John Levitske
Senior Managing Director

Business Valuation & Forensic Accounting Expert Witness, Arbitrator, & Advisor

John Levitske provides business valuation, forensic accounting, and dispute resolution services in complex commercial situations. He testifies as an independent expert witness in disputes, both domestic litigation and international arbitration, regarding issues of valuation, finance, damages, or accounting. He also acts as a neutral expert determiner or neutral arbitrator and advises clients in mediations and negotiations. He is frequently consulted regarding business disputes, shareholder disputes, and M&A transaction disputes. John is a Senior Managing Director in Ankura’s litigation, arbitration, & disputes practice, based in Chicago.

  • Experience

    He has over 30 years of experience, with nearly 25 years of Big Four public accounting and international consulting firm experience. His expert work includes jury and bench trials, mediations, and arbitrations (e.g., LCAI, ICC, SCC, AAA, JAMS, FINRA, and ad hoc).

    He is co-author of the “Managing Post-Merger & Acquisition Purchase Price Disputes” chapter in the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Alternative Dispute Resolution Handbook for Business Lawyers and the “Internal Corporate Investigations” chapter in the ABA’s Guide for In-House Counsel. In addition, he is national chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee of the Business Law Section of the ABA and a past national president of the Forensic Expert Witness Association.

    John has lectured on valuation, financial analysis, and forensic accounting topics to various professional groups, including the ABA, American Society of Appraisers, Association of Insolvency & Reorganization Advisors, Chicago Bar Association, and DailyDAC-Financial Poise. Also, he served as an accounting, finance, and auditing adjunct professor at both the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University, and as a national exam question writer for both the Uniform CPA Exam and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Accredited in Business Valuation Exam.

    Examples of John’s professional experience include:

    • Forensic financial, GAAP accounting, and business valuation analyses regarding assertions by a landlord government agency pertaining to a transaction by a subsidiary, of a public industrial packaging company, to divest one of its subsidiary oil products companies.
    • Appraised the fair market value of two closely-held, E-liquid vapor for E-cigarettes companies to provide an independent valuation of the fair market value, on a proportionate level of value basis, of the subject shares of capital stock in each entity.
    • Appraised the reorganization fair market value of the enterprise of a distressed public oil and gas company planning to exit bankruptcy as a private company.
    • Evaluated seller’s assertions that “but for” undetected embezzlements, its specialty food products company would have been profitable, and determined whether the actual selling price of the capital stock of the private company to a buyer was below fair market value.
    • Quantified disgorgement damages regarding the value of equity interests in a new securities trading firm received by a former executive of another company who took trade secrets from his former employer to the new company.
    • Investigated whether the target storage tank leasing company’s representation of its largest customer was false as the time of sale of the company, and whether the termination of the business relationship impacted the value of the business. Quantified benefit-of-the-bargain business valuation damages.
    • Quantified benefit-of-the-bargain valuation damages for an acquiring public company that had asserted that the financial statements of the target, a privately-held polymer chemicals manufacturing company, were misrepresented.
    • Appraised the statutory fair value and generally accepted fair market value, respectively, of the stock owned by a dissenting shareholder in a commercial real estate developer and properties portfolio company and evaluated the applicability of enterprise-level private company discount and shareholder discounts for minority position and lack of marketability.
    • Evaluated the assertion by a plaintiff owner that failure of the defendant customer to pay in full for metals product purchased from the commodity trading firm caused the destruction of the value of the entire trading business.
    • Quantified lost profits damages for breach of contract to purchase a required number of products from a high-technology electronic component supplier pursuant to a “take or pay” agreement.
    • Investigated alleged alter-ego, unity of interest, and lack of corporate separateness assertions involving a parent company, intermediate holding company, affiliates, and an acquired subsidiary of an oil company. Analyzed retrospective and current solvency and examined the flows and sources of funds between entities, whether corporate formalities were observed, preference over other creditors, whether intercompany transactions were at arm’s length, and the relationship of these factors to the plaintiff’s asserted economic damages.
    • Served as neutral arbitrator, jointly-retained by buyer and seller pursuant to a US bankruptcy court order, to appraise the fair market value of the business enterprise of a statewide off-track betting services and operations company.
    • Served as neutral arbitrator, jointly-retained by buyer and seller ancillary to a civil litigation court case, to quantify the earn-out contingent additional purchase price amount pursuant to the agreement to acquire a national parking garage company.

  • News & events
    • Forensic Expert Witness Association, Webinar Moderator: “Trial as Drama and Theatre in the Courtroom: What Expert Witnesses Should Know, from the Trial Attorney’s Perspective,” 6/14/2018
    • National Spring 2018 Meeting of the American Bar Association Business Law Section, 4/13/2018, Moderator: “Mediating eDiscovery Issues in Post-Merger & Acquisition and Distressed Company Disputes,” Orlando, FL
    • Daily DAC/Financial Poise Webinar Panel: “Complex Financial Litigation: Nuts & Bolts of Lost Profit Cases,” 4/10/2018
    • Daily DAC/Financial Poise Webinar, 3/6/2018, Panel: “Complex Financial Litigation: Common Issues and Strategies in Business Breakups”
    • John Levitske Joins Ankura as Senior Managing Director, Ankura News, 12/12/2017
  • Insights & innovation
  • In the community

    • Fellows of the American Bar Association