P: (310) 281-6334
F: (310) 859-2325

John Shenk is a Partner in the Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Department.

John focuses on what he likes to call “business divorce.”

When owners of a company or parties to a transaction decide to go their own way, whether they be partners, shareholders in a closely held corporation, members of an LLC, or joint venturers, they rarely agree on how to split the pie. John helps his clients to understand their rights and to assert them effectively. In some instances, this requires diplomatic negotiation and in others it may demand bare-knuckled litigation, but in all cases it is a strategic process that must be carefully navigated.

In handling such matters, John is asked to tap into his experience with partnership and shareholder disputes, shareholder derivative lawsuits, real estate litigation, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims, unfair competition and trade secret misappropriation, employment matters, insurance coverage, federal and state court litigation, and bankruptcy and insolvency matters.


Representative Matters

  • Defense of a real estate development partnership against the claims of a former business partner to rights in an unrelated transaction through all-out litigation to retain transactional value for investors
  • Negotiation of the terms for quickly dissolving a law partnership on behalf of a partner to allow him to transition from a two-person firm to a more lucrative opportunity without losing the value he had created in his original firm or breaching any duties to his existing partner and clients
  • Enforcement of contract rights of global electronics brand against international supply chain partners to obtain improved bargaining position for operations on a going forward basis
  • Defending a vendor of a large parcel delivery company against claims of wrongful disclosure of confidential corporate information and trade secrets, resulting in complete dismissal of the lawsuit and resolution of indemnity claims
  • Obtaining higher purchase price offers for part-owners of undeveloped land through defense of lawsuit for fraud by developer that sued multi-family ownership group, entailing layered negotiation between families and then with developer
  • Resolving litigation against seller of commercial property by buyer alleging incomplete disclosure of environmental issues and allowing sale to close on time at terms favorable to seller
  • Assertion of partnership rights pursuant to an oral partnership agreement of start-up beauty supply company against attempt by partner to squeeze the client out of her profits interest and other partnership rights
  • Strategic advice to option-holding employee in departure from current employment to start entrepreneurial venture without losing upside potential in existing company or exposing himself to claims of liability by that employer
  • Resolving potential dispute prior to litigation among shareholders of a closely held corporation through exploration of devices for funding buy-out of shares of retiring shareholders to reach mutually acceptable agreement that preserved both shareholder and company value
  • Assertion of clients’ rights in bankruptcy and receivership matters to obtain full recovery of rights as creditors and/or equity-holders.



  • J.D., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • M.B.A., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • B.A., Stanford University, Stanford, CA


  • Spanish
  • Portuguese

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • US Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court Central District of California
  • US District Court Southern District of California
  • US District Court Northern District of California
  • US District Court Eastern District of California