Neal Kumar is Co-Head of the Commodities & Derivatives Practice and a member of the Willkie Digital Works group.  Neal represents major financial institutions, trading companies, end-users, intermediaries, dealers, exchanges, and clearing organizations, in a variety of regulatory, enforcement, legislative, and transactional matters involving commodities, derivatives, and digital assets. He is regularly ranked in Chambers USA in the area of Derivatives, and frequently speaks at conferences on a wide-variety of subjects relevant to the industry.  

Neal has extensive experience representing clients in derivatives regulatory matters, including the application of Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and National Futures Association (NFA) rules, regulations, and guidance.  He also works closely with clients to register in various capacities with the CFTC and NFA.  Furthermore, he often spearheads client representations involving CFTC, NFA, and exchange investigations on a large number of matters such as potential market manipulation, rules applicable to CFTC registrants, registration requirements, swap data reporting, wash trading, and position limits amongst other matters.

Neal frequently advises clients, including major exchanges, defi protocols, proprietary traders, and asset managers, on the regulation of digital assets.  This includes advising on the application of State regulation and the intersection between digital assets and derivatives regulation, including the latest legislative developments.  Neal is also advising a number of startups and established financial institutions regarding the use of blockchain, digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

Prior to Willkie and his work at another law firm, Neal worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the CFTC where he advised on new Dodd-Frank rulemakings and ongoing enforcement matters.  His prior work at the CFTC allows Neal to provide valuable insight to clients on regulatory and enforcement matters that go beyond the written words in a rule, preamble, or other advisory.   

Neal is also an active member of the D.C. Bar committee on Corporation, Finance and Securities Law, and is the Co-Head of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility subcommittee. 

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Prior to private practice, Neal was a Special Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel of the CFTC where he represented the CFTC in connection with rulemakings and civil litigation, and provided advice about legal issues raised by enforcement settlements.  He was extensively involved in the development of significant rulemakings, including the joint definition of swap with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), position limits and aggregation, swap reporting, and new registration requirements for swap dealers and swap execution facilities.

  • CFTC Alleges Manipulative Trading on a Decentralized Digital Asset Platform, Futures and Derivatives Law Report (June 2023)
  • CFTC Brings First-of-its-Kind Lawsuit Against a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, Futures and Derivatives Law Report (April 2023)
  • Boston Institutional Digital Assets Forum: “Regulation – Developing an Institutional Playing Field” – Moderator (December 2022)
  • Financial Markets Quality Conference: Digital Assets - Panelist (October 2022)
  • FIA Expo: “Law & Compliance - Hot Topics” – Panelist (September 2022)
  • Global DCA CryptoConnection 2022, Legislative Developments in Crypto - Panelist (June 2022)
  • FIA Forum: Commodities 2022, Practical Tips for Trade Surveillance & Compliance Programs - Moderator (June 2022)
  • D.C. Bar, Blueprint for Greater Corporate Board Diversity: Roadmap and Roadblocks - Moderator (May 2022)
  • FIA Law & Compliance Division Conference, The Rise of Retail - Moderator (April 2022)
  • FIA Expo: New Futures Products and Markets - Panelist (November 2021)
  • FIA Tech, Is Your Firm Ready for the CFTC Position Limits Compliance Deadline of January 1, 2022? - Presenter (November 2021)
  • The CFTC (Finally) Adopts Speculative Position Limits, Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (June 2021)
  • FIA Law & Compliance Division Conference, Position Limits (Once More with Feeling) - Moderator (April 2021)
  • Regulatory Monitor: CFTC Update, The Investment Lawyer (January 2021)
  • Opinion: Why Words Matter in CFTC Enforcement of Insider Trading, Market Voice (May 2019)
  • Willkie Webinar: Analyzing a proposal to change the regulatory framework applicable swap execution facilities (January 2019)
  • Willkie Webinar: Analyzing the intersection between cryptocurrency and derivatives (February 2018)
  • The Duty of Diligent Supervision: To Whom And What Does It Apply And What Does It Require?, Futures and Derivatives Law Report (December 2017)
  • Non-Prosecution Agreements are the New Black: The Latest Trend Under the CFTC's New Enforcement Regime, Futures and Derivatives Law Report (October 2017)



King's College London, LL.M., 2008 Pace University School of Law, J.D., 2007 Fordham University, B.S., 2003

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia, 2014 New York, 2008

Court Admissions

United States District Court, Southern District of New York, 2008

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