Manuel Vasconcelos



  • Washington


Manuel Vasconcelos specializes in complex matters involving large financial institutions and other participants in capital markets. Dr. Vasconcelos focuses on market manipulation and trading conduct; valuation (including quantification of economic damages); and startup financing and venture capital (VC).

Dr. Vasconcelos leads teams supporting academic and industry experts at all stages of litigation and in international arbitration matters. He also leads teams working on internal and regulatory investigations and proceedings. In the United States, these include matters initiated by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Internationally, he has worked on matters initiated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the European Commission (EC). In this context, Dr. Vasconcelos has presented to staff members at the CFTC, DOJ, FERC, FINRA, and SEC on behalf of clients.

Dr. Vasconcelos works on matters across a range of cash and derivatives markets, including fixed-income, equities, natural gas, and credit, and has analyzed both over-the-counter (OTC) and public markets. He also has significant experience with Section 10b-5 and Section 11 securities matters at the class certification and merits stages, including on IBEW Local 90 Pension Fund et al. v. Deutsche Bank AG et al., in which the court denied class certification.

Dr. Vasconcelos’s experience includes:

Market manipulation, trading conduct, and market microstructure

  • Extensive work in matters involving alleged manipulation of benchmarks, including interest rate benchmarks, natural gas indices, and interdealer broker screens
  • Deep expertise in analyzing large datasets with internal bank and market trading data in the context of alleged collusion, spoofing, and other market manipulation conduct
  • Evaluating and benchmarking execution quality in equity markets and investigating payment for order flow issues
  • Working on antitrust investigations and litigation in the credit default swap (CDS), agency bond, and variable-rate demand obligation (VRDO) markets
  • Analyzing design and risk management issues related to interest rate and equity derivatives
  • Assessing valuation of fixed-income securities held by asset managers in illiquid markets
  • Researching issues related to LIBOR transition and its potential impact on derivative and cash markets

 Valuation and quantification of economic damages

  • Extensive experience in financial modeling and company valuation, including of financial institutions and VC-backed firms
  • Assessing International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) close-out process and claim amounts for a variety of fixed-income, commodity, and equity derivative positions, with an emphasis on interest rate swaps and swaptions
  • Analyzing and modeling the impact of external factors on U.S. natural gas prices
  • Calculating damages in breach of contract disputes in the power and mining industries

Start-up financing and VC

  • Valuing and analyzing securities issued by early-stage and other VC-backed firms, including convertible notes, SAFEs (simple agreements for future equity), convertible preferred stock, and common stock
  • Consulting on matters requiring in-depth understanding of start-up financing and VC fund practices

 Dr. Vasconcelos’s scholarly work has been published in the Review of Financial Studies and the International Review of Financial Analysis. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co.


Counterfactual Models: A Key Tool in Energy Price Disputes


Alleged Market Manipulation and the Pre-hedging of Large Trades


Patent Infringement and Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims in Venture Capital


Why Private VC-Backed Cos. Need A New Valuation Method

Press Release

Cornerstone Research Promotes Six to Vice President and Principal in London, Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC


Collateralized Loan Obligations in the Age of COVID-19


Pro Bono: Booth et al. v. Galveston County et al.


European Commission Enquiry of Credit Default Swaps Market

  • Washington Arbitration Week 2022, 1 December 2022