John C. Goodchild, III is an experienced trial lawyer focusing on disputes in bankruptcy cases, civil actions arising from or related to restructuring and financial distress, and multi-jurisdictional matters arising from alleged fraud or misconduct. He represents creditors, investors, fiduciaries, professionals, and institutional trustees in actions relating to insolvency, especially in matters concerning alleged breach of duty. John regularly represents plan sponsors and health and welfare plans in connection with employee benefits matters relating to 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 "Computer Applications in Litigation."
Insolvency and Restructuring Litigation:
Represents, as coordinating counsel, an investment adviser and numerous limited partners in connection with the collapse and liquidation proceedings of Abraaj Holdings and Abraaj Investment Management Limited.
Represents, as lead trial counsel, a group of 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 a coal conglomerate in Eastern Kentucky.
Represented, as lead trial counsel, two bond indenture trustees in two civil actions brought by a class of holders alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of a regional hospital in Philadelphia.
Represented, as lead litigation and trial counsel, two RMBS trustees in connection with the insolvency and insurance rehabilitation proceedings of Ambac Assurance Corporation.
Represents, as lead trial counsel, a supplier of defense-grade semiconductors in a case brought by a Chapter 7 trustee alleging aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the wrongful conduct of the debtor’s principal.
Represented, as lead trial counsel, a nationally known financial advisory firm and two individuals in a case in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the conduct of the Chapter 11 case of a coal producer company in Eastern Kentucky.
Represented, the commercial mortgage holder in state court and bankruptcy court litigation relating to the financing of a major apartment complex and the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the owner.
Represented, as trial counsel, a big four accounting firm in a case brought in Pinellas County, Florida alleging breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the financial collapse of a subprime automobile lender.
Represented an institutional investor, and served as Chair of the Liquidating Committee, in the Cayman Islands insolvency proceeding of the SPhinX group of hedge funds, which collapsed due to fraud related to the Refco brokerage entities.
Employee Benefits in Distressed Situations:
Represents, as lead counsel, multi-employer pension and health benefit funds in connection with the bankruptcy cases of Patriot Coal Company (E.D. Va.), Walter Energy Company (N.D. Ala.), Alpha Natural Resources (E.D. Va.), Arch Coal Company (D. Mo.), and Peabody Energy (D. Mo.). Prosecuted as lead trial counsel, on behalf of a multi-employer pension plan, an ERISA “evade or avoid” withdrawal liability arbitration against a financially distressed operator.
Represented statutorily created retiree health care funds in the Chapter 11 cases of Horizon Natural Resources (E.D. Ky.) and Westmoreland Coal Company (D. Colo. and S.D. Tex.).
Represents a publicly held manufacturing company in connection with its retiree benefit obligations and related litigation, including one pending arbitration and two pending actions in US District Court.
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
Ranked, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Pennsylvania, Chambers USA (2009–2019)
Ranked, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Philadelphia & Surrounds, Chambers USA (2019)
Recommended, Finance - Restructuring (including bankruptcy) - corporate, The Legal 500 US (2015, 2017–2019)
Highly Regarded – State, IFLR1000 United States (2019)