John C. Goodchild, III is an experienced trial lawyer focusing on disputes arising from fraud, misconduct, financial distress, and restructuring. He defends actions brought by bankruptcy trustees, receivers, and liquidators asserting breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, fraudulent transfer, subordination, and preference. He represents financial institutions, fiduciaries, and professionals in matters concerning alleged breach of duty to consumers, investors, beneficiaries, and clients. He leads cases involving US and non-US investment funds, enterprise and asset valuation, land use and condemnation, and auditing and accounting.
John has represented key stakeholders victimized by high-profile investment and private equity fund collapses. He regularly represents plan sponsors and health and welfare plans in employee benefits and ERISA litigation relating to workouts and distressed situations.
John is co-founder and lead coordinator of the Morgan Lewis Trial Academy, an intensive weeklong trial training program for the firm’s most senior associates. He serves as the chair of the firm's Fiduciary Review Committee. As an adjunct faculty member of the Villanova University School of Law, he teaches a course on trial presentation.
Owner of radio stations and audio content in an adversary proceeding brought by a Chapter 7 trustee alleging fraudulent transfer and aiding and abetting fraud in connection with oil and gas investment
Defense contractor in a civil action brought by a Chapter 7 trustee alleging aiding and abetting fraud in connection with the illegal shipment of defense-grade semiconductors to China
Investors and secured creditors in an adversary proceeding brought by a Chapter 7 trustee alleging fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the collapse of an industrial conglomerate
Financial advisory firm and two individuals in a civil action alleging breach of fiduciary duty in the conduct of the Chapter 11 case of a coal producer in Eastern Kentucky
Big Four accounting firm in a civil action by a Chapter 7 trustee alleging breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the financial collapse of a subprime automobile lender
Coordinating counsel to the independent director of one of the victimized investment funds, the independent director of a feeder fund, the investment adviser, and several limited partners in connection with the collapse and liquidation proceedings of Abraaj Holdings and Abraaj Investment Management Limited
Institutional investor in the Cayman Islands insolvency proceeding of the SPhinX group of hedge funds; served as chair of the liquidating committee
Lead lawyer for servicing and default for a national mortgage servicer during the mortgage crisis and regulatory investigations and consent decrees that followed
Corporate trustee and successor trustee in jury trial of a class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the collapse of a regional hospital
Commercial mortgage holder in state court and bankruptcy court litigation relating to the financing of a major apartment complex
Commercial mortgage holder and minority equity holder in state court litigation relating to the fraudulent diversion of construction loan draws
Owner in the valuation trial following the condemnation and destruction of the Gettysburg National Tower
National Bank in indemnity litigation relating to stranger originated life insurance (STOLI)
Publicly held manufacturing company in connection with employee benefits, ERISA, and fiduciary duty litigation relating to retiree healthcare under a federal consent decree
Multiemployer pension and health benefit funds in connection with the bankruptcy cases of Horizon Natural Resources (E.D. Ky.), Patriot Coal Company (E.D. Va.), Walter Energy Company (N.D. Ala.), Alpha Natural Resources (E.D. Va.), Arch Coal Company (D. Mo.), Peabody Energy (D. Mo.), and Westmoreland Energy (D. Colo. and S.D. Tex.)
Multiemployer pension plan in an ERISA “evade or avoid” withdrawal liability arbitration against a financially distressed operator
University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1994, J.D.
Dartmouth College, 1991, A.B.
Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Awards and Affiliations
Best Law Firm Mentor, The Legal Intelligencer (2021)
Ranked, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Philadelphia & Surrounds, Chambers USA (2019, 2020)
Recommended, Finance: Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate, The Legal 500 US (2015, 2017–2020)
Ranked, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Pennsylvania, Chambers USA (2009–2019)
Highly Regarded – State, IFLR1000 United States (2019, 2020)