Phone: (310) 540-2000


John D. Whitcombe joined the firm in 1994 and is one of two managing partners. His experience ranges from first chairing complex business trials to lead counsel in mid-market mergers and acquisitions. Prior to admission to the California bar in 1988, he was the CEO of several private companies and specialized in corporate turnarounds and startups. In addition to his business experience, Mr. Whitcombe has extensive involvement in commercial real estate matters, from acquisition and development to ongoing property management.

Blending his earlier corporate success with legal experience in both litigation and transactional work, Mr. Whitcombe is often able to offer more meaningful advice than the average lawyer or business consultant. This, combined with an MBA from USC, allows for both a common-sense and an institutional approach to business and real estate issues facing the firm’s clients.

Leveraging his legal and business background, Mr. Whitcombe spent ten years as a member of the board of directors of LaCrosse Footwear (Nasdaq: “BOOT”) until its sale in 2012, where he was an Audit Committee member and chaired the Governance Committee. Since 1990, Mr. Whitcombe has also been a board member of a number of private companies, both for and not-for-profit, including Providence Healthcare Systems, Boy Scouts of America, GLS Building Corp. and others.

Mr. Whitcombe is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. A native of Southern California, he is equally at home advising the local surf and paddleboard manufacturer, or acting as west coast counsel for Airgas Corporation (NYSE: “ARG”) in its corporate restructuring.

Selected Significant Matters

Transactional Matters

  • Representation of both buyers and sellers in merger, acquisition and financing transactions. In past several years, lead counsel for closed transactions in excess of $750MM
  • Representation of a number of community and regional banks as general counsel, including advice concerning merger and acquisition, banking law, and credit recovery issues
  • Formation and maintenance of multiple types of entities, including limited partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and joint ventures, and ongoing representation concerning corporate governance and other legal issues facing businesses
  • Consultation with municipal and quasi-municipal agencies concerning development, fundraising, regulatory compliance and enactment of administrative codes and regulations
  • Representation of businesses and individuals in a wide array of transactions, including access to capital, labor and employment, brokerage, consulting, distribution, development and compliance

Litigation Matters

  • Defended and prosecuted numerous matters in state and federal court, as well as in arbitration, on behalf of assorted business clients and individuals
  • Successfully argued before the California Second District Court of Appeal in recent matter involving usurpation of client’s right to trial
  • Representation of NYSE-listed company in disputes ranging from products liability to compliance to supplier issues
  • Representation of prominent scientist concerning competing LLC ownership and intellectual property claims, obtaining full recovery of business and royalty stream
  • Representation of prominent time share developer in assorted litigation, including alleged fraud, employment, and regulatory matters
  • Representation of financial institutions in a mix of litigation matters ranging from labor and employment to credit recovery to borrower fraud

Year Joined Firm

  • 1994

Areas of Practice

  • Corporate, Finance and Real Estate
  • Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1988
  • District of Columbia, 2008
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California


University of LaVerne College of Law, Woodland Hills, California

  • J.D. – 1988

University of Southern California

  • M.B.A. – 1992

California State University, Dominguez Hills, California

University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Honors and Awards

  • AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bars of California, Member
  • State Bars of Washington DC, Member
  • State Bar of California Real Property and Business Sections, Member
  • South Bay Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • California Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Member
  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Member

Ancillary Businesses

  • Lacrosse Footwear, Inc.
  • Providence Healthcare Systems
  • GLS Building Corporation
  • Oarsmen Foundation

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Torrance Office

21515 Hawthorne Boulevard, Suite 450
TorranceCA 90503