John K. Wells

John K. Wells


John Wells focuses his practice in the areas of complex commercial litigation, securities litigation and regulatory matters. He frequently represents financial services clients, including broker-dealers, investment advisors, banks and private equity funds, in matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, U.S. Department of Justice and state regulatory authorities, as well as in state and federal courts and arbitration forums across the country. John has broad experience in a wide variety of litigation matters, including contract disputes, business torts, employment matters, restrictive covenants, securities fraud and securities class actions, multi-district litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes, products liability, wrongful death and real estate litigation. John also manages corporate internal investigations across multiple jurisdictions and industries.


  • Regulatory defense
  • Internal investigations
  • Complex civil litigation
  • Securities litigation and arbitration
  • Employment litigation
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  • Represented financial services client in defense of regulatory enforcement action concerning advertising practices.
  • Represented financial services client in defense of $13 million customer-initiated sales practice complaint case in FINRA arbitration.°
  • Obtained directed verdict for financial services client in FINRA arbitration in defense of $700,000 customer-initiated sales practice case.°
  • Obtained $900,000 award in FINRA arbitration on behalf of financial services client in a breach of contract action against former employee.°
  • Obtained judicial confirmation in federal district court and appellate court of an arbitration award for investment adviser client, after having initially obtained $350,000 award for breach of contract on behalf of client in FINRA arbitration.°
  • Represented independent broker-dealer client in simultaneous regulatory investigations initiated by the SEC, FINRA and the Massachusetts Securities Division concerning the failure to supervise a former employee who was arrested for theft, resulting in no action by any regulator against the client.°
  • Represented financial services client in defense of an $18 million dispute concerning the suitability of investment and insurance products and advice.°
  • Represented greeting card company in federal court action in Illinois against former card designer for improperly "shopping" proprietary design concept to a competitor.°
  • Represented athletic footwear manufacturer against a former high-level sales employee who took proprietary design technology to a competitor.°
  • Argued successful appeal before the Supreme Court of Georgia in a case in which a subcontractor sought, unsuccessfully, to impose an equitable lien on a construction project. Obtained summary judgment for the client at the trial court level and affirmation of that judgment on appeal.°
  • Served as lead trial counsel in the successful defense of a $500,000 breach of contract action in federal district court and Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.°
  • Obtained summary judgment, followed by successful outcome on appeal, for school district in defense of an action brought by a private contractor seeking an injunction and a declaration that the school system’s driver education program was anti-competitive and violated state law.°
  • Represented major home improvement retailer in defense of premises liability actions brought by customers in state and federal courts.°
  • Served as lead trial counsel for the defense in a week-long, $3 million breach of contract jury trial in federal district court.°
  • Led internal investigation for public company concerning potential violations of anti-corruption laws of multiple international jurisdictions relating to the client’s relationships with Chinese suppliers.
  • Represented financial services client with regard to a variety of sensitive matters which arose after an employee was arrested for and convicted of fraud, including defending multiple regulatory investigations, cooperating with the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in multiple criminal investigations, conducting an internal review with regard to possible failure by management to adequately supervise the employee, and providing advice and counsel with regard to media relations and reputational risk concerns.
  • Led internal investigation for financial services client concerning the conduct of a team of financial advisors in Southern California who brought more than 240GB of proprietary and confidential information from a competitor and uploaded it to the client’s computer server.
  • Led internal investigation for financial services client concerning the circumstances of the deterioration of a $100 million customer relationship which led to litigation and the loss of the relationship.
  • Led dozens of internal reviews and on-site investigations for financial services clients at offices across the country relating to allegations of violations by employees of company policies and securities laws.

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Wells prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Banking & Finance - Litigation, 2017


  • J.D., Georgia State University College of Law
  • B.A., University of Tennessee
  • Massachusetts
  • Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia