Deborah A. Monson


  • JD, University of Michigan Law School, 1985
  • AB, Princeton University, 1980


  • Illinois, 1985

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1985
  • American Bar Association, Derivatives & Futures Law Committee
  • Futures Industry Association, Law & Compliance Division
  • 100 Women in Hedge Funds, Chicago Education Committee (past member), Chicago Philanthropy Committee
  • Managed Funds Association, CPO/CTA Forum
  • Pro Bono Legal Representation, Infant Welfare Society of Oak Park and River Forest
  • Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee
  • Crain’s Chicago Business “Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers” (2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago for Private Funds / Hedge Funds Law (2015)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Private Funds Law (2006-2019)
  • Who's Who Legal (2016)
  • Legal 500 (2014-2018)
  • International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers (2014-2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Highest Peer Review Rating

Deborah A. Monson


Deborah Monson is a partner in the asset management group and head of the firm’s derivatives & commodities practice. Debbie focuses her practice on commodities law, asset management and private investment funds. Debbie has represented registered and exempt commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors for 30 years and also regularly advises mutual funds, banks, insurance companies, endowments and foundations on commodities law matters. Debbie represents U.S. and offshore private investment funds, fund sponsors and investment advisers. She has significant experience with registration, regulation and compliance issues, as well with counseling clients on product design, fund formation, securities offerings, marketing, and negotiations and documentation with service providers. This experience includes working with regulators on behalf of clients, assisting with regulatory audits, and obtaining exemptive and no-action relief. Debbie also provides compliance and ethics training for CFTC registrants. For institutional investors, Debbie concentrates on reviewing and negotiating the terms of their investments in private equity, hedge, managed futures, real estate and infrastructure products.


  • Advising clients on the implications of financial reform initiatives and initiatives by the CFTC and NFA, including changes in registration exemptions and harmonization issues; increased reporting; developments with respect to swaps and automated trading; and fund-of-funds issues.
  • Advising international asset managers on the launch and expansion of their hedge fund, private equity, and commodities platforms in the U.S.
  • Advising global asset managers and financial services firms on speculative position limit and related aggregation issues.
  • Advising fund sponsors and investment managers on commodities law issues in connection with publicly-traded investment vehicles.



  • Panelist, “2017 In Review: The Hedge Funds Industry,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (January 10, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Financial Ratio Reporting to NFA: New Requirements for CPOS and CTAs Including How to Calculate the Ratios, Recordkeeping and NFA’s Examination Approach,” GAIM Ops Cayman (April 24, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Increased Scrutiny of Futures and Derivatives Market Participants: Key Areas of DOJ, CFTC and Exchange Enforcement,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (October 2015)
  • Presenter, “Regulatory Scrutiny,” Ropes & Gray and Chambers & Partners’ Hot Topics in Asset Management (October 7, 2015)
  • Presenter, “Hot Topics in Asset Management,” University of Chicago Law School (November 19, 2014)
  • Speaker, “Hot Topics in National Futures Association Audits 2014,” The Knowledge Congress (October 6, 2014)
  • Presenter, “JOBS Act and Other Reg D Changes: Impact on Private Funds,” Institutional Investor Legal Forum 2013 West Coast Workshop (July 30, 2013)
  • Presenter, “NFA Inspections of CPOs and CTAs,” GAIM Ops Cayman Conference (April 22, 2013) 
  • Presenter, “SEC Audit Best Practices,” 12th Annual Illinois Venture Capital Association CFO Summit (October 18, 2012) 
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