CFTC’s General Counsel Jonathan Marcus Announces Departure

The departures of several Wall Street overseers come as Donald Trump begins to fill out his new administration.

Jonathan L. Marcus, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission General Counsel who defended the CFTC’s approach to the consideration of costs and benefits under the Commodity Exchange Act, plans to leave the agency this month after nearly six years tenure with the country’s top regulator.

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Robert A. Schwartz, the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Adjudication, will serve as acting General Counsel after Marcus departs, the CFTC said today in a statement.

Marcus, who was the commission’s deputy general counsel for litigation since 2011, has taken over from the commission’s previous general counsel Dan Berkovitz after he stepped down in March 2013.

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As general counsel, Marcus has represented the CFTC in federal court cases and has counselled the commission on regulatory issues, including to the CFTC’s 2013 Cross-Border Interpretive Guidance and Policy Statement, the commission said.

Marcus had worked as counsel in Covington’s Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice before joining the CFTC. Earlier in his career, he served as an assistant to the solicitor general at the Justice Department, where he also worked in its Criminal Division and argued many cases in the federal courts of appeals.

Marcus earned his law degree from from Yale Law School in 1994. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

CFTC’s commissioner Timothy Massad commented: “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 endeavors. I also congratulate Rob Schwartz on his appointment to the position of Acting General Counsel.”

Mr. Marcus added in the CFTC statement: “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.”

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