John Lewis, Jr. has more than 25 years of broad-based experience as a trial lawyer in private practice and as in-house litigation and compliance counsel.
He focuses his practice on internal and government investigations, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations, corporate compliance, business litigation, class action and complex litigation, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, receiverships, workplace fairness and inclusion consulting.
He has practiced as chief litigation counsel, global anti-bribery counsel and global head of diversity and workplace fairness.
Before returning to private practice, John held roles of increasing responsibility for 14 years with The Coca-Cola Company at its global headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. For five years, he was head of global litigation.
As chief litigation counsel, he defended company directors and officers in shareholder derivative cases and advised senior management on all aspects of legal-risk management strategy.
He led interviews, defended depositions and managed alternative dispute resolution in class actions, multidistrict litigation and related proceedings. In addition, he led the single largest potential litigation exposure in the history of the company: a putative securities class action lawsuit that touched four continents resolved on terms favorable to the company.
John led internal and governmental investigations into some of the earliest Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claims. He was tapped to serve as Coca-Cola’s first global anti-bribery counsel responsible for the company’s compliance with FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and similar anti-corruption laws worldwide.
He 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 such matters.
Following a decade in Coca-Cola’s legal function, John joined the company’s global human resources team as the company’s global chief diversity officer, where he had board-level accountability for all aspects of workplace fairness, including responses to EEOC charges and OFCCP inquiries, as well as related media and reputational concerns.
John served as the voice and face of diversity and inclusion at Coca-Cola, interacting with external constituents, community leaders, insurance carriers, institutional investors and the landscape of workplace, marketplace, customers and partners.
Because of the breadth and depth of his experience, John brings a unique perspective to confidential litigation assessments, corporate diversity compliance reviews, internal legal vulnerability assessments, and helping clients develop best-practice benchmarking.
John currently serves as a Panel Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, and also served as a Panel Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri for eight years.
John’s background enables him to bring solutions-based perspectives to his clients, 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, communications, government relations, regulatory affairs and community stakeholders.
- Led compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related anti-corruption laws and regulations for a 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 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
- Defended shareholder derivative lawsuits and led internal and governmental investigations, working directly with senior management and board all to successful outcome.
- J.D., The George Washington University Law School
- B.A., with honors, Morehouse College (Economics)
- Logan E. Bleckley Inn of Court, Master
- American Bar Association
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- Atlanta Bar Association Bankruptcy Section
- National Bar Association Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section
- National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees
- National Association of Federal Equity Receivers
- Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Trustee
- Leadership Atlanta, Graduate
- National Black MBA Association, Advisory Board (2018)
- Anti-Defamation League (Southeast Region), Director
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