Education & Clerkship

  • J.D., University of Texas School of Law (1994)
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Louisiana State University (1990)


John Kinchen is the rare trial lawyer who skillfully navigates between complex commercial litigation and high-stakes white-collar criminal matters.  John has developed a national trial practice in both arenas and in a variety of industries, including energy, financial services, health care, real estate, and telecommunications. 

While John has a strong record of delivering successful results in the courtroom, his most rewarding victories are the quiet but positive resolutions that keep his clients far from any public scrutiny. 

John has particular expertise in defending clients against allegations of corporate misconduct, securities fraud, health care fraud, and environmental crimes; conducting internal investigations related to such allegations; and defending and prosecuting complex commercial claims in both federal and state courts.

John sharpened his trial skills as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas, where he successfully prosecuted white collar crime and public corruption.  During his tenure as a prosecutor, John successfully prosecuted the District’s first ever RICO charges in a public corruption case.  After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for private practice, John was appointed by the Department of Justice as a special prosecutor in the high-profile prosecution of a transportation company charged with crimes related to a deadly bus fire during Hurricane Rita. 

In the aftermath of the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon looked to John for guidance with both the DOJ’s high-profile two-year criminal investigation and the ensuing multi-district civil and administrative litigation.  With John’s assistance, the DOJ investigation ended with the company avoiding all felony charges.  On the civil front, John was a trial lead for Transocean during the three-month federal multi-district litigation trial, where the company was cleared of any gross negligence finding, thereby avoiding exposure to significant fines and penalties.  John also assisted the company in successfully navigating numerous administrative investigations and proceedings before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Environmental Protection Agency and Chemical Safety Board.

John attended Louisiana State University and the University of Texas School of Law.  He is licensed to practice in all federal and state forums in Texas.

Representative Matters

Commercial Litigation

  • Successfully defended owner/operator of drilling rig as trial lead during three-month federal multi-district litigation trial related to the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of finance executive accused of fraud by multi-national corporation
  • Negotiated an eight-figure settlement for local businessman prior to verdict after four-week trial involving breach of asset purchase agreement
  • Successfully defended multi-national corporation in administrative investigations and proceedings before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Environmental Protection Agency and Chemical Safety Board
  • Negotiated seven-figure confidential settlement on behalf of shareholders related to breach of fiduciary duty claims against public company and its executives
  • Negotiated favorable settlements for multiple former executives of multi-national energy company, resolving their claims of fraud and breach of employment agreement
  • Obtained significant arbitration award against energy company in complex valuation dispute
  • Obtained arbitration verdict and attorney fees in favor of multi-national law firm in commercial litigation matter
  • Defended advisor in FINRA investigation regarding advisor’s alleged securities violations

White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations

  • Successfully defended multi-national energy corporation against alleged violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • Successfully defended Transocean in a two-year criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) related to the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (Transocean pleaded to a single misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act)
  • Obtained dismissal of all felony counts in DOJ prosecution of prominent Las Vegas sports bettor
  • Represented businessman accused of election fraud in two-month federal jury trial (14 felony counts ultimately reduced to a single misdemeanor)
  • Managed internal investigations on behalf of multiple Fortune 10 companies
  • Successfully defended CEO of multi-national corporation against alleged violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Led numerous internal investigations of alleged corporate malfeasance at Enron
  • Successfully avoided criminal charges for international businessman accused of FCPA violations related to DOJ investigation into bribery at PDVSA
  • Successfully avoided criminal charges for executive of prominent food manufacturer accused of multiple violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
  • Successfully avoided criminal charges against owner of refinery in DOJ investigation of environmental crimes
  • Successfully avoided criminal charges against high-level executive in securities fraud investigation that resulted in convictions against other executives
  • Successfully defended executive of national healthcare provider in SEC criminal investigation and related shareholder lawsuit
  • Successfully defended high-wealth taxpayer in a multi-million-dollar federal tax fraud investigation


  • American Bar Association
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