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July 15, 2007

New Nasdaq MORC Head

By Peter Chapman

One of the brokerage industry's veteran attorneys was named chairman of Nasdaq's Market Operations Review Committee. Ed Johnsen, a partner in New York's Winston & Strawn, will head up the 15-member committee that has final say over which party is in the right when botched trades occur.

MORC's main purpose is to review Nasdaq's decisions to void or change the terms of "clearly erroneous" trades. The adjudicatory body is one of 10 nonboard committees at Nasdaq made up of industry and non-industry members. "Clearly erroneous" trades are typically trades executed at prices later claimed to be mistakes, perhaps because they took place away from the inside market. The buyer or seller in such a transaction will notify Nasdaq, which will rule on whether the trade was clearly erroneous. If the losing party disagrees with Nasdaq's ruling, the party can request adjudication by a MORC panel, which will have the final word. Before joining Winston & Strawn, Johnsen headed equities compliance at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.