John brings a unique perspective to Leonard Meyer, having served in senior positions as both in-house and outside counsel. This potent combination has instilled in John a broad appreciation for how to best partner with clients to achieve their objectives.
Before joining Leonard Meyer, John spent over eight years as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of a publicly traded property and casualty insurance holding company. While in-house, John oversaw a number of high-stakes litigation matters and guided the company through several large M&A and financing transactions. John also served as the company’s Privacy and Chief Compliance Officer, charged with ensuring compliance with SEC and NASDAQ regulations, state insurance laws, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and other requirements. John has substantial experience providing practical legal and business advice to clients on a variety of substantive issues.
Prior to working in-house, John was a litigation partner with a large international law firm where he gained first and second chair trial experience in commercial, securities, employment, products liability and other complex litigation matters. John has considerable experience conducting internal investigations and has also represented clients responding to subpoenas and investigations by government agencies.
In addition to his litigation practice, John provides regulatory and corporate transactional services, focusing on companies that have no internal legal function. Before pursuing a career in law, John attended the United States Naval Academy and served for five years as a surface warfare officer.
Prevailed in arbitration of dispute between joint venture partners regarding the
failure of a project to develop an advanced pavement striping system.
Obtained favorable jury verdict on fraud claim against a software development company.
Obtained summary judgment prior to class certification in action seeking to
invalidate DUI policy exclusion for first-party claims.
Defended securities fraud claims brought against a successful mutual fund market timing investor.
Litigated in numerous venues, including an SEC civil enforcement action in federal court,
New York Attorney General criminal proceedings in state court, class action claims consolidated in
a multi-district litigation proceeding and state securities department administrative proceedings.
First-chaired defense of workers compensation retaliatory discharge action settled during trial for nominal value.
Key member of defense team for Big Four audit firm in SEC and PCAOB investigations into
audits of a Fortune 500 manufacturing company.
Key member of team retained to conduct internal investigation of potential securities fraud
arising out of complex inventory accounting methods employed by a major clothing manufacturer.
Successfully defended and resolved products liability action involving catastrophic fire aboard
luxury yacht allegedly caused by defective hydraulic hose.
Obtained dismissal with prejudice of products liability claim arising out of an allegedly defective electrical switch.
Successfully defended and resolved a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the
manufacturer of a warehouse automatic storage and retrieval system.
Defended officers and directors of an insurance company in liquidation against
civil RICO claims brought by the Illinois Director of Insurance and settled
case well within limits of D&O insurance policy.
Led legal negotiations for $95M strategic divestiture of managing general agency operations.
Managed legal issues and negotiations for $120M sale of retail insurance agencies consisting of
approximately 200 store locations and premium finance operations.
Coordinated legal issues related to refinancing of $200M secured debt facility with new senior and
subordinated debt facilities. Drafted and negotiated numerous debt facility amendments,
waivers and forbearance agreements.
Negotiated and closed $7.8M sale-leaseback of IT assets.
Conceived and executed complex transaction injecting $5M of capital into regulated insurance
subsidiary through mortgage on real estate asset under lease to federal government.
Negotiated mortgage transaction documents, including lease amendments and authorizations from
General Services Administration, and secured approval from regulators in two states.
Managed all legal and regulatory matters to launch premium finance business.
Obtained licenses in seven states, developed finance documentation and
established compliant operational processes.
University of Illinois College of Law (Summa Cum Laude), 2001
United States Naval Academy (with Merit), 1993