John Lewis, Jr.
John has over 25 years of broad-based experience as a lead trial lawyer in private practice, in-house litigation counsel, including managing the global litigation team of an Atlanta-based Fortune 100 Company, conducting internal investigations domestically and internationally, and advising corporate board members, executives and senior business leaders. John has served as senior managing litigation counsel, global anti-bribery counsel and global head of diversity and workplace fairness.
John focuses his practice on internal and government investigations, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, corporate compliance, commercial litigation, including class action litigation, business bankruptcy/creditors rights/receiverships and diversity consulting.
John led internal and governmental investigations into some of the earliest Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claims. He was tapped to serve as his company’s first global anti-bribery counsel responsible for company compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act and similar global anti-corruption laws around the world. In this role, John led in person training, audits and investigations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America including compliance related due diligence in international M&A transactions. He also personally advised and updated the board audit committee on these matters.
John honed his trial skills early in his career for over 10 years in private practice as a commercial litigator with emphasis on bankruptcy/creditors’ rights disputes. John then moved into an in-house role with an Atlanta-based Fortune 100 Company and for eight years, five as head of litigation. There, he defended company directors in shareholder derivative cases and advised senior management on all aspects of legal-risk management strategy, leading interviews, defending depositions and managing alternative dispute resolution in class actions, multi-district litigation and related proceedings. He managed the single largest potential litigation exposure in the history of the Company; a securities class action lawsuit that touched four continents.
John’s diversity consulting practice is unique in that John brings his experience of actually having been a head of diversity for a global company. As global chief diversity officer, he had board level accountability for all aspects of workplace fairness including responses to EEOC charges, OFCCP inquiries as well as related media and reputational concerns. John served as the “voice” and “face” of diversity and inclusion for the company interacting with external constituents, community leaders, insurance carriers, institutional investors and the landscape of workplace, marketplace, community, customers and partners. Through this experience, John brings unique perspective to confidential litigation assessments, corporate diversity compliance reviews, internal legal vulnerability assessments, and assisting clients in developing “best practice” benchmarking.
John’s broad-based background enables him to bring solutions-based perspectives drawing on a range of legal disciplines and a proven track record of success working not just with lawyers but with business leaders in public affairs, a public company board of directors, communications, government relations, regulatory affairs and community stakeholders.
Direct Line: 404-400-3353
- J.D., The George Washington Law School
- B.A., Morehouse College (with honors)
Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania
Led compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related anti-corruption laws and regulations for a global Fortune 100 company personally conducting training, audits and investigations throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
Led legal team managing all aspects of one of the largest securities class action cases ever concluded in the Northern District of Georgia federal court.
Defended shareholder derivative lawsuits and led internal/governmental investigations working directly with senior management and board.
Served on Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Chapter 11 cases of Delta Airlines, Schlotzsky’s Deli, Picadilly Cafeterias, and Old Country Buffet among others.
Served as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for 8 years administering assets in thousands of business and consumer bankruptcy cases.
Awards and Recognition
Master, Bleckley Inn of Court
Recipient, Elbert P. Tuttle Jurisprudence Award, Anti- Defamation League
Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award, The George Washington University Law School
Director, Private Bank of Buckhead (Atlanta, GA)
Honoree, Impact Award, Black Alumni Association, The George Washington University
Honoree, Cora T. Walker Legacy Award, National Bar Association Commercial Law Section
Honoree, A.T. Walden Outstanding Attorney, Gate City Bar Foundation
Recipient, Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Supplier Diversity, The Coca-Cola Company
Honoree, Minority Corporate Counsel Employer of Choice Award
Special Recognition from Company Chairman for role in resolving government investigations involving the Company, The Coca-Cola Company
Honoree, National Bar Association Outstanding Section of the Year, Chair, Commercial Law Section (2001, 2002 & 2003)
Panel Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, Western District of Missouri (1993-2001)
Graduate, Leadership Atlanta
Trustee, Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Director, National Black MBA (2013-2017)
Corporate Diversity Award, renamed “John Lewis, Jr. Corporate Award” (2012)
Honors Program, United States Department of Justice
Co-Author (with M. Cogen), “When a Favor Becomes a Bribe: A Commentary on FCPA Trends in 2016” Corporate Compliance Insights (2016)
Contributing Author, Small Business Bankruptcies, Wiley Law Publications (1994)
Contributor, Litigation Management (Litigation Series), by Rachel Clingman (Chapter 1 – Litigation from the In-house Corporate Defendant’s Perspective concerning costs, alternative fee arrangements, selecting outside counsel, alternative dispute resolution, compliance, and use of technology)
Guest Columnist, “Making the Connection: Successful legal departments must reflect the diversification of the nation” Inside Counsel
Guest Columnist, “Diversity People – In a changing world, all attorneys need to own the issue of legal profession inclusion” Inside Counsel
Co-Author (with R. Bonds) “Top 10 Ways to Champion Diversity in Your Law Department” published in The In-House Litigator (a publication of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section)
Co-Author (with S. Woodhouse), “Building Relationships between Inside and Outside Counsel” National Bar Association Commercial Law Section
Quoted, “Coke’s Outside Counsel Get Diversity Directive” Fulton Daily Report (April 2008)
Mentioned, “Lerach’s Guilty Plea Gives Coke New Defense in Securities Fraud Case” Fulton Daily Report (October 2007)
Mentioned, “Plaintiffs’ Expert, Coke Cost Investors $1.3 Billion Dollars” Fulton Daily Report (July 2007)
Quoted, “Coke Discrimination Lawsuit Still Resonates for GCs’” published Fulton Daily Report (October 2007)
Profiled, As “Alumni Newsmaker” GWU Law School Magazine (2006)
Mentioned, “Panel narrows field to two for bankruptcy judgeship” Kansas City Business Journal (October 1998)
In re Payless Cashways, Inc., 215 B.R. 409 (1997)
In re Bradley J. Getman, 218 B.R. 490 (1998)
In re Michael Kevin James, 203 B.R. 449 (1997)
In re R.M. Taylor, Inc., 257 B.R. 289 (2000)
Selected CLE Speaking
Faculty, State Bar of Georgia, Corporate Counsel Institute (2017)
Panelist, “OMG, There’s Evidence in my Pocket!? How the Proliferation and Accessibility of Data Affects Discovery and What You Need to Know About the New Federal Rules”, National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firm Annual Business Meeting (2017)
Panelist, “Navigating Ethical, Legal and Practical Implications of Data” (ACC, Georgia 2017)
Faculty, “Implicit Bias and the Lawyer’s Role as Consensus Builder,” Southwire Company, LLC (2017)
Faculty, “FCPA Compliance Audits: Best Practices in 2016 and Beyond,” The Knowledge Group (2016)
Faculty, “How to Prevent Gift, Entertainment and Hospitality Trip Wires,” American Conference Institute’s (ACI) 7th Houston FCPA Boot Camp (2013)
Panelist, “Doing Business in India,” Transparency International USA Corporate Forum (2012)
Faculty, “Understanding the Limits of Gift Giving, Hospitality and Entertainment,” ACI’s 12th Annual FCPA Boot Camp (2011)
Faculty, “Conducting Corporate Investigations – The Use of Lawful and Ethical Strategies,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Annual Meeting (2009)
Featured Speaker, “HR Related Initiatives under the Obama Administration,” The HR Forum, New York (2009)
Featured Speaker, Risks Facing the Insurance Industry, Marsh (2007)
Faculty, Professional Development Academy, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA)
Faculty, “Defeating Class Certification,” Class Action Summit, NYC (2006)
Featured Speaker, “What Federal Judges Should Know about Sarbanes-Oxley” sponsored by Just The Beginning Foundation (“JTBF”) Association of African American Federal Judges (2006)
Faculty, “Responding to Government Investigations,” National Bar Association (2006)
Faculty, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Annual Meeting (2004)
Presenter, “Updates in Bankruptcy Law for the Non-Bankruptcy Lawyer,” NBA Corporate Counsel Conference (2004)