John Summers, a founding partner of the firm in 1994, is an accomplished complex commercial litigator with more than 30 years of experience representing clients in the financial services, technology, life science, real estate, and manufacturing sectors.
Chair of the firm’s litigation department, John is nationally recognized in handling difficult cases involving complicated financial disputes as well as legal ethics issues. John litigates a wide range of matters, including ERISA, class actions, complex contract, and partnership and non-compete disputes, and is valued by clients for his sophisticated and hands-on style.
John is a leader in the legal community. He has served since 2009 as East Coast Solicitor to the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, where he counsels judges of the Court of Common Pleas on ethics matters raised by the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct board. He is also active in legal ethics issues, having served as a member and then chair of a Hearing Board of Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, a former Chair of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and former member of the Association’s Professional Guidance Committee. In addition to having served for many years as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania law School, John is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as Legal Counsel to Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller.
He is also deeply involved with his community and has served since 2010 as Board Chair of Reinvestment Fund (RF), a nationally recognized development finance corporation that puts capital and private initiative to work for the public good. RF has more than $800 million in capital under management and has made $1.8B in total investments to date. John also serves on the Boards of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), and Pilot Legis.
His client commitment has earned him admiration and recognition including being named Philadelphia ERISA Litigation Lawyer of the Year (2017) by The Best Lawyers in America, as well as a Best Lawyer in America in Commercial Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America and a Leader in Litigation by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He has also been repeatedly named one of Pennsylvania’s top attorneys in Business Litigation by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine and a Local Litigation Star by Benchmark: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys.
Within the firm he is a mentor for associates, frequently partnering with them to write articles and thought pieces, as well as providing guidance throughout their learning process.
John also directs the firm’s Supreme Court Project, a research project that employs econometric techniques to analyze and predict United States Supreme Court decisions.
He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he served as an Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, with High Honors in Economics, from Wesleyan University in 1980. From 1984 to 1986 he served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.