Prior to joining Skadden’s Derivatives Group, Jonathan Marcus was the general counsel of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He served in that role 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 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.

He previously served at the U.S. Department of Justice as an assistant to the solicitor general from 2004 to 2007, arguing 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 financial institution in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation concerning potential anti-fraud violations in connection with the underwriting of municipal bonds. Charges were not pursued after submission of a Wells response;
  • the head of a trading desk in a CFTC investigation concerning possible Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) violations in connection with structured transactions in futures markets. Charges were not pursued after an investigation;
  • a financial company before the National Futures Association (NFA) in connection with a registration issue. The NFA ultimately concluded the company was properly registered;
  • a global energy company in an antitrust and 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;
  • global financial institutions in an antitrust suit alleging anti-competitive conduct to exclude a competitor from the treasury futures market;
  • a global financial institution in an antitrust class action alleging anti-competitive practices in the credit card industry; and
  • entities in the portfolio of skilled nursing facilities in a False Claims Act appeal involving the nursing home industry.


  • FIA Law & Compliance Conference, Panel on Manipulation and Misappropriated Information (2019) 
  • Futures Industry Association Webinar, Manipulation Law Under the CEA (2019)
  • Futures Industry Association Webinar, CFTC and SEC Regulation of Digital Assets: Challenging Issues of Jurisdictional Overlap (2019)
  • ABA Business Law Section Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Meeting, Panel on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain, Naples, Florida (2019)
  • ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, Panel on SEC and CFTC Cryptocurrency Regulation, Austin, Texas (2018)
  • FIA Law & Compliance Conference, Panel on Private Litigation Under the Commodity Exchange Act and Antitrust Laws, Washington, D.C. (2018)
  • New York State Bar Association’s Derivatives and Structured Products Committee, New York (2017)
  • FIA Expo 2017, Chicago (2017)
  • Commodity Markets Council Regulation and Compliance Conference, New York (2017)
  • Yale Law School Association D.C. Supreme Court Watchers, Washington, D.C. (2017)
  • Futures Industry Assoc. Law & Compliance Conf., Baltimore (2014-16)
  • PLI Advanced Swaps & Other Derivatives, New York (Oct. 2016)
  • American Bankers Association, Washington, D.C. (2016)
  • Conference of (Banking) Counsel, Washington, D.C. (2014-16)
  • ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, San Francisco (2013)
  • 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