John C. Grugan

Tel 215.864.8226
Fax 215.864.8999

John C. Grugan represents clients in government investigations and complex litigation brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and state attorneys general. In addition, John has substantial experience working with boards of directors, audit committees, and corporate management to direct corporate internal investigations. John’s experience includes numerous engagements in which he handled corporate investigations and related negotiations with the government, after which the government declined to prosecute or pursue litigation.

John is a frequent lecturer and author on topics such as government investigations of financial services institutions and protecting corporate interests in internal investigations. He is listed annually in Benchmark Litigation as a "future star" in litigation and a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics and Philadelphia magazines. In the community, he is active with several Philadelphia-area civic and charitable organizations.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, John was a law clerk to the Hon. James McGirr Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He also served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Honor Program, Civil Division.

His notable recent representations include:

  • Representation of a federal student loan servicer challenging the legality of state licensing requirements. In a decision of first impression in the Second Circuit, the federal court granted summary judgment in the servicer’s favor, finding the state licensing requirements were preempted as applied to federal student loan servicing.
  • Representation of a publicly-traded energy company in a DOJ investigation relating to the company’s participation in the political process. After a lengthy investigation, the government declined to pursue charges against the company or its executives.
  • Representation of a federal student loan servicer in several putative class actions relating to the servicer’s administration of a number of federal programs. In decisions of first impression in the Ninth and Eleventh circuits, the federal trial courts dismissed all claims upon motions to dismiss.
  • Representation of a law firm in a CFPB investigation relating to litigation practices. The CFPB terminated the investigation.
  • Representation of a health system in an SEC investigation relating to the sufficiency of disclosures to bond holders. After receiving the health system's response to the SEC's Wells Notice, the SEC terminated the investigation.
  • Representation of the audit committee of a publicly traded industrial pollution control and air-purification company in an SEC investigation relating to revenue recognition manipulation and misappropriation. The SEC did not take any action against the company.
  • Representation of an international ship builder with operations in Philadelphia in a lawsuit brought under the federal False Claims Act. After extensive discovery, the plaintiff/relator agreed to voluntarily dismiss her False Claims Act claims.
  • Representation of an Ivy League medical school in False Claims Act litigation relating to National Institutes of Health grants. After obtaining partial summary judgment against the relator, the relator dismissed his remaining claim.

Judicial Clerkship

Hon. James McGirr Kelly, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Board Memberships

Member, Board of Trustees of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School

Member, Good360 Board of Directors

Member, Franklin Institute Executive Corporate Board

Past President, Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd

Recognition and Accomplishments

Benchmark Litigation, "Local Litigation Star," Securities, White collar crime, 2021

Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1998)
Editor-in-Chief, Temple Law Review

University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1992)

New Jersey


U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court