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John Montgomery

Founder of Lex Ultima. Executive Coach in transformation management. Co-Chair of the legal working group behind California’s historic benefit-corporation legislation. International advocate for the benefit corporation. Corporate Lawyer since 1984.

John Montgomery brings three decades of experience as one of California’s preeminent corporate lawyers. Through his extensive career representing in the region of 1,000 startups and two dozen public companies, John noticed a direct correlation between the courageousness and trustworthiness of a leader and the magnitude of success of his or her business.  This realization that leaders who lead from the heart have an evolutionary advantage is something he then explored in his book, ‘Great from the Start: How Conscious Corporations Attract Success.’ 

John’s work as an international advocate for the benefit corporation and the emergent impact economy inspired him to incorporate his firm Lex Ultima as two affiliated benefit entities in 2017. At Lex Ultima, John provides transformation management to boards of directors, senior executives, and stockholders to help them adopt the triple-bottom-line approach to business necessary to become a benefit corporation and leverage its advantages. He also provides transformative executive coaching to senior executives through Lex Ultima and the Center for Creative Leadership, where he is an adjunct executive coach.

John was the co-chair of the legal working group behind California’s historic benefit-corporation legislation, which became law in 2012, and was a California Bar Association magazine lawyer of the year and B Lab MVP and Champion awards winner for this work. 

He also serves on the advisory boards of B Lab Europe, The Purpose of the Corporation, Reporting 3.0, Vista Caballo, and Trimergence to help develop new approaches to capitalism and leadership.

Before starting Lex Ultima in 2017, John co-founded Chrysallis, a behavior change company, in 2010 (acquired by Aduro in 2016) and founded Montgomery & Hansen, a prominent Silicon Valley corporate law firm, in 2003.  He also founded Startworks Ventures, a benefit capital firm that has provided seed capital to new businesses since 2006. 

John’s most recent project is the production of a full-feature documentary film, Awakening a Force for Good, about the global movement of business as a force for good.  

John holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Stanford University and a J.D. from Northwestern College of Law, Lewis & Clark College. He still paints.