CFTC general counsel Marcus to step down

US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) general counsel Jonathan L Marcus is to leave the agency. 

Marcus joined the CFTC in 2011 as deputy general counsel for litigation, and was promoted to general counsel in 2013.

Robert A Schwartz, currently the deputy general counsel for litigation and adjudication, will become acting general counsel.

CFTC acting chairman J Christopher Giancarlo says: “Jonathan is an accomplished lawyer, and I thank him for his expert legal advice during the time I have been a commissioner. I wish Jonathan and his family the very best. While I am sorry to see Jonathan leave, I am pleased that Rob Schwartz has agreed to step in to the role in the interim period.”

Commissioner Timothy Massad (pictured) adds: “Jonathan has made immense contributions to the work of the CFTC. I was privileged to have him by my side as general counsel throughout my tenure as chairman. He always brought great knowledge of the law and good judgment to the task at hand. I wish him well in his future endeavours. I also congratulate Rob Schwartz on his appointment to the position of acting general counsel.”

Commissioner Sharon Bowen says: “The general counsel at the CFTC is a unique position since he or she works for each Commissioner and at times may be called upon to take a variety of positions on the same issue. Jonathan has always filled this role honestly, fairly and intelligently. Since I became a commissioner, I have relied on his excellent work to guide me on many of the complex issues facing the commission. It has been a great pleasure working with Jonathan and I thank him for his service and wish him the best.”

Marcus says: “I’m grateful to former chairmen [Gary] Gensler and Massad, former acting chairman [Mark] Wetjen, and the other commissioners for giving me the opportunity in the wake of the financial crisis to help implement and defend the commission’s historic establishment of a regime for regulating the swaps market. I also count myself as fortunate to have been able to collaborate with exceptionally talented CFTC staff, especially my dedicated colleagues in OGC.”

In his role as general counsel, Marcus provided legal counsel to the commission on the implementation of the swaps market reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including with respect to the Commission’s approach to cross-border regulation of the swaps market. During his tenure, Marcus provided advice to the commission and staff on a wide range of other matters, including CFTC reauthorisation, responses to Congressional and Inspector General investigations, enforcement issues, inter-agency agreements, administrative law and ethics.

In 2013, Marcus won a crucial victory in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, successfully defending the CFTC’s approach to the consideration of costs and benefits under the Commodity Exchange Act. Under Marcus’s supervision and leadership, the CFTC fended off other significant legal challenges, including to the CFTC’s 2013 Cross-Border Interpretive Guidance and Policy Statement.

Before joining the CFTC, Marcus was of counsel at Covington & Burling, where he was a member of the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice. He previously served at the US Department of Justice, representing the US in the Supreme Court, where he argued five cases as an assistant to the Solicitor General from 2004 to 2007, and in the US Courts of Appeals where he argued numerous cases as an appellate attorney in the Criminal Division from 1998 to 2004. Marcus began his career as a law clerk to Judge José A Cabranes of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Schwartz joined the commission from Arnold & Porter in 2011 as an assistant general counsel. In 2013, he became deputy general counsel for litigation and adjudication. Schwartz has represented the Commission in critical litigation victories in defence of Dodd-Frank rules, including in SIFMA v CFTC on cross-border swaps regulation, and Bloomberg v. CFTC, which involved margin liquidation rules for derivatives clearing organisations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *