Central Counterparties (CCP) and the New Transnational Lex Mercatoria

Christian Chamorro-Courtland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch


This article researches the sources of law governing the operations of Central Counterparty (CCP) systems. The CCP is a sui generis financial institution which guarantees and facilitates the settlement of claims between a group of merchants. It will be demonstrated that the new transnational lex mercatoria is the main source of law governing a CCP's operations. It is submitted that the lex mercatoria should remain the primary source of law governing CCP arrangements because it has worked successfully for decades and there has never been a major CCP failure.1 Although this paper focuses on the law from a common law perspective, the 'transnational' aspect of this legal regime means that it applies universally to CCPs operating in most jurisdictions.
This paper will first give a brief introduction to the operation of CCP systems from a legal perspective. Secondly, it will describe the nature of the new transnational lex mercatoria and argue that it is the desired legal regime for governing CCP operations. Thirdly, it will describe the nature of legislation governing CCP arrangements and the link that it has with the new transnational lex mercatoria. Finally, it will discuss some possible future developments and the impact of the new E.U. and U.S. financial reforms on CCP arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-116
JournalFlorida State University Business Review
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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