Through its global network of committees, members and industry experts from around the world collaborate to reach consensus on important industry issues, develop best practices and drive standardization to make the global derivatives markets safer and more efficient.
Members help shape the global policy and regulatory agenda
The source for global industry standards in documentation
Access to netting, collateral, clearing and e-contract opinions.
ISDA continues to expand its netting, collateral, clearing and e-contract opinions to cover more jurisdictions and include additional counterparty types. The opinions are made available, along with regular updates, only to ISDA members.Explore Opinions Overview
Netting Opinions covering 86 jurisdictions
Collateral Opinions covering 64 jurisdictions
The ISDA Master Agreement has established international contractual standards governing privately negotiated derivatives transactions that reduce legal uncertainty and allow for reduction of credit risk through netting of contractual obligations. Ensuring the enforceability of the netting provisions of the ISDA Master Agreement remains a key initiative for the Association.
The ISDA netting opinions address the enforceability of the termination, bilateral close-out netting and multibranch netting provisions of the 1992 and 2002 Master Agreements. In addition, ISDA has commissioned legal opinions on the enforceability of the ISDA Credit Support Documents in various jurisdictions. ISDA has published netting opinions covering over 80 jurisdictions and collateral opinions covering over 60 jurisdictions. The opinions are generally updated on an annual basis. The status of such updates is available here.
ISDA has also published informal country updates for jurisdictions where it does not currently have a netting opinion. Such informal country updates are available here. An overview of all jurisdictions currently covered by either a netting opinion or informal country update can be found here.
Client Clearing Opinions covering 55 jurisdictions
Client Reliance Opinions covering 28 jurisdictions
FCM Reliance Opinions covering 24 jurisdictions
Principal to Principal Model (P2P) ISDA has addressed the enforceability of the close-out, set-off and default provisions of the ISDA/FIA Client Cleared OTC Derivatives Addendum (the "P2P Addendum") when used in conjunction with the form of the Master Agreement. The P2P Addendum works in conjunction with an existing master agreement to facilitate the standardised documentation of client clearing and to support delivery of the client protections used by central counterparties on the default of a clearing member. The P2P Addendum operates on the principal-to-principal client clearing model and is designed to operate on a cross CCP basis in conjunction with any non-US CCP that adopts a client clearing structure capable of being used with the P2P Addendum. ISDA's client clearing opinions are produced either for reliance by a clearing member entering into a P2P Addendum with a client located in a particular jurisdiction or for reliance by a client entering into a P2P Addendum with a CM located in a particular jurisdiction.
CRR Article 305(2)(c) ISDA has published a number of clearing related legal opinions to assist ISDA members to apply the risk weightings under CRR Article 305. One of the conditions to apply the reduced risk weightings under Article 305 is that the client of a clearing member has a legal opinion that it would bear “no losses” on account of the insolvency of its clearing member or any of the clearing member’s clients under the laws of the jurisdiction of various related entities. A modular architecture has been used to prepare these opinions.
US FCM Model ISDA and FIA jointly commission and publish, for the benefit of their members, legal reviews addressing the enforceability of a US registered FCM’s close-out and netting rights vis-à-vis its customers in various jurisdictions under the FIA-ISDA Cleared Derivatives Addendum. These legal reviews are based on assumptions regarding the content of the underlying futures and options agreement that is supplemented by the FIA-ISDA Cleared Derivatives Addendum between an FCM and a customer. ISDA and FIA also commission and publish, for the benefit of their members, legal reviews addressing the ability of customers to net against their respective FCMs, when using the FIA-ISDA Cleared Derivatives Addendum and against three CCPs that support the FCM model of clearing (CME, ICE and LCH).
E-contract Opinions covering 67 jurisdictions
Contracts are increasingly being formed and executed electronically. Several countries around the globe, including the Middle Eastern and Asia-Pacific regions, have enacted legislation in the area of electronic commerce based on various types of UNCITRAL model provisions and treaties, e.g., the 2005 UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts, the 1996 UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce and the 2001 Model Law on Electronic Signatures. These instruments include provisions relevant to financial contracts, including foreign exchange and securities transactions. ISDA’s e-contract opinions look at the enforceability of electronically executed and electronically confirmed contracts under the laws of various jurisdictions in the context of transactions under the ISDA Master Agreement which may be entered into by means of electronic data interchange or other means of electronic communication. A copy of a webinar ISDA held on electronic execution in April 2020 in light of COVID-19 is available here.
Extracts data from the opinions and presents an online report, updated annually
Creating value for the industry by developing cost-effective and consistent mutualized solutions
ISDA produces a range of communication tools, such as email newsletters, blogs, websites and a quarterly magazine, to keep our membership up to date on industry and Association developments. Email addresses registered with Membership automatically begin to receive news releases and news alerts, the monthly ISDA In Review, the weekly Global Regulatory Update and notifications about blog posts.Learn More
The ISDA Board includes representatives from buy- and sell-side institutions, as well as critical market infrastructure firms, to ensure broad representation of the derivatives market. ISDA continues to expand its buy-side membership through innovative programs and benefits, such as those below.
Do you need to perform an independent legal review of your netting and collateral arrangements for EMIR compliance purposes? The ISDA netting and collateral enforceability opinions can serve as a way for you to meet these requirements.
Access to best practices and milestones on new infrastructure through working group involvement.
Buy-side firms are encouraged to fully participate in ISDA working groups to ensure their requirements and concerns are incorporated into ISDA documentation projects and advocacy. Participating in the discussion and knowing how the industry approaches outcomes in documentation allows firms to better understand standardized documentation.
As key market events occur, ISDA sponsors discussions on how these will be interpreted under relevant documentation.
Reduced rates to ISDA conferences, which provide information on recent developments on a variety of topics, such as regulatory reporting, margin for non-cleared derivatives, benchmarks, and CCP recovery and resolution. Many ISDA events are now free for buy-side firms.
The Dodd-Frank Act and EMIR implementation have been critical issues in recent years—and continue to be an important focus. ISDA membership enables firms to have a voice in these and other key issues, such as benchmark reform, ESG and sustainable finance, CCP recovery and resolution, non-cleared margin requirements, capital requirements, digital assets and implementation of new technologies like smart contracts. Having a voice on these issues early on is more cost-effective than playing catch-up later on.
Allows your firm to maintain a reputation as engaged, sophisticated on the issues and sensitive to risk. Involvement with ISDA working groups and participation in industry conferences provides opportunities to maintain relationships with the relevant legal and documentation staff at firms across the market.
Stay up to date with developments in important industry governance groups.
ISDA interacts continually with a broad range of regulators on a global level. The depth of knowledge and product expertise of ISDA’s staff makes its communication with the regulatory community extremely effective. Regular updates are provided to ISDA members, which have the opportunity to make their voice heard.
Join regular Working Group calls in various areas that give updates on changes in the market and address day-to-day issues.
ISDA’s technical ability and specialist focus set it a class apart in its domain.
End users of derivatives account for a greater proportion of ISDA’s membership (46%) than dealers (21%) or service providers (33%) and their input into our initiatives is critical to ensuring an outcome that works for the whole market. As some buy-side members may not have large teams of lawyers and operational specialists to keep tabs on the huge variety of ISDA’s working group initiatives, ISDA’s Quarterly Buy Side Newsletter is designed to provide a quick, accessible overview of the latest issues that may be of interest. It contains links to further information and for joining relevant working groups and key ISDA contact details.
For the purposes of assessing dues, Subscriber Members fall into five sub-categories: Financial Company, Regulated Bank, Investment and Trading, Global Investment Trading Firm, and Subscriber Regular.
The distinction is made solely for dues assessment and does not affect a Subscriber Member’s privileges. Dues are pro-rated quarterly during the first year to reflect the time of entry into the Association. ISDA membership runs on the calendar year.
For a corporation, partnership, government agency or other entity which is not eligible as either a Primary Member or Associate Member, the principal business or businesses of which are primarily financial in nature (a “non-dealer financial firm”) and which is not an Investment and Trading Firm or a Regulated Bank. These firms, or the principal activities in which they engage, are typically subject to regulation by banking, securities or insurance regulators, and a substantial number of their clients or customers may not be sophisticated investors.
For a non-dealer financial firm that is regulated as a bank by one or more banking regulators and that is subject to rules on regulatory capital similar to those developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision pursuant to adoption or implementation of those rules at the national level. (Membership provides access to ISDA’s legal opinions, a key credit-risk reduction tool.)
For a non-dealer financial firm, the derivatives-related activity of which is in connection with investing and trading for the firm’s own account or for the account of clients of the firm that are sophisticated investors. These firms or the funds that they manage may be, but are typically not, subject to regulation by banking, securities or insurance regulators.
For investment and trading firms with $10 billion or more in assets under management, and very large asset management firms.
For all other derivatives end-users.
ISDA Membership is corporate so all staff at member organizations can take advantage of the membership benefits. Membership extends to all eligible subsidiaries of the member company. Any applicant seeking election to any class of membership in the Association should make a written application. The ISDA Board of Directors elects the members of the Association.Go to Membership Application
Contact the relevant ISDA office for more information on becoming a member and the annual dues.