Release Number 7522-17

January 26, 2017

CFTC General Counsel Jonathan L. Marcus to Depart Agency

Washington, DC — U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo today announced that General Counsel Jonathan L. Marcus will depart the agency. Mr. Marcus joined the agency in 2011 as Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, and was promoted to General Counsel in 2013. Acting Chairman Giancarlo also announced that Robert A. Schwartz, currently the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Adjudication, will become the Acting General Counsel.

Acting Chairman Giancarlo said: “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 added: “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.”

Commissioner Sharon Bowen said: "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."

Mr. Marcus stated: “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, Mr. 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, Mr. Marcus provided advice to the Commission and staff on a wide range of other matters, including CFTC reauthorization, responses to Congressional and Inspector General investigations, enforcement issues, inter-agency agreements, administrative law and ethics.

In 2013, Mr. Marcus won a crucial victory in the U.S. 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 Mr. 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, Mr. Marcus was Of Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, where he was a member of the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice. He previously served at the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the United States in the Supreme Court, where he argued five cases as an Assistant to the Solicitor General from 2004 to 2007, and in the U.S. Courts of Appeals where he argued numerous cases as an appellate attorney in the Criminal Division from 1998 to 2004. Mr. Marcus began his career as a law clerk to Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1990 and received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1994.

Rob Schwartz joined the Commission from Arnold & Porter LLP in 2011 as an Assistant General Counsel. In 2013, he became Deputy General Counsel for Litigation & Adjudication. Mr. Schwartz has represented the Commission in critical litigation victories in defense 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 organizations. He holds a BA from Tufts University and a JD, magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law. Mr. Schwartz began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Last Updated: January 26, 2017