JOHN M. SKAKUN III is a partner in the Chicago office. John’s practice focuses on representing companies, their directors and officers, and accounting firms in high-stakes securities and shareholder litigation, including securities class actions, government enforcement actions, shareholder derivative litigation, shareholder demands, board and special committee investigations, and corporate governance challenges. John also regularly counsels clients in bankruptcy litigation, post-acquisition disputes and complex commercial litigation.
John has experience handling cases that have arisen from a variety of corporate crises and business challenges, including accounting restatements, product recalls, adverse government regulatory and enforcement actions, whistleblower reports, and litigation with former employees. These cases have involved claims related to financial projections, alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, aspirational conduct statements, risk factors, internal controls, executive compensation, FCPA violations, FCA claims, underlying product liability and trade practices lawsuits, Reg FD, complex financial and economic analysis, and numerous judgmental accounting matters and non-GAAP financial metrics.
Recent representative engagements include:
- Representations of companies, accounting firms and individuals in non-public SEC investigations, multiple of which have resulted in the SEC declining to pursue charges.
- Representation of Fortune 20 health company in securities and derivative litigation, including winning dismissal of 90 percent of challenged statements.
- Representation of Fortune 50 life sciences company in multiple shareholder derivative matters in federal and state courts, including winning dismissal of demand-futility claims and summary judgment on demand-made claims.
- Representation of Fortune 50 financial institution in three-week trial in bankruptcy litigation, which ultimately led to favorable judgment on all counts.
- Representations of multiple public companies, and directors and officers, in securities and derivative litigation, and non-public SEC investigations, related to restatements.
- Representation of former CEO in securities litigation relating to company in bankruptcy proceedings, which resulted in dismissal of all claims.
John is also actively involved in pro bono matters. He leads the firm’s Political Asylum Project, a firm-wide pro bono initiative to help indigent asylum seekers fleeing persecution abroad. He is a member of the National Immigrant Justice Center’s Leadership Board. He won the Thomas H. Morsch Award for Pro Bono Achievement in 2011 and 2013, and was named a Rising Star by the National Immigrant Justice Center in 2015.
Prior to joining the firm, John clerked for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He graduated from The University of Chicago Law School with Honors and served as Managing Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review.