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
  • Board Member, 100 Women in Finance, Chicago
  • Member, American Bar Association, Derivatives & Futures Committee
  • Member, Futures Industry Association, Law & Compliance Division
  • Member, Managed Funds Association, CPO/CTA Forum
  • Pro Bono Legal Representation, Infant Welfare Society of Oak Park and River Forest
  • Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee
  • Chambers USA (2020)
  • Crain’s Chicago Business “Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers” (2018, 2020)
  • 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/Hedge Funds Law (2006-2021)
  • Who's Who Legal, Private Funds Formation and Regulatory (2015-2020)
  • Legal 500, Fund Formation and Management (Alternatives/ Hedge Funds) (2014-2020)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Highest Peer Review Rating

Deborah A. Monson


Deborah is a partner in the asset management group and head of the firm’s derivatives and commodities practice. Debbie serves as a trusted advisor to clients, providing pro-active advice and proposing practical solutions to issues confronting asset managers in today’s commercial and regulatory environment. Debbie has represented registered and exempt commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors for over 30 years and also regularly advises private investment funds, mutual funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds on futures and commodities law matters. Debbie represents U.S. and offshore private investment funds, fund sponsors and investment advisers. She has a wealth of experience with registration, regulation and compliance issues, as well with counseling clients on fund formation, structuring and operational matters, separately managed accounts, marketing, and negotiations and documentation with service providers. This experience includes working with regulators on behalf of clients, assisting with regulatory exams and inquiries, 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 funds and managed accounts.


  • 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, cybersecurity, and fund-of-funds issues.
  • Advising international asset managers on the launch and expansion of their hedge fund, private equity, and futures platforms in the U.S.
  • Advising global asset managers and financial services firms on speculative position limits and related aggregation issues.
  • Advising fund sponsors and investment managers on futures and commodities law issues in connection with publicly-traded investment vehicles.
  • Advising leading global private equity investment firms on whether specific hedging instruments are within the jurisdiction of the CFTC, and if so, whether the vehicles in the structure are commodity pools subject to CFTC rules.
  • Counseling firms ranging from one trader to global enterprises on managing and responding to examinations by the National Futures Association.
  • Obtaining no-action relief from the CFTC staff on an issue of first impression for a private equity fund investing in real estate-related assets using commodity interests.



  • Panelist, “2018 in Review: The Hedge Funds Industry,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (January 23, 2019) 
  • 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) 
  • JD, University of Michigan Law School, 1985
  • AB, Princeton University, 1980
Cookie Settings