Commodity/Derivative Market Matters


Whitley Penn provides litigation support services related to Commodity Marketing & Trading matters through our Traded Markets practice. The Traded Markets practice is comprised of seasoned professionals with significant experience dealing in markets for commodities and financial products that attract professional traders, including spot and forward / futures markets in:

  • Oil & gas, NGL’s / LPG’s, petrochemicals, electricity, agricultural products, metals, and other commodities
  • Equity, Interest Rate, Foreign Exchange and other financial instruments
  • Credit, Weather, and other derivatives


Our professionals have experience working for, consulting to, and testifying on behalf of a number of different types of businesses with dealing in Traded Markets including:

  • Businesses engaged in exploration/production of raw materials (particularly commodities)
  • Businesses engaged in trading, marketing, hedging or asset optimization within larger firms,
  • Businesses engaged in purchasing commodities in wholesale markets as inputs into their ultimate product or service, and
  • Stand-alone businesses such as hedge funds, broker/dealers or service companies that manage commodity or financial risk on behalf of their clients

Litigation Support Experience

Our professionals have provided trial testimony, deposition testimony, expert reports and affidavits in a variety of legal matters including those involving contract disputes, white collar crimes, regulatory actions, royalty disputes, tax disputes, bankruptcy, private litigation, and torts. They have also served in a consultative role to attorneys and other experts in similar matters, and have assisted in attorney-led internal investigations, arbitrations, and in client consultations with regulators.

Why are we different?

In our experience, attorneys seeking expert support often begin their search looking for an “ideal” expert, one who has professional or academic credentials, prior testimony experience, and relevant, timely industry experience. The ideal industry experience would be both narrow and broad, and both lengthy and timely. It would be narrow in the sense that it would closely align with the relevant facts in the particular matter. It would be broad in the sense that it would reflect not only practices in a single firm but also practices that are common across an industry. It would be lengthy in the sense that there are many years of experience and at the same time timely in that the timing of the experience aligned with the timing of facts in a particular matter.

We take pride in the fact that our team of professionals has a great track recording of “checking all the boxes” for the ideal expert.  All have significant industry experience. In addition to serving as employees or contractors to industry firms, many have also worked as consultants to their industry, so that they are able to provide an informed and qualified perspective on industry practices. Most also have the academic or professional certifications expected of someone with their expertise in their field. Finally, our team has tremendous expert testimony experience, allowing us to ensure that all of our professionals are trial ready.


Our Traded Markets practice is co-led by Mike De Laval and Dr. Jack Yeager, both of whom have significant industry and litigation support experience.

Mike De Laval is a Managing Director with Whitley Penn.  He has provided expert testimony and litigation consulting for the past 15 years across numerous commodity markets including oil & gas, NGL’s / LPG’s, petrochemicals, electricity, agricultural, and metals.  He has relevant industry experience to provide a thoughtful, real-world opinion with regards to matters involving trading, transportation (pipeline, waterborne, etc.), contractual, asset operation and optimization, and overall portfolio issues. He has been certified as an expert in Hedge Funds, Funds of Funds, and Natural Gas in US District Court, and has broad-based experience providing subject matter expertise in litigation consulting and testimony in white collar crime, government regulatory actions, private litigation, and Uncitral Arbitrations.

For a copy of Mike’s full Litigation CV, Click here.

Jack Yeager, Ph.D. is a Managing Director in Whitley Penn’s Forensic, Litigation & Valuation Services Practice with expertise in commodity and derivative markets (e.g. energy, agriculture, metals, futures, and options). He earned his Ph.D. in Finance, has over 20 years of practical experience working in and with businesses that regularly engage in commodity or derivative transactions, primarily in the oil, gas & power sectors, and has nearly 15 years of experience assisting in litigation matters as both a testifying and consulting expert.

For a copy of Jack’s full Litigation CV, click here.

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