Kathryn M. Trkla



Kathryn (Katie) M. Trkla is a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP. She works on a variety of matters for futures commission merchants and securities brokerage firms, institutional investors, professional trading firms, commercial hedgers, domestic and foreign exchanges, clearinghouses, and other clients. Katie has 35 years’ experience in the derivatives and securities industries, including 11 years with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) where she was senior vice president and associate general counsel before joining Foley in 2000. She is a member of the firm’s Securities, Commodities & Exchange Regulation Practice within the Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practice, and the firm’s Blockchain Task Force, Business Law Department, and Energy Industry Team.

Katie’s experience ranges from representing clients on matters before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and self-regulatory organizations; analyzing regulatory proposals; counseling clients on the implications of legislative and rule changes; and providing general regulatory counsel. Her deep experience and background qualify her to provide a broad and unique perspective on the issues and regulations facing the financial markets and market participants.

Katie has a thorough understanding of regulation of derivatives clearing, protection of customer funds, and issues involving commodity broker bankruptcies. She assisted a non-U.S. derivatives clearing house to obtain registration as a derivatives clearing organization with the CFTC, assists with drafting clearing house rules and rule changes, and analyzes enforceability of clearing house rules. She counsels clients on differences in treatment and protection of funds associated with cleared versus non-cleared derivatives transactions, and clearing of swaps versus futures. Along with a Foley colleague, she served as special commodity counsel to the trustee in the PFG commodity broker bankruptcy. As Co-Chair of the ABA Part 190 Subcommittee comprised of members of the ABA Derivatives & Futures Law and Business Bankruptcy Committees, Katie co-led the project to draft comprehensive revisions to the CFTC Commodity Broker Bankruptcy Rules. The subcommittee submitted proposed model Part 190 Rules to the CFTC in 2017 as part of the agency’s Project KISS initiative, and the CFTC is actively considering the proposal as part of its Project KISS agenda.

During her tenure at the CBOT, Katie represented the exchange at the annual meetings of the Consultative Committee of IOSCO. From 1997 to 1998, she chaired a special subcommittee of the IOSCO Consultative Committee, which prepared a report on best practices for the design of futures contracts and exchange market surveillance programs.


Katie has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. She was ranked globally by Chambers Global 2019, and nationally by Chambers USA 2018 and 2019 in the area of Derivatives. She has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2007 in the area of derivatives and futures law and was named Chicago’s 2014 and 2019 Lawyer of the Year for derivatives and futures law.*


  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1983)
    • Coordinating Executive Editor, Journal of International Law & Business
  • University of Chicago (B.A., 1980)
    • Member, Phi Beta Kappa


  • Illinois 
  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

Leadership Positions and Professional Affiliations

  • Vice Chair, ABA Derivatives & Futures Law Committee (2015-Present)
  • Co-Chair, ABA Part 190 Subcommittee (2015-present) (The committee is comprised of members of the ABA Derivatives and Futures Law and Business Bankruptcy Committees; it developed and has submitted to the CFTC comprehensive proposed amendments to the CFTC Part 190 Commodity Broker Bankruptcy Rules)
  • Chair, ABA Innovative Digitized Products and Processes Subcommittee (IDPPS) (2018-Present)
  • Member, Futures Industry Association (“FIA”) Law & Compliance Executive Committee (2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 terms)
  • Member, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Working Group on Financial Markets
  • Faculty Practicing Law Institute (PLI) (Since 2010)

Selected Publications

  • Editor and Co-Author, “Digital and Digitized Assets; Federal and State Jurisdictional Issues,” ABA IDPPS (March 2019)
  • Co-author, “Derivatives Regulation – 2019 Cumulative Supplement,” Wolters Kluwer (Oct. 2018)
  • “Commodity Broker Bankruptcies and the ABA Part 190 Project,” ABA Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Winter Meeting Materials (Jan. 2018)
  • Co-Author, “Sentinel Decision Could Erode Customer Protections,” Futures Industry Magazine (FIA) (Mar. 2013)
  • "Discussion Regarding the Commentary on Hedging "Event" Risk," Review of Futures Markets (Kent State University/Institute for Financial Markets; Sept. 2008)
  • Co-Author, "The Regulation of Specialists and Implications for the Future," The Business Lawyer (Nov. 2005)

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Co-Chair, “Next Ten Years: Where are we going?” ABA Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Winter Meeting (2019)
  • Panelist, “Clearing/Customer Protection/CCPs,” ABA Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Winter Meeting (2018)
  • Speaker, “Swap Execution Methods, SEFs, Give-up and Reporting,” PLI Conference on Advanced Swaps & Other Derivatives (Oct. 2017 and 2018)
  • Co-Chair, “Derivatives 101/102,” FIA Law & Compliance Conference (May 2017)
  • Panelist, “Responding to an Investigation or 4g Request,” FIA Law & Compliance Conference (May 2016)
  • Chair, "Special Considerations for OTC Clearing," Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) International Symposium and Training Program (Oct. 2014) (Moderator for other panels offered in prior years at this annual program)
  • Co-Presenter, "Bankruptcy Issues for Derivatives and Securities Markets," presentation to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Working Group on Financial Markets (Oct. 2008)

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.