Leslie E. John


Tel 215.864.8212
Fax 215.864.8999

Leslie E. John is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Antitrust and Competition Group. Leslie concentrates on antitrust and complex litigation, and she has represented clients—many of them in the pharmaceutical and health care industries—in federal and state courts and before the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. She also advises on antitrust issues in mergers and acquisitions, including securing pre-merger clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and counsels clients on antitrust compliance and risk management.

Leslie is recognized for her antitrust acumen in Chambers USA and is among Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation nationwide. Chambers USA described her as “methodical, very strategic and highly intellectual. She also communicates very effectively.” Leslie has substantial class action experience and was named “Litigator of the Week” by Global Competition Review in July 2015 for securing the decertification of an indirect purchaser class in a pharmaceutical antitrust case. She was honored as a “Top Women in Law” by The Legal Intelligencer in 2016.

Leslie's class action experience includes the defense of antitrust, product liability, securities, and ERISA class actions, and the litigation of complex commercial cases. She has assisted in the design and implementation of an innovative confidential alternate dispute resolution program in which individual personal injury claims were arbitrated. Leslie tried numerous individual claims to verdict in this program, obtaining defense verdicts in the majority of the claims.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a plaintiff pharmaceutical manufacturer in a Lanham Act (unfair competition) claim defeating attempts to dismiss the claims and later securing a settlement for her client on favorable terms..

  • Scored a landmark victory when the court granted summary judgment in favor of a global pharmaceutical company, dismissing claims that the company and a co-defendant filed sham patent cases to extend the period of exclusivity for its antidepressant medication and entered into an alleged reverse payment settlement.

  • Represented a provider of pharmaceutical data and analytics in a monopolization case filed against the world’s largest pharmaceutical data and analytics company, alleging that the defendant engaged in an unlawful scheme to eliminate its only formidable competitor left standing, defeating the efforts of the alleged monopolist to prevent plaintiff from filing a comprehensive amended and supplemental complaint challenging an array of exclusionary conduct, and settling the case on favorable terms.

  • Represented a pharmaceutical company against claims that it unlawfully extended its alleged monopoly by engaging in petitioning activity before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and succeeded through motions to dismiss, a motion for summary judgment, and in class certification proceedings in narrowing the claims of an indirect purchaser class from a nationwide class to four states.

  • Led a group of defendants in obtaining dismissal of the indirect purchaser actions alleging price-fixing and monopolization in the sale of ductile iron pipe fittings and, after indirect purchasers filed amended complaints, securing the dismissal of the only Sherman Act claim and narrowing the state claims.

  • Filed an amicus brief on behalf of the country’s most prominent antitrust economists in the FTC v. Actavis case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Successfully advocated against the adoption of a rule of per se illegality in reverse payment antitrust settlements.

  • Successfully represented a large manufacturer that was injured by an international price-fixing conspiracy of its suppliers, collecting more damages than any other purchaser and, in fact, the entire class combined.

  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in the defense of more than 600 individual claims for personal injury related to a pharmaceutical product; assisted in the design and implementation of an innovative confidential alternate dispute resolution program in which individual personal injury claims are being arbitrated.

  • Represented a biotechnology company before the Federal Trade Commission, convincing the agency to allow a proposed merger.

  • Has provided counsel to an innovator of minerals for pharmaceutical and agricultural uses on business transactions, including licensing and distribution agreements.

  • Secured DOJ approval for an international supplier of aerospace components and systems, to acquire a pump and engine control systems unit of a multinational conglomerate.

  • Provided antitrust counsel to a contact lens and eyewear retailer in its sale to a private equity firm.

  • Counseled on antitrust issues raised by IP licensing and acquisitions.

Professional Activities

Philadelphia Bar Foundation, President, 2019-present; Vice President, 2007-2018; Board of Trustees, 2010-present; Secretary, 2013-2016; Co-Chair, 50th Anniversary Gala

Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, Co-President, 2019-present; Vice President, 2016-2018; Board of Directors, 2011-present

Forum of Executive Women, 2017-present

WOMEN'S WAY (nation's oldest women's funding federation), General Counsel, 2007-present

Ballard Spahr's Diversity and Inclusion Council, Member 

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Legal 500 US, Antitrust - Civil litigation/class action - defense and plaintiff, 2019-2020

Chambers USA, antitrust law (Pennsylvania), 2014-2020

Benchmark Litigation, "Local Litigation Star," Commercial Litigation, Antitrust, Securities, 2011-2021; named one of the "Top 250 Women in Litigation," 2012-2017, 2019

Named to The Legal Intelligencer's "Top Women in Law," 2016

Named Litigator of the Week by Global Competition Review in July 2015

Recipient, Albert S. Dandridge, III Business Law Section Diversity Award, presented by the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 2014


Co-author, "Ninth Circuit Reverses Trial Court’s Finding That Qualcomm Violated Antitrust Laws," Ballard Spahr alert, August 14, 2020

Co-author, "FTC and DOJ Announce Monitoring of Employer Coordination that Disadvantages Workers During COVID-19," Ballard Spahr alert, April 15, 2020

Co-author, "FTC and DOJ Announce Expedited Antitrust Procedure and Guidance for Coronavirus Public Health Efforts," Ballard Spahr alert, March 25, 2020

Co-author, "DOJ Says It Will Be on the Lookout for Antitrust Violations During COVID-19 Outbreak," Ballard Spahr alert, March 11, 2020

Co-author, "$5 Million Penalty Underscores Importance of Antitrust Compliance in M&A Transactions," Ballard Spahr alert, June 11, 2019

Co-author, "Employers, Beware: DOJ, FTC Mean Business With Enhanced Antitrust Enforcement Efforts," Ballard Spahr alert, October 30, 2018

Co-author, "Does Your Antitrust Compliance Policy Cover All It Should Under HSR?" Ballard Spahr alert, May 24, 2018

Co-author, "FTC Scores Another Victory in FTC v. Advocate Health Care Network," Ballard Spahr alert, November 1, 2016

Co-author, "FTC and DOJ Release Antitrust Guidance for HR Professionals," Ballard Spahr alert, October 21, 2016

Co-author, "FTC Wins Key Appellate Victory in FTC v. Penn State Hershey Medical Center," Ballard Spahr alert, September 27, 2016

Co-author, "FTC's Hospital Merger Enforcement Hangs in the Balance," Law360, June 16, 2016

Co-author, "FTC Finally Loses a Hospital Merger Challenge … Now What?" Ballard Spahr alert, May 11, 2016

Co-author, "Court Rules NCAA Can Block Colleges from Paying Student-Athletes, But Allows Scholarships for 'Full Cost of Attendance'," Ballard Spahr alert, September 30, 2015

Co-author, "CA Supreme Court Issues First Decision Extending FTC v. Actavis to State Antitrust Litigation," Ballard Spahr alert, May 7, 2015

Co-author, "Speed of Pharmaceutical Innovation at Stake in N.Y. Antitrust Lawsuit," Ballard Spahr alert, January 21, 2015 

Co-author, "2 Assumptions Shape 3rd Circ. Reverse Payment Case," Law360, November 20, 2014

Co-author, "'Reverse Payment' Realities: Challenging Pervasive Assumptions Underlying Calls for Broad Antitrust Scrutiny of Patent Infringement Settlements," Bloomberg BNA Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report, November 14, 2014

Co-author, "The Corporate Antitrust Policy—Privileged or Not?" Law360, November 7, 2014

Co-author, "Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Did Not Protect Antitrust Policy Disclosure," Ballard Spahr alert, October 14, 2014

Co-author, "4 Trends in FTC Antitrust Regulation and Enforcement," Law360, August 25, 2014

Co-author, "FTC and DOJ Shine the Spotlight on Conditional Pricing Practices," Ballard Spahr alert, June 25, 2014

Co-author, "Court Endorses FTC Authority To Require Special Reporting for Pharmaceutical Licenses," Ballard Spahr alert, June 4, 2014

Co-author, "HSR Act Allows Pharmaceutical Licensing Transactions To Be Subject to Unique Reporting Requirements, FTC Tells Court," Ballard Spahr alert, March 13, 2014

Co-author, "'The Past Is Never Dead': FTC Requires Divestiture of Acquisition Five Years After Deal Closed," Ballard Spahr alert, December 26, 2013

Co-author, "FTC Issues Premerger Notification Review Changes for Pharmaceutical Patent License Transfers," Ballard Spahr alert, November 7, 2013

Co-author, "Little Guidance for Lower Courts in FTC v. Actavis," Today's General Counsel, August/September 2013

Co-author, "Supreme Court Chooses Middle Ground in Assessing Reverse Payment Settlements," Ballard Spahr alert, June 17, 2013

Co-author, "Supreme Court Requires Proof at Certification Stage that Damages Can Be Measured on Class-Wide Basis," Ballard Spahr alert, March 29, 2013 

Co-author, "Supreme Court Hands FTC Victory on State Action Immunity," Ballard Spahr alert, February 21, 2013

"ZF Meritor, LLC v. Eaton Corporation Case Summary," The Price Point, Newsletter of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law Pricing Conduct Committee, Fall 2012

Co-author, "Price-Cost Test Does Not Apply in Exclusive Dealing Cases Where Pricing Is Not the Exclusionary Tool, Third Circuit Holds, While Circumscribing Prior Holding in LePage's," Ballard Spahr alert, October 3, 2012

Co-author, "Signaling Intention To Pursue Monetary Remedies in Competition Cases, FTC Withdraws Policy Statement," Ballard Spahr alert, August 2, 2012

Co-author, "DOJ and FTC Announce Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations," Ballard Spahr alert, November 1, 2011

Co-author, "Buyer (and Seller) Beware: Changes to Hart-Scott-Rodino Notification Requirements Critical to M&As," Ballard Spahr alert, August 16, 2011

Co-author, "DOJ and FTC Issue New Guidelines for Review of Mergers and Acquisitions," Ballard Spahr alert, August 20, 2010

Co-author, "Justice Department Announcement of $12 Million Settlement Signals Renewed Antitrust Scrutiny on Energy Markets," Ballard Spahr alert, February 23, 2010

Co-author, "Unjust Enrichment: Unjust, Indeed," Law360, December 8, 2008

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Antitrust and the New Administration: Insights Into Enforcement and Policy, and What Companies Should Do Now to Prepare," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 3, 2020

Speaker, "Antitrust in the Time of COVID-19: Pricing Issues and Dealing With Competitors," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 16, 2020

Speaker, "Antitrust in Today's Political Environment," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 26, 2020

Speaker, "The Trouble With Trebles," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, October 16, 2018

Speaker, Hot Topics in NY Antitrust: Class Certification and Fraud-Based Antitrust Investigations," New York City Bar's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Committee, April 30, 2018 

Speaker, "Post-Lamictal, Loestrin & Nexium: What Violates Section One Reverse Payment Law, and What Does Not?" HarrisMartin's Pharmaceutical Antitrust Litigation Conference: Generic Drugs & Emerging Price-Fixing cases, March 3, 2017

Speaker, "Everyday Antitrust Issues: You Don’t Know What You Don't Know," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, October 12, 2017

Panelist, "Recent Issues in Reverse Payment Litigation," Health Care and Pharmaceuticals Committee of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law, September 14, 2017

Panelist, "FTC and DOJ Issue Antitrust Guidance to HR Professionals: What You Need to Know," Ballard Spahr webinar, November 11, 2016 

Panelist, "Let’s Make A Deal – Public and Private Antitrust Challenges to Health Care Combinations," Ballard Spahr Health Care Practice Group webinar, May 10, 2016

Panelist, "Where are we on Class Certification? Examples from Health Care and Pharmaceutical Cases," ABA Section of Antitrust Law, March 15, 2016 

Panelist, "Back to the Future: A CLE Focused on Antitrust Basics, the Evolution of Antitrust Law, and Ethical Pitfalls," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, November 16, 2015 

Panelist, "The New Antitrust Paradigm: Increased Enforcement and Opportunity," DELVACCA Health Biotech & Pharma CLE Institute, King of Prussia, Pa., June 5, 2014

"Antitrust Challenges to Patent Settlements after FTC v. Actavis," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 25, 2013

Panelist, "FDA Citizen Petitions and Noerr Immunity: Policy Questions and Litigation Tactics to Consider," American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, Exemptions & Immunities and Health Care & Pharmaceuticals Committees program, November 5, 2012

"Antitrust Briefing – A Look at Current Litigation and Enforcement Trends," Ballard Spahr CLE, Philadelphia, July 18, 2012

Panelist, "With or Without Merit, Class Certification Requires Commonality," American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, 59th Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C., March 30, 2011

Panelist, "New Mood in Antitrust," Ballard Spahr CLE for Free, June 16, 2009

"Antitrust and Intellectual Property: Patents, Pitfalls and Potential Profits," 2007

"Successful Joint Venturing: Avoiding Antitrust Issues," executive briefing on "Current Trends: Successful Joint Venturing with For-Profit and Nonprofit Entities," Fall 2003

"Record Retention Policies, Related Issues, and Ethical Considerations," Ballard Spahr Women's Marketing Group

Panelist, "Defense Symposium for In-House Counsel: Avoiding Litigation Disasters," DuPont Primary Law Firm Network

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (J.D. 1987)
Associate Editor, California Law Review
Member, Moot Court Board

University of California, Berkeley (A.B., summa cum laude, 1984)



U.S. Supreme Court