Rita M. Molesworth is a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department and a member of the firm’s Asset Management, Regulatory and Capital Markets Practice Groups. She is Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Institutions/Regulatory Practice Group. Ms. Molesworth 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.
Ms. Molesworth advises commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, investment advisers, hedge fund managers, futures commission merchants and other businesses on futures and other derivatives and general corporate and securities law matters.
Ms. Molesworth is active in assisting clients in U.S. and non-U.S. offerings of public and private commodity pools and hedge funds employing standalone 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 and cybersecurity.
Chambers USA (2018) ranks Ms. Molesworth among the leading individuals practicing in the area of Investment Funds: Hedge Funds in the United States. Her deep experience has also been recognized by Expert Guides (2015) 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. Ms. Molesworth is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for hedge funds law.
SELECTED PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
Ms. Molesworth serves as 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. Ms. Molesworth is a past member of the New York City Bar’s Private Investment Funds and Energy Committees. Ms. Molesworth 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. Ms. Molesworth is also a lecturer at Columbia Law School, where she teaches Derivatives Law and Regulation.
Ms. Molesworth has significant prior experience in the futures industry having worked at the National Futures Association as well as with energy trading companies on the trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Ms. Molesworth is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York and was a member of the New Jersey Bar from 1995 to 2016.
Ms. Molesworth received a JD from Seton Hall University in 1995, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts in 1984.
SELECTED SIGNIFICANT MATTERS
- Advised a major hedge fund manager on the redomiciliation of its suite of funds from one jurisdiction to another.
- Ongoing representation of commodity pool operator and commodity pools offered by a large financial services institution.
- 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 commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors in determining whether they will have to register with the CFTC as a result of the rescission by the CFTC of a widely used 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.).