Douglas Donahue

Finance Partner, New York


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Doug is a finance partner in Linklaters' New York office. He has a diverse practice that focuses on transactional and advisory matters related to derivatives. Doug represents both buy and sell-side institutions, including some of the foremost dealers, banks, hedge funds and asset managers in connection with the development, structuring, negotiation and documentation of a wide variety of financial products. These products include total return swaps, swap intermediations, credit derivatives, interest rate swaps, commodity swaps, currency swaps and other funded and unfunded products. 

Doug also advises such clients on regulatory issues related to derivatives and has been at the forefront of industry efforts related to the Dodd-Frank Act, including representing ISDA in connection with its Dodd-Frank initiatives.  

In addition, Doug has extensive experience:

  • advising market participants on netting, bankruptcy and UCC issues related to all types of trading products;
  • representing major financial institutions in connection with the termination and close-out of their defaulted trading relationships;
  • structuring, negotiating and documenting hybrid products that combine securitization and/or project finance techniques and derivatives; and 
  • in the use of derivatives and financial products in the municipal markets, including interest rate swaps, rate locks, credit default swaps, total return swaps and gas prepay financings.
Experience highlights

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (“ISDA”): 

  • leading Linklaters collaboration with ISDA on ISDA Create
  • leading the industry consultation and drafting of the ISDA Digital Asset Definitions and related confirmations.
  • advising ISDA on the impact of the SECs margin regulations for uncleared derivatives and structuring and drafting the related industry standard documentation.
  • drafting the ISDA Clause Library.
  • leading the industry consultation and drafting of the next generation of ISDA Regulatory Initial Margin Credit Support Documents.
  • advising ISDA in connection with the ISDA Dodd-Frank Protocols, including advising ISDA and IHSMarkit on the creation, design and development of ISDA Amend (a joint-venture online platform that has revolutionized the ISDA protocol process and has over 100,000 users).

Regulatory Margin:

  • Various clients: regularly advising on all matters related to the margin regulations for uncleared derivatives, including negotiating hundreds of regulatory initial margin documents for swap dealer and buys-side clients during phase 1 through 6; actively advising a number of other phase 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 dealers and buy-side entities on regulatory initial margin related matters; assisting market participants with the development of margin financing products.

Close-out Netting: 

  • Market participants: advising on close-out netting issues that have allowed such participants to reach positive netting conclusions on over 100 counterparties not within scope of the industry netting opinions.

Deal Contingent Swaps: 

  • Multiple swap dealers: representing in connection with the structuring and execution of deal-contingent derivative transactions. 

Intermediation Transactions: 

  • Financial institutions: advising on the development, documentation and negotiation of “riskless” intermediation transactions. 

Complex Credit Analysis: 

  • Buy and sell-side clients: counseling in connection with the structuring, documentation and negotiation of derivative transactions related to complex credit structures (both rated and unrated), including performing a comprehensive risk analysis of such structures and negotiating appropriate protections for such clients. 

Buy-side clients: 

  • Representing buy-side clients in all aspects of their cash and synthetic trading. 
  • Providing counsel on a broad range of regulatory issues.  
  • Advising on the development, documentation and negotiation of asset purchases, direct lending (secured and unsecured), trading agreements and other transactional matters.

Professional experience

Doug has been recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Legal 500 and IFLR1000 as a leading lawyer in the derivatives and financial products industry and was named a 2012 Rising Star in a global survey by Derivatives Intelligence/Derivatives Week. Notably, Doug has been described by impressed clients in Chambers USA as “incredibly fast and really thorough,” as well as “extremely smart but practical, too.”

Education and qualifications

Doug studied accounting at St. Francis College, and holds a Juris Doctorate from the New York University School of Law.