John Goodgame > Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP > Houston, United States > Lawyer Profile

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
United States
John Goodgame photo

Work Department

Partner; Oil & Gas/Natural Resources


John Goodgame represents clients in strategic and capital-raising transactions, as well as in matters of corporate governance. He advises public and private companies and private equity funds in public and private equity and debt offerings, including initial public equity offerings, and complex joint ventures. Additionally, John counsels public companies, their boards of directors and board committees in strategic matters, including mergers, sales of control and conflict situations, as well as Securities and Exchange Commission compliance.

John has particularly deep experience representing corporate and MLP boards and board committees, advising on various conflict transactions arising in financings, acquisitions and restructuring transactions. He has, for example, advised sponsors and board conflicts committees in more than 70 MLP “dropdown” transactions, as well as in highly complicated MLP conflict transactions, including mergers and buy-in transactions, recapitalizations, and Incentive Distribution Rights (IDR) restructurings. In 2021, among other high-profile transactions, he advised the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of Golar LNG Partners on its $1.9 billion acquisition by New Fortress Energy.

John is the partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Houston office, co-leader of the firm’s corporate practice, and a member of its Management Committee and Partner Compensation Committee.

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Lawyer Rankings

United States > Finance > Capital markets: debt offerings

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP fields a well-rounded DCM practice, principally from its offices in New York, Houston and Dallas. It remains strongly wedded to the energy sector, which provided an impressive series of big-ticket engagements in 2020; though it has become a much more diversified practice over recent years, underpinned by the growth of the New York office. The firm is active in the investment grade and high-yield debt spaces, with a greater flow in the high-yield arena; it has a large number of funds and investor clients, including hedge funds and private equity houses. Much of the team’s activity centered on refinancings during 2020, given greater impetus by the firm’s prominent financial restructuring practice, with further growth in acquisition finance-related transactions leading into 2021. Houston partner John Goodgame is global co-head of the corporate group and has an excellent record in big-ticket energy sector offerings; New York’s Rosa Testani has senior-level expertise in multiple industries; and Dallas-based Garrett DeVries and Seth Molay are also prominent names, the latter especially in the high-yield debt space.

United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > Corporate governance

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP focuses on providing outside legal counsel services to both public and private companies, as well as their management and board of directors; in this space, it counts Verso Corporation, Greenlight Capital Re and Bluestem Brands among its long-standing clients. The team excels in handling issues pertaining to potential breaches of fiduciary duties; its thought leadership initiatives, such as its quarterly Board Leadership Series, also stand out in this space. In addition, New York-based practice head Kerry Berchem has a strong track record of assisting bankrupt and restructured entities with structuring their governance programs. Other key contacts in the group include corporate department co-heads John Goodgame (Houston) and Jeffrey Kochian (New York).

United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP advises corporates and an array of investment funds on public and private M&A, joint ventures, distressed acquisitions, and corporate governance issues including shareholder activism. The firm has a particular strength in the energy space, advising the likes of Apache Corporation and SRC Energy on mergers and overseas investments. It also recorded a major deal in the retail space, with Dallas-based Thomas Yang representing 7-Eleven in its $21bn acquisition of Speedway Stores nationally. The team is led from New York by Jeffrey Kochian, who primarily works with funds clients on M&A and corporate governance matters, while Kerry Berchem advises public and private companies on a range of deals, with particular expertise in distressed acquisitions and tax-driven transactions. Houston’s John Goodgame specializes in energy work, and regularly advises on MLPs in addition to heading up the firm’s securities practice.

United States > Industry focus > Energy transactions: oil and gas

(Leading lawyers)

John GoodgameAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Combining underlying sector knowledge with strong substantive law expertise on the M&A and finance front, in particular, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP provides comprehensive service to public and private companies, as well as sponsors and their portfolio companies, on their transactional and operational activity throughout the value chain. Although new money deals continue to drive a significant proportion of the team’s work, the firm’s overarching creditor-side insolvency offering, which includes particularly strong bondholder ties, has also ensured that it has been able to generate a significant pipeline of restructuring-related work caused in large part due to Covid 19-related demand issues. Corporate partner John Goodgame leads the team from Houston and, in addition to handling upstream M&A work, is also regularly instructed by industry borrowers to assist on their capital markets issuances. David Sweeney has a burgeoning reputation and is appreciated by clients for his versatility throughout the value chain, both on new money deals and restructurings; he is also rated for his knowledge and practical application of operational matters (including joint operating agreements), both domestically and globally. All named practitioners are based in Houston. Christine LaFollette retired from the partnership at the end of 2020, and Michael Byrd retired in June 2021.