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John M. Coleman received his B.A. magna cum laude from Haverford College with high honors in political science and economics. At the University of Chicago Law School, which he attended as a Mechem Scholar, he edited the Law Review and was awarded the Beale Prize for legal writing and named a member of Order of the Coif. After clerking for Judge John D. Butzner, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit) and then for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger of the Supreme Court of the United States, he joined the international law firm of Dechert LLP as an associate. He eventually became a partner and chair of the firm’s securities litigation practice group and was a key participant in many of the epic corporate takeover battles of the time. After leaving Dechert, he served as Senior Vice President – Law and Public Affairs for Campbell Soup Company, then Senior Vice President – Law and Government Affairs for the Gillette Company. As chief legal officer of those multibillion-dollar global public companies, he led acquisitions, divestitures, spinoffs, complex debt and equity financings, and successful hostile takeovers. He attended every meeting of the respective companies' boards of directors and engineered a series of notable "firsts" in accountable governance (e.g., prohibiting former executives, as well as current executives other than the CEO, from serving on the board of directors; banning outside directors from selling goods or services to the company; embracing shareholder-sensitive positions in voting the shares of securities owned by the employee pension fund). During his tenure, Campbell's board was named “most admired” by Business Week. Since 2006, he has been the Chief Operating Officer of NCI Consulting LLC, a boutique management consulting firm. He serves on the boards of directors of public and private companies and leads (or has led) audit, compensation, and governance committees as well as special and investigative committees. In 2011, he was the chair of a special committee of independent directors that oversaw a review of strategic alternatives and ultimately the sale of a public company. Bar admissions include New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Supreme Court. His areas of special expertise are antitrust, corporate finance, corporate governance, economic analysis of law, and fiduciary responsibility.
Representative Publications and Lectures focusing on Corporate Governance:
"When Quaker Process Fails," Friends Journal, October 2012, pp. 10-13.
"Effective Use of Special Committees and Special Litigation Committees in Public Company Mergers and Acquisitions," R.R.Donnelly SEC Hot Topics Institute, Philadelphia, September 20, 2012.
"Who Caused the Meltdown?," Remarks Delivered to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, May 10, 2012, published at www.pym.org.
"Governance Case Study: Massey Energy Company," in Robert A.G. Monks and Nell Minow, Corporate Governance (5th ed. 2011).
"Good Governance is Good Business," Directors & Boards (March 2004).
"The New Governance Committee: Embracing Accountability," The Business Lawyer, June 1994.