Areas of Practice
Education
  • Georgetown University Law Center, 1977, Dean's List
  • Occidental College, B.A., cum laude, 1974
Bar & Court Admissions
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • US Supreme Court
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California
  • US District Court, District of Columbia
  • US District Court, Maryland
  • US District Court, Southern District of New York
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Charles R. Mills

Partner
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6472
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Charles Mills represents finance and energy clients in pivotal investigations, enforcement, and regulatory matters before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the federal courts. He has achieved numerous precedent-setting victories and earned highly favorable results in hundreds of matters, including more than 60 trials and arbitrations. He also regularly represents clients before the US commodity futures exchanges and the National Futures Association, and has extensive experience in investigations and cases by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Some of his precedent-setting victories include U.S. v. Radley (dismissal of criminal charges for propane price manipulation); Howard v. SEC; and WHX Corp v. SEC. Mr. Mills’ representation and counseling are informed by his years of service as a litigator and regulatory attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the CFTC. Best Lawyers in America named Mr. Mills the Washington, DC Derivatives and Futures Lawyer of the Year in both 2017 and 2012.

Mr. Mills, together with Steptoe’s deep bench of regulatory lawyer teams, also provides extensive regulatory compliance counseling and training and advocacy on proposed agency rules and congressional legislation. His clients include, among others, energy and other operating entities, investment funds and other financial entities, commodity traders, trade associations, and registered derivatives and securities market intermediaries and advisers, and their directors, officers, and employees.

Mr. Mills is a former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Derivatives and Futures Law Committee and has long served on the New York City Bar's Committee on Futures and Derivatives Regulation. He has served multiple terms on the Executive Committee of the Law and Compliance Division of the Futures Industry Association. Mr. Mills is a frequent speaker at law conferences and has written widely on derivatives and securities law, including co-authoring Derivatives Regulation - 2017 Cumulative Supplement (Wolters Kluwer), Broker-Dealer Regulation (PLI, 2016), and The Securities Enforcement Manual (ABA, 2007). He is on the Board of Editors of the Futures & Derivatives Law Report, and was an adjunct faculty professor at Georgetown University Law Center for 21 years, teaching courses in derivatives regulation and securities law.  

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Mills serves as president of the foundation that supports the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children Inc., which provides educational, vocational, and residential services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Noteworthy

  • Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year," Washington, DC Derivatives and Futures Law, 2012, 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, Derivatives and Futures Law; Securities/Capital Markets Law, 2007-2018
  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers, Administrative Law, 2013-2017
  • Legal 500 US, Energy: Litigation; Energy: Regulatory, 2017
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Precedent-setting victoriesU.S. v. Radley, 632 F.3d 177 (5th Cir. 2011), affirming, 659 F. Supp. 3d 803 (S.D. Tex. 2009) (dismissal of criminal indictment for alleged propane price manipulation and wire fraud); Howard v. SEC, 376 F.3d 1136 (D.C.Cir. 2004) (vacation of SEC sanctions for alleged securities fraud); and WHX Corp v. SEC, 362 F.3d 854 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (vacation of SEC sanctions for alleged All Holders Rule violation). 

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