John C. Grugan is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Philadelphia office, where he represents clients in government investigations and complex litigation brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and state attorneys general.

In addition, Mr. Grugan has substantial experience working with boards of directors, audit committees and corporate management to direct corporate internal investigations. His experience includes numerous engagements in which he handled corporate investigations and related negotiations with the government, after which the government declined to prosecute or pursue litigation.

Mr. Grugan is often recognized for his work by industry publications, including Chambers USA for Litigation: Securities (Pennsylvania), where he is described as "tenacious in his representation and a strong advocate for his client's position."

In the community, Mr. Grugan is a member of several nonprofit boards and is active with several civic and charitable organizations, including St. Joseph's Preparatory School, for which he is the chair-elect of the board of trustees, and Good360, one of the nation's largest nonprofits. He is a frequent lecturer and author on topics such as government investigations of financial services institutions and protecting corporate interests in internal investigations.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Grugan worked as a litigation partner in the Philadelphia office of a national law firm. Additionally, he was a law clerk to the Honorable James McGirr Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and served as a trial attorney in the DOJ's Honors Program, Civil Division.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of a federal student loan servicer in litigation in which a state attorney general challenged all aspects of the servicer's performance, including its administration of several federal loan forgiveness programs; after a lengthy litigation that received national and congressional attention, the matter was resolved on a no admission, no penalty basis
  • Representation of a publicly traded energy company in an U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation relating to the company's participation in the political process; after a lengthy investigation, the government declined to pursue charges against the company or its executives
  • Representation of a federal student loan servicer challenging the legality of Connecticut and California state licensing requirements; in decisions of first impression in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Ninth Circuit, the federal courts granted summary judgment in the servicer's favor, finding that the state licensing requirements were preempted as applied to federal student loan servicing
  • Representation of a federal student loan servicer in several putative class actions relating to the servicer's administration of a number of federal programs; in decisions of first impression in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Eleventh Circuit, the federal trial courts dismissed all claims upon motions to dismiss
  • Representation of a law firm in a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigation relating to litigation practices; the CFPB terminated the investigation
  • Representation of a health system in an U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation relating to the sufficiency of disclosures to bond holders; after receiving the health system's response to the SEC's Wells Notice, the SEC terminated the investigation
  • Representation of the audit committee of a publicly traded industrial pollution control and air-purification company in an SEC investigation relating to revenue recognition manipulation and misappropriation; the SEC did not take any action against the company
  • Representation of an international shipbuilder with operations in Philadelphia in a lawsuit brought under the federal False Claims Act (FCA); after extensive discovery, the plaintiff/relator agreed to voluntarily dismiss her FCA claims
  • Representation of an Ivy League medical school in FCA litigation relating to National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants; after obtaining partial summary judgment against the relator, the relator dismissed his remaining claim


  • Temple University, Beasley School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Board of Trustees
  • Good360, Board of Directors
  • Franklin Institute, Executive Corporate Board
  • Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd, Past President
  • Temple Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, Temple University, Beasley School of Law
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Litigation: Securities – Pennsylvania, 2021-2022
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star, Securities, White Collar Crime, 2021-2023
  • The Legal 500 USA, Securities Litigation, 2022
  • The 25 Notable Attorneys of Pennsylvania, Attorney Intel, 2023


Speaking Engagements