Having served twice in federal law enforcement — most recently as Enforcement Director of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and previously as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York — Mr. Meister represents financial institutions and other corporations and their boards, and individuals, in matters involving the full range of federal, state and international criminal and enforcement agencies. He has conducted numerous jury trials and has led internal investigations throughout his career.
Mr. Meister rejoined Skadden in 2014 after serving for nearly three years as director of the CFTC’s Enforcement Division, where he was responsible for the overall direction of the program. Under Mr. Meister’s leadership, the CFTC conducted hundreds of investigations involving physical commodities, futures, swaps and other derivatives, and brought record numbers of enforcement actions with record sanctions. For instance, he led the CFTC’s investigation and prosecution of the first-ever Dodd-Frank Act charges; cases involving worldwide LIBOR and other benchmark manipulation; commodities market fraud and manipulation; supervision failures; unlawful trading practices; misuses of customer funds; deficient accounting and auditing; and Ponzi schemes. He also led key Dodd-Frank rulemakings, such as the prohibition against a wide range of manipulative and deceptive conduct and the whistleblower rule.
As Director, Mr. Meister worked closely with top leadership at the SEC, the DOJ and numerous U.S. attorneys’ offices, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and other federal and state agencies and self-regulatory organizations across the country, as well as the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and financial market regulators in Europe, Asia and Australia. He served as co-chair of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which President Obama established in 2009. Mr. Meister also was a key liaison with congressional oversight committees.
Prior to his CFTC appointment, Mr. Meister was a partner at Skadden, where he handled a broad array of high-profile white collar matters involving the securities and derivatives markets, complex accounting, insider trading, disclosures, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, tax laws and a variety of other subjects. For instance, he acted for clients in cases concerning the financial crisis, auction rate securities, mutual fund market timing, collateralized debt obligations, subprime mortgages and credit default swaps. Mr. Meister has extensive cross-border investigative experience and has counseled clients in the U.K., Europe and Asia concerning the impact of U.S. laws abroad. He also has routinely handled complex private litigation in parallel to white collar matters.
During his time as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York he prosecuted a wide variety of cases as a member of that office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, in addition to representing the government in numerous trials and appeals.
Mr. Meister was named as a Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation 2021 and a White Collar, Regulatory and Compliance Trailblazer by The National Law Journal in 2018. He has repeatedly been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Best Lawyers in America.