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Expert resume of Joshua Sterling

Josh Sterling is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Milbank and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Josh is a leading practitioner in commodities and derivatives law. He specializes in representing banks, trading firms, derivatives markets, and other institutional clients in high-stakes investigations, enforcement matters, and other regulatory proceedings before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Institutional clients also turn to Josh regularly for practical advice on trade compliance, registration, and other regulatory matters. Josh has particular expertise in registering trading platforms, dealers, and asset managers with the CFTC, and in assisting those clients with developing systems for offering and trading innovative derivatives products. Josh also has significant experience representing fintech companies in SEC investigations of their trading platforms and staking activities. Clients also rely on Josh to advocate for them with the CFTC on critical issues affecting their businesses. 

Josh's client advice is informed by his tenure in leadership at the CFTC, the primary US regulator of the derivatives markets. At the CFTC, Josh played an instrumental role in completing the remaining rulemakings required by the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as in charging and settling several groundbreaking enforcement actions.

As Director of the CFTC's Market Participants Division, Josh oversaw the 3,300-plus banks, intermediaries, and asset managers registered with the agency to trade derivatives in US markets. He was responsible for the CFTC's examination, rulemaking, and enforcement referral programs governing those firms. Josh also was the federal official responsible for oversight of the National Futures Association (NFA), the self-regulatory body for CFTC-registered firms and individuals.

Josh is ranked Band 4 by Chambers USA and Chambers Global for Derivatives and The Legal 500 United States has recognized him as an "excellent attorney able to provide highly customized advice."

Josh serves as Co-Chairman of the Derivatives Subcommittee of the DC Bar Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Community and is a member of the New York City Bar Futures and Derivatives Committee. 

In 2020, Josh received CFTC Chairman's Award for Excellence in Management, in recognition of his record-setting accomplishments while serving as the Director of the CFTC’s Market Participants Division under Chairman Heath Tarbert.