John R. LeClaire, Goodwin Procter LLP Partner, Co-Chair, Private Equity

John R. LeClaire

PartnerCo-Chair, Private Equity
John R. LeClaire
+1 617 570 1144

John LeClaire is co-founder and chair of Goodwin's nationally ranked Private Equity group and one of the leading PE/M&A growth company lawyers in the U.S. The Goodwin Private Equity group has served leading private equity firms and growth companies for over 30 years and was recently named U.S. Middle Market M&A Firm of the Year by Merger Market. Mr. LeClaire joined Goodwin in 1982 and has been a partner since 1989.


Mr. LeClaire’s private equity work has included leveraged recapitalizations, buyouts and minority investments in the U.S. and abroad, for leading private equity firms such as Partners Group, Goldman Sachs, Leeds Equity Partners, Nautic Partners, Webster Equity Partners, Tinicum Capital Partners, 1251 Capital, InTandem Capital, Friend Skoler & Co., Fremont Group, Ridgemont Equity Partners, and TA Associates, among others. He also specializes in the representation of growth companies in sectors such as technology and information services, health care and consumer products. Mr. LeClaire’s work in this area focuses on strategic counsel, mergers and acquisitions, growth equity investments and other financing transactions, equity and executive compensation programs for senior executives and going-private and IPO transactions.




Boston University School of Law

(magna cum laude, Law Review Articles Editor)

Artium Baccalaureus1979

Brown University

(magna cum laude)



  • Massachusetts

Recognition & Awards

Mr. LeClaire has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Corporate Law Leveraged Buyouts, Private Equity Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law 2022-2023.

Mr. LeClaire one of the most prominent private equity and growth company lawyers in the U.S. and one of the leading PE/M&A growth company lawyers in the U.S. He is listed in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, US News – Best Lawyers, The Legal 500 United States, Lawdragon 500, Leading Dealmakers in America and Best Lawyers in America. While attending law school, he was the Articles Editor for the Boston University Law Review.


Mr. LeClaire is a frequent writer and speaker in the private equity/emerging companies area. He is regularly quoted and featured in national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, The Daily Deal, Buyouts and Mergers & Acquisitions: The Dealmaker’s Journal. Publications by Mr. LeClaire include:

  • “In Their Own Words With Goodwin Procter’s John LeClaire” in the September 25, 2019 Wall Street Journal
  • “John LeClaire of Goodwin: ‘There is No Business that is Quite as Sticky as Private Equity,’” March 19, 2018 Forbes
  • “2018 Survey: Rollover and Incentive Equity Terms in Middle Market Private Equity,” published by Goodwin
  • Liberty in Law” in the April 2017 edition of the Private Funds Management
  • “Tackling Blockers: Using Passthroughs to Power Your Investment” in the April 26, 2016 edition of Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report
  • “Examining the Blocker” in the April 11, 2016 edition of Privcap
  • “Rise of the Unfunded Escrow” in the March 21, 2016 edition of Buyouts
  • “Q&A: John LeClaire, Co-Founder of Goodwin Procter’s PE Group” in the May 11, 2015 edition of PitchBook Newsletter
  • “The Up-C IPO: A Structure That Keeps on Giving” in the January 27, 2015 edition of Private Markets - Thomson Reuters
  • “Slicing Up the Pie: The Role of Incentive Equity in Winning Deals” in the March 10, 2014 edition of Buyouts
  • “The Wild West of Growth Equity” in the July 29, 2013 edition of Buyouts
  • “Carrots and Sticks: Making Investment Management Deals Work” in the March 29, 2010 edition of Buyouts
  • “The Q-Sale: Ensuring a Liquid Liquidity Event” in the October 5, 2009 edition of Buyouts
  • “Cash Flow: A Case For Taking It” in the April 27, 2009 edition of Buyouts
  • “New Lessons to Avoid Disputes Post-Closing” in the October 20, 2008 edition of Buyouts
  • “Financing Healthy Living” in the July 21, 2008 edition of INSIDER
  • “Scraping By: The Pro-Buyer ‘Materiality Scrape’ Provision Finds a Foothold in Private M&A Negotiations” in the July 2008 edition of Mergers & Acquisitions
  • “Partnering Right, Partnering Smart” in the May 26, 2008 edition of Buyouts
  • “PE Holdings May Be Sitting on Preferred Stock Powder Kegs” in the September 2006 edition of Mergers & Acquisitions: The Dealmaker’s Journal
  • “Schmuck Insurance and the Revival of the Moribund” in the July 10, 2006 edition of Buyouts
  • “WatchMark Ruling Clarifies Pay-To-Play” in the March 2005 edition of Venture Capital Journal
  • “Keeping the Money Safe” in the March 2004 edition of Venture Capital Journal
  • “The Benchmark Case and the Limits of Preferred Stock Protection” in the November 2002 edition of Venture Capital Journal
  • “Freeing the Captives: Current Trends in Private Equity Sponsorship of Divisional Carve-Outs and Spin-Offs” in the March 2002 edition of Venture Capital Journal
  • “Performance Deals – A Crystal Ball in the Capital Structure” in the December 2001 edition of Venture Capital Journal
  • “Going Private: Private Equity Investors Discover Market Orphans” in the November 1999 edition of Venture Capital Journal

Mr. LeClaire has also published a book unrelated to law, A Century of Sutton Sports, a collection of tales, oral histories and musings about small town sports and culture over a 100-year span, and is a Revolutionary War reenactor and general history buff.