John K. McDonald, former Toll Brothers, Inc. General Counsel, Returns to Cozen O’Connor

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

PHILADELPHIA – January 21, 2020 – Cozen O’Connor is delighted to announce that John K. McDonald — who has served as the general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief compliance officer of home builder Toll Brothers, Inc. for the last 10 years — has returned to the firm’s nationally recognized Commercial Litigation practice. An experienced litigator and business lawyer, McDonald brings to the practice nearly three decades of commercial litigation experience and almost 20 years as an executive with a Fortune 500 company. He returns to Cozen O’Connor as a shareholder and will once again reside in the firm’s Philadelphia office.

McDonald began his career in 1990 as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office and, over a five-year career, tried more than 30 jury trials and hundreds of bench trials, as well as arguing cases before the appellate courts.  In 1995, after successfully prosecuting a front-page, high-profile criminal case, he accepted an offer to join Cozen O’Connor, one of the country’s most prominent commercial litigation firms.

In 2002, McDonald left the firm to join Toll Brothers, a firm client and a Fortune 500 company that operates in 20 states and generated $7.1 billion in revenues in 2019. He began as the company’s chief litigation counsel, overseeing a litigation docket of hundreds of complex commercial cases, and then quickly moved up the line, becoming deputy general counsel in 2007 and general counsel and chief compliance officer in 2010. While at Toll Brothers, he had wide-ranging responsibilities, which included corporate/securities, litigation, transactional, acquisitions, regulatory, corporate governance, investor relations, government investigations, risk, and compliance.

“Today’s business litigation is more demanding than ever. The stakes are higher and the cases are much more complex,” said Michael J. Heller, Cozen O’Connor’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As a Fortune 500 General Counsel for the last 10 years, John brings to us the business acumen today’s commercial litigators need to assess major, multi-district corporate disputes and develop a legal strategy that best fits the business needs of the enterprise.”

“I had the good fortune of working with John when he first joined Cozen O’Connor and I am thrilled to have him back at the firm,” added James H. Heller, co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department. “John’s career from prosecutor to civil litigator to C-suite executive of a public company and trusted adviser to the company’s executive management team and board of directors has shaped him into one of the most well-rounded, ‘bet your company’ litigators in the field.”

Away from the office, John serves as a member of the board of directors of Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a Philadelphia-based organization that connects families affected with breast cancer with resources, information, and a community of support.  Over the last twenty years, John has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer causes through an annual fundraising event in memory of his mother.  He also serves on the board of directors of Philadelphia Youth Basketball, a youth development organization that is sponsored by Cozen O’Connor and whose principal mandate is to provide positive mentoring and a strong academic influence for under-resourced girls and boys in Philadelphia in order to develop their potential as students and positive leaders. 

“In my 18 years at Toll Brothers, Cozen O’Connor was my go-to litigation firm and I am excited for the opportunity to be back at what I consider to be the best commercial litigation firm in the business,” McDonald says. “With Cozen O’Connor’s top-shelf litigation and transactional attorneys and resources behind me, I am looking forward to hitting the ground running.”

McDonald earned his B.A. at Haverford College and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

About Cozen O’Connor Commercial Litigation

Cozen O’Connor is one of the country’s most successful commercial litigation firms. With 350 highly respected litigators, including numerous fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, it is a go-to firm for sophisticated clients with complicated and consequential business litigation. Firm lawyers practice before judges across nearly every state, are well-versed in the procedural norms in their courtrooms, and win cases in the most challenging jurisdictions. That commitment to actual trial work benefits its clients both in the form of decisive verdicts and advantageous settlements.

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 825 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 32 offices across two continents. 



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