John E. Stephenson, Jr.

John E. Stephenson, Jr.

Alston & Bird LLP

Recognized since 2003

Atlanta, Georgia

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation

Commercial Litigation

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John E. Stephenson, Jr. is a trial lawyer and represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation, including litigation arising from mergers and acquisitions, financial services transactions, intellectual property rights, and agency and fiduciary relationships. He also has substantial experience in corporate governance and financial fraud investigations. Mr. Stephenson served on the executive committee for the Enron Examination, where his leadership responsibilities included investigating and reporting on the roles of Enron’s financial institutions, officers and directors, and accounting professionals. This investigation resulted in the identification of more than $7 billion in potential claims against these parties and others. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers magazine, Georgia Legal Elite: Georgia’s Most Effective Lawyers for his plaintiffs’ practice, The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators, and Who’s Who Legal: Georgia 2007 for commercial litigation, where he was one of only eight Georgia trial lawyers selected for inclusion.

Mr. Stephenson maintains a national practice and serves as lead counsel in complex litigation on behalf of public and private companies and individuals throughout the country. His international litigation experience includes cases against one of the largest state-owned corporations in the People’s Republic of China, litigation against Saudi Arabian financial institutions, the representation of the CEO of one of the largest financial institutions in Europe, and mass disaster litigation in Nova Scotia, Nairobi, Kenya and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Mr. Stephenson also leads the firm’s plaintiffs’ litigation practice and represents plaintiffs in a wide range of complex business litigation, wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases, including aviation disasters. Since 2000, the plaintiffs’ litigation practice has obtained more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of corporate and individual clients.

Mr. Stephenson is a frequent lecturer on trial advocacy techniques, jury selection, ethics and professionalism, accountant liability, spoliation of evidence, electronic data retrieval, business tort litigation and appellate practice and procedure.


  • One Atlantic Center, Suite 4900
    1201 West Peachtree Street
    Atlanta, GA 30309-3424


  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , J.D., graduated 1984
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA, graduated 1981

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia, State Bar of Georgia


  • American Bar Association - Member
  • American Trial Lawyer’s Association - Member
  • Old Warhorse Lawyer’s Club - Member
  • University of North Carolina School of Law - Board Member
  • University of North Carolina undergraduate college - Alumni Advisor

Alston & Bird LLP
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

240 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

99 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation

Special Focus

  • Complex Litigation


  • In 2005, Mr. Stephenson was honored by the ACLU for his pro bono representation of plaintiffs in civil rights litigation
  • In 2006, he received the Outstanding Service Award from the Stonewall Bar Association for his work on equal rights litigation

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"I served as the court-approved examiner in a very high profile bankruptcy and Johnny Stephenson was my legal counsel - he was outstanding! He was hard working, creative, resourceful, and a joy to work with! He goes the extra mile in everything that he does and is always looking out for the client's best interest. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for top-notch litigation/investigations counsel."

"Commitment. Brilliance. Diplomacy. Tactician. Masterful communicator. Results oriented. Mediator. Fierce determination. Indefatigable guardian of his client's interests, needs, and objectives. These are the words that come to mind when I describe a remarkable working relationship I experienced with Mr. Johnny Stephenson, who at once can function as a lawyer, protector, counselor, colleague, diplomat, and a brilliant strategist in the world of legal affairs. In my experience (and, I am certain, in the experience of others as well), Mr. Stephenson is viewed as a giant in his profession - a litigator who not only can crystallize the essence of a complex case (that is, its legal, psychological, strategic, risk-related, and outcome-oriented objectives) with nanosecond alacrity, but who then can mobilize the human resources and implement the necessary legal proceedings to navigate a difficult case to a just and rapid conclusion. It is as if all the necessary, albeit, elusive and rare ingredients of the "perfect lawyer" had congealed in this one individual, i.e. the ability to "see, read, execute, and finally, conquer" a case, no matter what the challenges may be. In addition, he is able to do so with singular persistence and compassion for the client and their concerns. In an era when success in legal matters requires an understanding of the legal landscape, the players, the facts, the strategy, the risks, and the "reality," Mr. Stephenson has no peer. I can recommend him with unbridled enthusiasm. His talent, integrity, and work ethic are without peer."

- Gideon Bosker (CMEducation Resources, LLC, and Pharmatecture, LLC), Portland, OR

"I have had the pleasure of working with Johnny Stephenson for over seven years. Johnny's skills as a litigator are superlative, as is his ability to work with inside corporate counsel. He is able to quickly grasp the relevant facts of a complicated matter, identify the issues, and work to create an effective and efficient strategy. It rarely takes more than an hour or two for him to respond if a question arises. I recommend him most highly and without qualification."

- Michael Glick (Emdeon Corporation), Elwmood Park, NJ

"Mr. Stephenson is the best lawyer I have ever worked with. He is a phenomenal attorney and a great person. He is incredibly responsive. Johnny is always available on his cell phone or blackberry. This is incredibly important as a client working on a trading desk. By the time a request is made on the desk, the answer is already needed. Johnny's level of experience means that he often already has the answer and if he does not, he assembles a group of experts in record time. Johnny is also a brilliant attorney with a wide range of substantive knowledge. He has a keen intellect, which he applies to every matter. Over the years I have worked with him on a wide range of legal issues, ranging from state specific franchise laws and an IPO to bankruptcy issues. He has a very flexible mind that allows him to absorb a great deal of information in a very short period of time. Johnny's way with people makes him a master negotiator. I can't imagine any juror could resist his charisma and vote against his client. It is a pleasure working with him."

- Lisa Opoku (Goldman, Sachs & Co.), New York, NY

"John defends his client with skill and extreme vigor. He is always responsive, knowledgeable, practical, and efficient. He had the ability to grasp the significant legal issues and facts in a very complex and difficult case and was able to develop an effective strategy to protect his client. His tenacity was really unique."

- Jean Peyrelevade (Leonardo France), Paris,

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