Rita M. Molesworth is a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department and the Asset Management Department. Rita co-chairs the Firm's Financial Institutions/Regulatory Practice Group and is a member of the Capital Markets Practice Group. Rita is active in advising clients on the implementation of the Dodd Frank Act and has substantial experience with the Commodity Exchange Act and U.S. securities laws applicable to hedge funds.

In 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission appointed Rita as an Independent Compliance Monitor in connection with settlements between those agencies and the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Rita advises a broad range of market participants on futures, swaps and general corporate and securities law matters. Such participants include commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, swap dealers, futures commission merchants, investment advisers, hedge fund managers, and other businesses.

Rita is active in assisting clients in U.S. and non-U.S. offerings of commodity pools and hedge funds employing stand-alone and master-feeder structures. She also assists clients with derivatives (Commodity Exchange Act) and securities regulatory compliance. She also advises clients on CFTC and NFA requirements with respect to privacy, cybersecurity and digital assets.

Chambers USA (2024) ranks Rita in Band 1 nationally in the area of Investment Funds: Regulatory & Compliance, ranks her among the nation's leading practitioners in the area of Derivatives and in the area of Derivatives: Mainly Regulatory. She is also ranked in Chambers Global (2024) for Derivatives and Investment Funds: Regulatory & Compliance and in the “Spotlight Table” for Derivatives: Mainly Regulatory. Rita was recently named Lawyer of the Year for Private Funds / Hedge Funds Law (New York City) by Best Lawyers 2023. Her deep experience has been recognized by Expert Guides and The International Who's Who of Private Funds Lawyers, where she has been named as being among the world's leading lawyers for private funds.

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Rita's significant experience includes beginning her career as an examiner with the National Futures Association, working with energy companies on the trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange and working in the compliance departments of CFTC registrants.

Rita is a member (and past Chair) of the ABA's Derivatives and Futures Law Committee. She is a member of the New York City Bar's Committee on Futures and Derivatives Regulation and served as its Chair from 2003 to 2006 and its Secretary from 1997 to 2003. Additionally, Rita is a past member of the New York City Bar's Private Investment Funds and Energy Committees.

Rita has served on the Executive Committee of the Law & Compliance Division of the Futures Industry Association, is a member of the Board of Editors of the Futures and Derivatives Law Report and a member of the Managed Funds Association's CTA/CPO Forum and its Outside Counsel Forum. She publishes articles and is a regular speaker on educational panels with respect to derivatives and investment management issues. Rita has also taught a course on Derivatives Law and Regulation at Columbia Law School.

  • Serving as Independent Compliance Monitor for a non-US swap dealer
  • Advising a major cryptocurrency exchange platform in connection with Commodity Exchange Act compliance.
  • Advising swap dealer with respect to expanding its contemplated activities.
  • Advise on mapping compliance with internal control requirements.
  • Regularly advise market participants on exchange trading rules, often in real-time.
  • Advise on novel financial products and structures for U.S. and non-U.S. companies.
  • Ongoing representation of commodity pool operator and commodity pools offered by large financial services institutions and hedge fund managers.
  • Assist numerous clients in classifying whether the instruments they trade are swaps subject to regulation by the CFTC or security-based swaps subject to regulation by the SEC.
  • Assist numerous market participants in determining whether they have to register with the CFTC or may avail themselves of a registration exemption.
  • Assist numerous hedge fund managers with registration with both the SEC and the CFTC and provide assistance with all aspects of ongoing compliance and reporting (Forms PF, CPO-PQR, etc.).
  • Advised a major university on Commodity Exchange Act matters, including seeking a no-action position from the CFTC.



Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 1995 University of Massachusetts, BBA, 1984

Bar Admissions

New York, 1996

Court Admissions

United States District Court, District of New Jersey, 1995