John T. Gerhart’s practice focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration. John represents clients in a wide array of corporate, securities, real estate, franchise, banking, energy, tax and accounting disputes.
His clients include businesses and individuals in the financial services, private equity, family office, real estate, energy and hospitality industries. John represents clients in federal and state court lawsuits and in arbitrations throughout the country before the American Arbitration Association, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution [ICDR], JAMS, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA].
He is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, all Texas state courts, and the District of Colorado.
Before entering private practice, John served three years as a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
- Advise private-equity fund portfolio companies on a wide array of commercial disputes.
Representation of the holder of $15 million in trust preferred securities in federal court litigation against the issuer of the securities for nonpayment and breach of the trust documents.
- Representation of the purchaser of a natural foods company in a state court lawsuit against the sellers for the breach of various representatives and warranties in the equity purchase agreement.
- Representation of several Dallas families in a state court lawsuit asserting Texas Securities Act violations and damages in excess of $22 million arising out of the purchase of securities in two foreign private limited companies.
- Defense of a major construction materials manufacturer in an international arbitration brought in New York by a former affiliate for $180 million allegedly owed under a tax sharing agreement.
- Defense of securities clearing and retail brokerage firms in a FINRA arbitration brought by a decedent’s estate for $3 million in trading losses incurred by the former customer’s power of attorney.
- Representation of franchisors in litigation and arbitrations through the country.
Defense of community banks in consumer class actions brought against them in various states.
- Representation of a Dallas family in a state court lawsuit asserting Texas Securities Act violations and damages in excess of $25 million arising out of the purchase of interests in a luxury resort development in the Bahamas.
- Defense of a Japanese trading company and its U.S. affiliate in a Houston federal court action brought by a former distributor for the termination and alleged breach of a North American petrochemical distributor agreement and alleging damages of $22 million.
- Representation of a former Big 4 accounting firm partner in a New York arbitration against his former employer relating to the firm’s termination of his retirement benefits due to his post-retirement employment activities.
- Defense of a national securities firm in a Mississippi FINRA arbitration brought by a group of oil refinery retirees for losses in their retirement accounts.
- Defense of a major aluminum products manufacturer in an adversary proceeding in an Ohio federal bankruptcy court brought by a joint-venture partner alleging the diversion of business opportunities to overseas plants.
- Prosecution and defense of claims on behalf of owners and developers in construction disputes in arbitration and state court proceedings.
- Defense of a data storage company in an Austin arbitration brought by the seller of a company for the alleged breach of an earn-out provision in the purchase agreement and damages in excess of $10 million.
- Representation of an energy exploration and production firm in litigation in federal bankruptcy and state courts in Texas and Oklahoma relating to a drilling contractor’s claims for breach of two drilling contracts and damages in excess of $20 million.
- Defense of a national securities firm in a FINRA arbitration brought in Atlanta, Georgia by a regional firm alleging employee raiding, theft of trade secrets, fraud and damages in excess $160 million.
- Representation of the sellers of an IT consulting company in an arbitration against the purchaser for breach of an earn-out provision in the parties’ purchase agreement.
- Representation of a major Wall Street firm in state court and arbitrations against former employees for breach of non-competition agreements and theft of trade secrets and in the defense of counterclaims relating to the termination of restricted stock awards.
- Defense of directors of a REIT and general partners of 18 limited partnership funds in a Dallas state court class action brought by investors challenging a proposed merger.
- Defense of a major Wall Street securities firm in a Houston arbitration brought by a Hong Kong shipping magnate for investment losses.
- Defense of outside directors of a major oil services company in shareholder class actions and derivative actions in Texas alleging securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duties.
- Defense of a major telecommunications carrier in several consumer class actions alleging deceptive billing and advertising practices.
- Defense of a major computer hardware, software and electronics company in arbitrations in various states brought by financial institutions alleging defective data-processing software.
- JD, SMU Dedman School of Law, Board of Editors, SMU Law Review, 1992
- BA, University of Notre Dame, 1989
- Member, American Bar Association and Dallas Bar Association
- Member, Advisory Board, Institute of Transnational Arbitration
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