John R. Light

Retired Partner

John Light retired from the partnership in March 1998. Mr. Light has had extensive experience representing issuers and underwriters in corporate finance transactions and as an antitrust and corporate litigator with extensive trial and counseling experience.

From 1998 until July 1, 2003, Mr. Light was executive vice president and general counsel of Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based Fortune 500 energy services holding company whose subsidiaries provide electricity, natural gas, power generation and energy trading services. Mr. Light was in charge of all legal affairs of Sempra Energy and played a key role in the formulation and implementation of the strategic direction of Sempra, serving as a member of the board of directors of all of Sempra' s non-utility subsidiary corporations, which operate the company's unregulated businesses.

Before joining Sempra, Mr. Light resided in Los Angeles where he was a partner in the firm. He joined the firm in 1967 and became a partner in 1975. Mr. Light served the firm for many years as a litigation partner. In the early 1980s he joined the firm's Corporate Department and became a senior M&A and corporate finance partner.

In his career at Latham & Watkins, Mr. Light worked on many significant transactions, including the $4.2 billion leveraged buyout and subsequent restructuring of Safeway, Inc., the $2.0 billion leveraged buyout of Stop & Shop, Inc. and the $6.2 billion acquisition of Great Western Financial by Washington Mutual. As a litigator, Mr. Light represented numerous major corporations, highlighted by his role as lead trial lawyer for Gulf Oil Corporation in major antitrust litigation involving the uranium industry from 1978 to 1981.

Mr. Light holds a law degree and a bachelor's degree in economics, international relations and history from the University of Kansas. At the time of his retirement,  he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rose Hills Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Sports Council and the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games. He was also a member of the 100 Club of Los Angeles and the Chancellor's Club of the University of Kansas.



  • JD, University of Kansas School of Law, 1967
  • BA, The University of Kansas, 1963