Jacob Kahn

Partner ( Chicago )

Direct 312.471.8760 Fax 312.471.8701 LinkedIn


Jake Kahn is a persistent and calculated litigator whose calm demeanor – even in the heat of battle – is incredibly persuasive. He relishes the challenges of litigation, taking on his clients’ problems as his own and finding solutions when it looks like none exist.

Jake has represented a broad range of clients in litigation, from Fortune 100 companies to individual traders to leaders in the sustainable energy industry. Whether defending class actions or securities arbitrations, navigating the complex waters of antitrust or civil RICO, or prosecuting civil rights claims on a pro bono basis, Jake approaches each case the same way:  he carefully considers what the client needs and then devises the most efficient way to deliver that result.

Leveraging his economics degree, Jake has also developed a nuanced understanding of the financial markets and their regulation. He regularly represents clients in investigations and enforcement proceedings involving the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the National Futures Association (NFA), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and various financial exchanges. In addition, he serves as co-chair of the Annual Conference on Futures & Derivatives at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Jake understands that a lawyer’s most valuable asset is his credibility – and he knows how to protect it. It’s why clients trust him, why judges and regulators listen to what he has to say, and why, despite living in Chicago as an ardent fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, he remains good friends with a number of Cubs fans.



Judicial Extern — Hon. Morton Denlow, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (2007)

Representative Engagements

Commercial Litigation and Class Actions

  • Jake defended a leading airline in three class-action lawsuits based on alleged changes to frequent-flyer program benefits, obtained summary judgment for the airline on all counts in all three cases, and defeated the plaintiffs’ appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  • As part of a small trial team, Jake obtained complete defense victories in two FINRA arbitrations on behalf of a securities and futures brokerage firm, including awards of nearly $2 million on counterclaims (plus attorneys’ fees).
  • Jake prosecuted federal securities fraud claims in the Southern District of New York, defeated multiple motions to dismiss, and negotiated a generous settlement at the outset of discovery.
  • Jake obtained dismissals in multiple class actions filed against a national insurance company related to the insurer’s alleged method for calculating property damage claim payments.
  • After years of hotly contested litigation, Jake developed the strategy for and drafted a successful motion for partial summary judgment in a case arising under a failed bank’s financial institution bond, leading to a favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
  • Jake participated in the successful defense and settlement of class-action lawsuit against a proprietary trading firm alleging claims for commodities manipulation and monopolization.
  • Amid growing interest from the news media, Jake guided a U.S.-based tools manufacturer through a high-stakes negotiation with a purchaser in financial distress.
  • Jake obtained dismissal of civil RICO claims filed against a Fortune 100 company, and defeated an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Jake successfully moved to dismiss antitrust claims for monopolization and attempted monopolization filed against an officer of an agricultural cooperative.

Enforcement Defense

  • Together with an elite team, Jake helped negotiate a favorable settlement for a futures and options market-maker in a CFTC enforcement action and criminal investigation related to alleged manipulation in the oil and gas futures markets.
  • Jake defended an individual charged with criminal insider trading and ultimately persuaded the government to dismiss the indictment in its entirety.
  • Jake represented an individual trader in a CME enforcement action regarding alleged insider trading, and negotiated a settlement with no monetary penalty (only disgorgement).
  • In the wake of MF Global’s failures, Jake defended a futures commission merchant in a CFTC investigation into alleged mishandling of secured and segregated customer funds, leading to settlement on one of three contemplated charges.
  • Jake defended a commodity trading advisor in an NFA enforcement action involving alleged misrepresentations in promotional materials.
  • Jake represented a quantitative researcher in an SEC investigation into alleged “best execution” failures by a leading equities market-maker.
  • Jake successfully represented a leveraged metals dealer in a CFTC investigation involving alleged fraudulent transactions, leading to non-prosecution by the CFTC.
  • Jake defended an interdealer broker in an SEC investigation into alleged undisclosed markups and markdowns of customer transactions.

Regulatory Counseling

  • Jake has counseled financial industry clients on various legal and regulatory issues, including compliance with position limits, swaps reporting, disruptive trading practices, whistleblower incentives and protections, statutory disqualification, and foreign futures and options trading.



Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 2008, high honors
Order of the Coif

Notes and Comments Editor, Chicago-Kent Law Review

Amherst College, B.A., Economics, 2003, cum laude

Bar Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Futures and Derivatives Law Committee, Co-Chair (2016-2019)

Futures Industry Association
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Honors & Awards

Illinois Emerging Lawyer in Class Actions/Mass Tort Defense and Commercial Litigation Law, Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2017-2020)

Publications & Presentations

“At the Intersection of Antitrust and Derivatives Law,” 11th Annual Conference on Futures and Derivatives, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL (October 17, 2019)

“What’s Current in Cryptocurrency?,” 10th Annual Conference on Futures and Derivatives, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL (November 1, 2018)

“Crypto Derivatives,” (moderator) Chicago Bar Association, Futures & Derivatives Law Committee Annual Seminar, Chicago, IL (June 8, 2018)

“Bitcoin, Podcasts and Markets for 2018:  An Interview With the CFTC’s Chief Market Intelligence Officer, Andrew Busch,” (moderator) Chicago Bar Association, Futures & Derivatives Law Committee, Chicago, IL (January 17, 2018)

“Demystifying the Department of Labor's New Fiduciary Rule as Applied in the Futures Industry,” 9th Annual Conference on Futures and Derivatives, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL (November 3, 2017)

“Enforcement Update,” (moderator) Chicago Bar Association, Futures & Derivatives Law Committee Annual Seminar, Chicago, IL (June 9, 2017)

“Take a Deep Breath: What’s Next for the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program?,” Chicago Bar Association, Futures & Derivatives Law Committee (March 15, 2017)

“Enforcement and Litigation,” (moderator) Chicago Bar Association, Futures & Derivatives Law Committee Annual Seminar, Chicago, IL (June 10, 2016)

“Preparing for the Inevitable: A Cybersecurity Primer for the Futures and Derivatives Industry,” (moderator) Chicago Bar Association, Futures & Derivatives Law Committee (Jan. 19, 2016)

“Disruptive Trading and the Search for Wrongful Intent,” (co-author) The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation (2015)

“Navigating the Thicket of Disruptive Trading Prohibitions in the Commodity Exchange Act and Exchanges’ Disciplinary Rules,” (co-author) Banking & Financial Services Policy Report (April 2015)

“The CFTC’s New False Statement Authority: A Practitioner’s Guide,” (co-author) Futures and Derivatives Law Reporter (2014)

“Deterring Disruption in the Derivatives Markets: A Review of the CFTC’s New Authority over Disruptive Trading Practices,” (co-author) Harvard Business Law Review Online (March 2013)

“Municipal Antitrust Law,” (co-author) Section in Illinois Municipal Law: Contracts, Litigation, and Home Rule, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2012, 2015)

“The Dodd-Frank Act’s Prohibition of Disruptive Trading Practices,” (co-author) The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation (2012)

“From Borden to Billing: Identifying a Uniform Approach to Implied Antitrust Immunity from the Supreme Court’s Precedents,” Chicago-Kent Law Review (2008)

Community Service

Pro Bono Activities

Pro bono representation of a prisoner suing under Section 1983 for excessive solitary confinement and deliberate indifference to medical needs.

Pro bono representation of a juvenile appealing a criminal conviction for wrongful possession of a weapon.