John Kober is recognized for his depth of corporate and tax experience and family business experience including mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as his ability to address litigation matters. John has a primary focus working with closely-held family businesses guiding them through numerous corporate matters including legacy planning and liquidity transactions, as well as resolution of disputes involving the family business among its family members. John has built a reputation in being the family business owners’ trusted advisor, as well as their lawyer; and for his representation of companies owned by an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), board of directors of ESOP companies, and private equity and family offices purchasing an ESOP company.
John has an emphasis representing (i) highly successful family business owners with respect to all legal aspects arising out of the family business, the family, and the members of the board (including, the process of implementing legacy family business planning), (ii) family offices, private equity investors, and strategic buyers purchasing family owned companies and ESOP owned companies (which have a set of unique aspects); and (iii) board of directors of companies selling a family business enterprise to a private equity or family office, or a company owned by an ESOP selling to private equity or family office. John has been instrumental in advising ESOP companies in setting up special purpose acquisition funds to make acquisitions similar to a family office.
In addition to his M&A work, John is an established tax attorney and certified public accountant. John’s corporate and tax background enables him to effectively advise many family businesses, boards of directors of privately held companies, management groups, boards of directors of ESOP companies, and private equity groups throughout the United States on transactional matters and corporate governance. A unique nature of John’s practice is his litigation practice as he advises family businesses on family member shareholder disputes, and board of directors of ESOP companies on investigations and litigation involving the Department of Labor and ESOP employee disputes.
John’s recent transactions include the sale of Ebby Halliday, Inc. (a family business) in its sale to HomeServices of America (one of the highest profile transactions in Texas), and the sale of Nation Safe Drivers (which was both a family business and an ESOP company) to BDT Capital.
John opened the Dallas office in September 2004, and was the managing partner of the Dallas office from September 2004 to September 2020; and the former leader of the corporate and business transactions practice in Texas. John lectures at local, regional and national conferences and writes extensively on family business and private equity transactions as well as on the proper uses of an ESOP in a family business. Frequent topics include private equity transactions involving the purchase of a family business enterprise, family business liquidity transactions, private equity transactions involving the purchase of an ESOP company, shareholder liquidity and ownership succession; and fiduciary duties of corporate boards of directors of privately held companies, as well as ESOP companies.
John currently is a board member of the Ebby Halliday Foundation, chairs the North Texas Family Firm Institute, and remains active in several professional organizations such as the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants Fort Worth Chapter.
University of Missouri, 1984, LL.M.
Washburn University School of Law, 1982, J.D.
Kansas State University, 1980, B.S.
District of Columbia
US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Dallas, The Best Lawyers in America (2014–2020, 2022, 2023)
Recognized, Texas Super Lawyer, Texas Monthly (2012)
Recognized, Labor and Employee Benefits, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2008
Recognized, Who’s Who Legal: Texas (2008)
Recognized, The Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine (2005 and 2007)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, American Institute of CPAs
Member, Kansas Bar Association
Member, Texas Bar Association
Member, Tarrant County Bar Association
Member, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
Member, Attorney-CPA Association
Member, Dallas Bar Association
Member, National and Southwest Chapter of the ESOP Association