Jonathan Marcus

Jonathan Marcus

Of Counsel, Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation; Derivatives; Financial Institutions Regulation and Enforcement

Jonathan Marcus represents clients in financial markets litigation in trial and appellate courts. He counsels in government enforcement matters before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He also advises on a range of issues related to commodity and derivatives regulatory compliance.


Mr. Marcus previously served as general counsel of the CFTC from April 2013 to February 2017, advising the commission on a wide range of issues, including rulemakings and other actions to implement the Dodd-Frank and Commodity Exchange acts.

Before his appointment as general counsel, Mr. Marcus was the CFTC’s deputy general counsel for litigation for two years. In that position, he defended the CFTC’s Dodd-Frank rules against industry challenge. Before joining the CFTC, Mr. Marcus was of counsel at another major law firm, where he was a member of its Supreme Court & Appellate practice from 2007 to 2011.

Mr. Marcus served at the U.S. Department of Justice as an assistant to the solicitor general from 2004 to 2007, where he argued five cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and as an appellate attorney in the Criminal Division from 1998 to 2004, arguing numerous cases before the Federal Courts of Appeals. 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 previously served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center from 2008 to 2011.

Mr. Marcus has advised clients in a variety of matters, including representations of:

  • a global energy company in an antitrust and Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) class action alleging that the plaintiffs’ trading of Brent crude oil derivatives contracts was adversely affected by overseas manipulation of Brent crude oil physical market transactions;
  • a global financial institution in a CEA class action alleging manipulation of the precious metals futures markets;
  • global financial institutions in an antitrust suit alleging anti-competitive conduct to exclude a competitor from the treasury futures market;
  • a global membership association and a digital asset exchange before the CFTC in connection with digital asset issues;
  • a global financial institution before the CFTC in connection with exchange- and clearing-related regulatory matters;
  • the head of a trading desk in a CFTC investigation concerning possible CEA violations in connection with structured transactions in futures markets. Charges were not pursued after an investigation;
  • a global financial institution in an SEC investigation concerning potential anti-fraud violations in connection with the underwriting of municipal bonds. Charges were not pursued after submission of a Wells response; and
  • a fund owner in a Fourth Circuit appeal of a decision holding that FERC’s civil action alleging manipulation in violation of the Federal Power Act was not time-barred.


  • “Enforcement Developments,” ABA Business Law Section, Derivatives and Futures Law Committee, Virtual Winter Meeting 2021, January 28-29, 2021 
  • “Schoolhouse Rock! APA/Agency Rulemaking Process,” FIA Law and Compliance Conference, October 7-9, 2020
  • “Key Supreme Court Cases From the 2019-2020 Term and a Look Ahead to the 2020-2021 Term,” Skadden Webinar, September 23, 2020
  • “DOJ’s Foray into the CFTC’s Enforcement World: Spoofing, Commodities Fraud, Wire Fraud and Even RICO,” Futures Industry Association Webinar, June 11, 2020
  • Outside Counsel Panel, State of the Industry Conference 2020, Miami, January 28, 2020
  • Day Chair, ABA Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Conference, Naples, Florida, January 23-25, 2020
  • “In the Enforcement Spotlight: Manipulation and Misappropriated Information,” 41st Annual FIA Law and Compliance Conference, Washington, D.C., May 8-10, 2019
  • “14th Annual Energy Conference,” Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Washington, D.C., April 30, 2019
  • “CFTC and SEC Regulation of Digital Assets: Challenging Issues of Jurisdictional Overlap,” Futures Industry Association Webinar, April 25, 2019
  • “Manipulation Law Under the CEA,” Futures Industry Association Webinar, March 7, 2019
  • “Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Meeting 2019,” ABA Business Law Section, Naples, Florida, January 24-26, 2019
  • “Panel on SEC and CFTC Cryptocurrency Regulation,” ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, Austin, September 13-15, 2018
  • “Private Litigation Under the Commodity Exchange Act and Antitrust Laws,” 40th Annual FIA Law & Compliance Conference, Washington, D.C., May 3, 2018
  • “Derivatives and Structured Products Law Committee,” New York Business Law Journal, New York, Summer 2017
  • “L&C: Latest Enforcement Developments,” Futures Industry Association Expo 2017, Chicago, October 17-19, 2017
  • “Outside Counsel Round-Up,” CMC Regulation and Compliance Conference, New York, October 9-10, 2017
  • Yale Law School Association D.C. Supreme Court Watchers, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Washington, D.C. June 28, 2017
  • “Advanced Swaps & Other Derivatives,” PLI, New York, October 25-26, 2016
  • “38th Annual FIA Law & Compliance Conference,” Baltimore, May 4, 2016
  • Conference of (Banking) Counsel, Washington, D.C. (2014-16)
  • ABA Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Meeting, Naples, Florida. (2014-15)
  • Financial Markets Assoc. Legal and Legislative Conf., Washington, D.C. (2014-15)



  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1994 (Notes Editor, Yale Law Journal; Editor, Yale Law & Policy Review)
  • B.A., Yale College, 1990 (magna cum laude, with distinction in History)


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits


Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

ABA Innovative Digital Products and Processes Subcommittee

Jonathan Marcus

Of Counsel, Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation; Derivatives; Financial Institutions Regulation and Enforcement