The following update was provided to JLN by Philip McBride Johnson:

At the end of 2010, Philip McBride Johnson, a regular columnist for FOW since 1998 and leading U.S. attorney in the field of derivatives law, will depart Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom but intends to remain active within the policy making circles of the derivatives community.  His nearly 50-year career has produced numerous landmarks and earned him a place in both Marquis’ Who’s Who in America and the Futures Industry Hall of Fame.  His path is marked with many “firsts,” such as the world’s first centralized stock options exchange, the nation’s first specialized federal futures regulator, the world’s first interest-rate futures contracts, the nation’s first industry-wide self-regulatory organization, the first chairman of derivatives law committees for both the global and U.S. professional bodies, and the first outside (public) director of the Futures Industry Association.

He is also recognized in all major legal ranking directories and is widely credited with gaining U.S. recognition of derivatives law as a professional specialty by persuading both the American and International Bar Associations to form committees in the field, and by authoring the dominant 3-volume legal treatise Derivatives Regulation, now in its 4th edition and 28th year of continuous publication.

He served as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 1981 to 1983 in the first Reagan Administration and, in that role, is perhaps best remembered for the “Shad-Johnson Accord” with the Securities and Exchange Commission that secured the CFTC’s jurisdiction over futures contracts on certain types of securities including large stock indexes and government debt instruments.  That period also saw a resumption of commodity options trading after an earlier CFTC ban, and the removal of legal obstacles for purely cash-settled futures contracts.

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