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Susan C. Ervin
Senior Counsel

Ms. Ervin is senior counsel in Davis Polk’s Financial Institutions Group, practicing in the Washington DC office. She has a unique combination of direct CFTC and SEC regulatory and private practice experience in futures, commodities and derivatives, including the new swaps regulatory requirements. Ms. Ervin advises clients concerning the full spectrum of derivatives and other alternative investment products.

Ms. Ervin spent 15 years as an attorney for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the last 10 of which she served in a senior capacity as Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the CFTC’s Division of Trading and Markets. In that role, Ms. Ervin was responsible for the legal aspects of the CFTC’s regulatory programs for exchanges, clearing organizations, futures commission merchants, commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisers and other intermediaries. She left the CFTC at the end of 1997 to reenter private practice, where she also advised on derivatives matters and transactions, including the derivatives activities of investment companies. In 2009, she returned to the public sector as an Attorney Fellow/Senior Advisor at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she helped develop regulatory approaches to the derivatives markets.


  • Best Lawyers – "Lawyer of the Year," Derivatives and Futures Law: Washington DC, 2015 
  • IFLR1000 – "Leading Lawyer," Financial Services Regulatory: United States, 2015 
  • Euromoney LMG Americas Women in Business Law Awards – “Outstanding Practitioner Award,” 2015

Of Note

  • Co-Author of Derivatives Regulation (Wolters Kluwer, 2014), the leading futures and derivatives treatise, and author of more than 20 treatise chapters and articles on derivatives topics
  • Frequent speaker on futures, derivatives and alternative investments regulations
  • Former Chair, Derivatives and Futures Law Committee, Business Law Section, American Bar Association

Professional History

  • Senior Counsel, 2015
  • Counsel, 2014-2015
  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2011-2014
  • Attorney Fellow/Senior Advisor, Division of Investment Management, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2009-2011

Articles and Books

  • Heartburn in the Heartland: Agricultural Futures Under the Spotlight | Futures Industry Magazine
  • Regulation of Asset Managers by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission | U.S. Regulation for Asset Managers Outside the United States (City and Financial Publishing) (2008)
  • Slouching Toward Hedge Fund Regulation: The Continuing Search for an Answer to Hedge Fund Risk | 25 Swiss Derivatives Review (June 2004)


  • 901 15th Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC
    P: +1 202 962 7141
    F: +1 202 962 7105

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • State of New York


  • B.A., History, Mount Holyoke College, 1973
  • J.D., Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, 1976