Change Management,“ Midstream Business, February 12, 2016.
“Operating a Utility in Today’s Enforcement Climate: FERC and Beyond,“ Utilities & Energy Compliance & Ethics Conference, February 24, 2015.