Robert P. Bramnik

Of Counsel

  • Robert P. Bramnik
  • Phone: +1 312 499 0121

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 3700
    Chicago, IL 60603-3433
  • Duane Morris LLP
    1540 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036-4086

Robert P. Bramnik represents clients in a broad range of financial services areas in the securities, futures and derivatives markets, including strategic business planning, participation in new markets, design and implementation of trading and investment products and strategies, and in related litigation. He also represents professionals in the securities and futures industries in connection with a variety of regulatory and compliance matters.

Mr. Bramnik is a member of the American and Illinois State bar associations and The Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is a fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation and is a member of the Legal and Compliance Division of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ("SIFMA"). Mr. Bramnik also has served as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and for the National Futures Association. He is a member of the Probable Cause and Business Conduct Committees of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a member of the Hearing Board of the National Futures Association and a member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Investment Compliance.

Mr. Bramnik has spoken on financial services-related issues for the Securities Industry Association and the American Bar Association. During 2009, 2010 and 2011, he spoke on litigation and enforcement matters, and during 2008, he spoke on the topic of new regulatory developments in the private funds area at the Winter Meeting of the American Bar Association's Committee on the Regulation of Futures and Derivatives Instruments. He also chaired and spoke on best practices for hedge funds and their sponsors at a number of conferences for the managed funds industry. He presented an article at the Winter Meeting of the American Bar Association (2003) on the issue of Clearing Firm Liability and at the Legal & Compliance Seminar of the Securities Industry Association regarding Continuing Education in the Securities Industry. He served as chairman of the Illinois Advisory Committee on Commodity Regulation throughout most of its tenure and was the author of related amendments to the Illinois Securities Law.

Mr. Bramnik authored the chapter titled "Coping with the Post Dodd-Frank Environment: New Concerns for Counsel to Investment Managers, Advisors and Their Investment Fund Clients," in Recent Developments in Securities Law, 2011 Edition (Aspatore Books, 2011) and is a frequent author of articles on topics relevant to the financial markets, including "SEC Regulation D: Proposed New Exemption" (American Bar Association, 2008); "Hedge Fund Best Compliance Practices" (American Conference Institute, 2006); "Hedging For Hedge Funds," Counsel to Counsel (January 2004); "Clearing Firm Liability," (American Bar Association, 2003); and "Financial Services Industry Use of Electronic Media: Current Regulatory and Legal Landscape," Journal of Investment Compliance (Spring 2001).

Admitted to practice in Illinois and New York, Mr. Bramnik is a 1973 graduate of Brooklyn Law School and a graduate of the City College of New York.

Representative Matters


  • Advised the sponsors of a new "Master" Investment Advisory and Management firm on organizational and regulatory matters and in creating documentation for its advisory business (2012).

  • Assisted in the development and documentation of a multinational investment advisory and management family of companies (2012).

  • Restructured a private hedge/trading fund specializing in derivatives and options products (2010).

  • Represented a syndicator of real estate funds in the offering of a fund manager for accredited investors (2008).

  • Represented the principals of a major proprietary trading organization in a corporate reorganization and restructuring, including the formation and regulatory qualifications of a series of domestic and non-U.S. trading firms (2007-2008).

  • Assisted in the formation and regulatory qualification of a new investment manager and related broker-dealer and in the formation of a related "fund of funds" hedge fund (2007).

  • Represented the sponsor and advisor of an existing hedge fund in a reorganization (2007).

  • Represented an investment-advisory firm and its principals in the formation and regulatory qualification of an investment-banking affiliate (2006).

  • Represented the sponsor of an electronic-communications market (or "ECN") in initiating an electronic-securities market in a unique derivatives product.

  • Represented a financial-services-management firm and related broker-dealer in establishing a series of domestic and off-shore hedge and trading funds (2005).

  • Regulatory and Litigation

  • Represented an overseas FOREX (foreign exchange) dealer in the negotiation of an unprecedented settlement with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission involving the dealer's access to U.S. markets (C.F.T.C. v. O.C.M. Online Global Markets, ND ILL, 2013).
  • Represented a large multinational company, based in Russia, that brokers trades in the global FOREX market in settling administrative charges brought by the National Futures Association (NFA) concerning allegations of improperly voiding trades and failure to supervise (2012). Charges against all senior officials of the company were conditionally dismissed.

  • Represented the purchaser of a broker-dealer specializing in the real estate sector, in documenting and completing the purchase and in obtaining regulatory approval for the ownership and management changes (2010-2011).

  • Represented a broker-dealer that specialized in the distribution of proprietary managed investment funds in an extensive regulatory investigation, and enabled the client to settle lesser administrative charges by FINRA rather than charges alleging fraud and/or manipulation (2009).

  • Represented a multifaceted broker-dealer that sponsored an ECN in an investigation by FINRA and negotiated a resolution of that investigation (2007-2008).

  • Conducted an internal investigation at an electronic marketplace/broker dealer and recommended remedial actions which ultimately permitted the client to avoid prosecution and other discipline (2007).

  • Represented the investment-management arm of a sovereign government in connection with a multifaceted investigation by multiple U.S. regulators of its trading practices and a resulting negotiated resolution of that investigation (2007).

  • Domestic Securities, Inc. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Court of Appeals, DC Circuit (No. 02-1308), 2003. Represent amici (operators and sponsors of competing Electronic Communications networks) in a regulatory challenge to Securities and Exchange Commission approval of NASD's SuperMontage electronic market system
  • Olson v. Wexford Clearing Services Corp., Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (No. 03-1223), 2003. Represented clearing broker in defending a challenge to U.S. district court confirmation of a pre-hearing summary judgment granted in favor of Wexford, in claims asserted by a customer of former introducing broker. Obtained pre-hearing summary dismissal on behalf of the clearing broker and confirmation of that award in U.S. district court

Areas of Practice

  • Financial Markets Litigation and Enforcement
  • Strategic Business Planning
  • Securities and Futures Regulatory and Compliance Matters
  • Financial Services Law
    - Securities
    - Futures
    - Derivatives


  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of New York


  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1973


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2003-present
  • Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, Chicago, Illinois
    - Partner, 1997-2003
  • Altheimer & Gray, Chicago, Illinois
    - Partner, 1987-1996
  • Arvey Hodes Costello & Burman, Chicago, Illinois
    - Partner, 1979-1986
  • National Securities Clearing Corp., New York, New York
    - Associate General Counsel/ Director of Legal and Regulatory Departments, 1977-1979
  • E.F. Hutton & Company, Inc., New York, New York
    - Assistant General Counsel, 1975-1977
  • New York Stock Exchange, Inc., New York, New York
    - Senior Trial Counsel, 1973-1975

Professional Activities

  • Illinois Bar Foundation
    - Fellow
  • American Bar Association
    - Committee on Regulation of Futures and Derivatives
    -- Chair, Subcommittee on Futures Commission Merchants, 1995-2000; 2001-2010; 2011-present
    - Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities
    -- Subcommittee on Market Regulation (Drafting Committee Chair and Member)
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Chicago Board of Trade, 2008-present
  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 2008-present
    - Business Conduct Committee
    - Probable Cause Committee
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
    - Member, Legal and Compliance Division
  • Illinois Advisory Committee on Commodity Regulation
    - Chairman, 1989-1995
    - Vice Chairman, 1985-1988
  • Frequent lecturer on financial services-related issues for the Securities Industry Association and the American Bar Association
  • Arbitrator
    - Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
    - National Futures Association

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Illinois Super Lawyers, 2017-2018

  • Named to "Leading Lawyers" list for Illinois, a statewide list of attorneys recommended by their peers, 2005-2013, 2016, 2017
  • Legal Leaders: Chicago's Top Rated Lawyers 2013
  • Listed in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, 2010
  • Listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, 1995-present
  • Who's Who In The World, 2007-present
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • "SEC Forecast: Using Recent Enforcement Actions, No-Action Letters, and Investigations to Stress-Test Your Advertising and Marketing Activities," Marketing & Advertising Compliance Forum for Investment Advisors, New York City, August 22, 2016
  • "The Changing Regulatory Landscape for The Investment Management Industry," Chicago Bar Association's Financial and Investment Services Committee, November 2015
  • Presenter, "New Regulatory and Compliance Issues for Investment Advisers and Managers," Chicago Bar Association, November 10, 2015
  • Presenter, "The 'Wolf' May Be at the Door: SEC Targets Investment Adviser Community," West LegalEdcenter, January 22, 2014