John-Paul Motley


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John-Paul Motley is Chair of the Firm’s Capital Markets Practice and previously served on the Firm’s Policy Committee and as the Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office. John-Paul’s practice focuses on debt and equity capital markets transactions, ranging from initial public offerings and secondary offerings to high-yield, convertible and investment grade debt issuances. John-Paul also advises boards of public and private companies on corporate governance matters. In addition, John-Paul advises public companies with securities law compliance, disclosure issues, and corporate governance matters. John-Paul’s issuer clients include Air Lease Corporation, American Honda Finance Corporation, Aviation Capital Group LLC, Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, Glaukos Corporation, Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc., Malibu Boats, Inc., Ocwen Financial Corp., Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc., Semtech Corporation, Spyglass Media Group, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Inc., Verso Corporation, Willdan Group, Inc., and Yeti Holdings, Inc.

John-Paul is recognized as a leading capital markets lawyer by Chambers USA, Legal 500, and the International Financial Law Review.

Honors & Awards

  • Highly regarded by IFLR1000 in Capital Markets: Debt and Equity (2018-2021), Real Estate, Technology & Telecommunications, and Transport (2019-2021) and a "Leading Lawyer" in Capital Markets: Debt and Equity (2017)
  • Ranked by Chambers Global in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: Western United States (2020 & 2021)
  • Ranked by Chambers USA in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (2015-2021) and Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: Western United States (2021)
  • Named a Southern California “Rising Star” in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. and published in Los Angeles magazine and the Southern California edition of Super Lawyers (2005-2013)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 US (2010-2021) 
  • Recognized by International Financial Law Review (2012-2019)


Bar Admissions

  • California


  • Vanderbilt University, J.D., 1999: Order of the Coif; Special Projects Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review
  • Vanderbilt University, M.B.A., 1999: Beta Gamma Sigma
  • University of Memphis, B.B.A., 1995: summa cum laude

Professional Activities

Speaking Engagements

  • “Corporate Governance - A New Era Evolving” (2019)


  • Board of Advisors, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Board of Directors, Phoenix Houses of California, Inc.
  • Former Managing Partner, Los Angeles Office of O’Melveny & Myers
  • Representing issuers in a number of public equity and debt offerings, including offerings in the airline, semiconductor, entertainment, retail, recreational vehicle, healthcare, biotechnology, real estate development, and software development industries.
  • Representing underwriters in a number of equity offerings, including offerings in the entertainment, internet, engineering, and office products industries.
  • Representing issuers and underwriters in high yield offerings, including offerings in the broadcasting, airline, mortgage, semiconductor and electronic infrastructure services industries.
  • Representing companies in venture capital and other private placements, including offerings for a technical professional services company, an electronic gaming company and other Internet and technology companies.

Press Releases

Alerts and Publications

SEC Adopts Amendments to MD&A and Financial Disclosures

December 1, 2020

ISS Releases Benchmark Policy Updates for 2021

November 23, 2020

SEC Adopts Changes to Harmonize Private Offering Exemptions

November 19, 2020

SEC Amends “Accredited Investor” and “Qualified Institutional Buyer” Definitions under the Securities Act

September 8, 2020

California Law Mandating Representation of “Underrepresented Communities” on Public Company Boards Passes California’s State Legislature

September 3, 2020

SEC Adopts Changes to Modernize Certain Disclosures Under Regulation S-K

September 2, 2020

SEC Adopts Amendments to Proxy Rules Relating to Proxy Voting Advice

August 5, 2020

SEC Adopts Amendments Related to Financial Disclosures for Acquisitions and Dispositions

June 1, 2020

SEC Adopts Amendments to Accelerated Filer and Large Accelerated Filer Definitions

April 17, 2020

NYSE Temporarily Waives Certain Shareholder Approval Requirements in Response to COVID-19

April 9, 2020

SEC Proposes Changes to Harmonize Private Offering Exemptions

March 30, 2020

SEC Extends Filing Relief and Provides Disclosure Guidance in Response to COVID-19

March 25, 2020

SEC Amends Financial Disclosure Requirements for Registered Debt Offerings

March 17, 2020

SEC Proposes Amendments to MD&A and Financial Disclosures and Issues MD&A Interpretive Guidance

February 13, 2020

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