James Petkun

General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer

About James

James A. Petkun is the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of The START Center for Cancer Research. Petkun serves on the company’s executive team and oversees all legal matters, including corporate governance, commercial transactions, business development, healthcare compliance, litigation, data-privacy, and gov’t affairs. 

Prior to joining START, Petkun was Head of Legal Affairs at Sun Pharma (nse: sunpharma), a $44B multinational pharmaceutical company with $5B+ in annual revenue, 38,000+ employees, 40+ manufacturing facilities, and product sales in over 100 countries. At Sun, Petkun was responsible for advising the company, its executive and senior leadership, and its global subsidiaries across the full set of legal functions. Petkun joined Sun from private law firms where, as a partner in the Philadelphia offices of Klehr Harrison LLP, and as counsel at Reed Smith LLP, he represented companies, organizations, and boards of directors/board committees in complex legal disputes and regulatory enforcement actions, government investigations and related litigation, and matters involving healthcare compliance and corporate governance.

Earlier in his career, Petkun served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. During his appointment as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Petkun investigated and prosecuted hundreds of matters involving complex financial crimes, corporate fraud, cybercrimes, and international business crimes. He tried over 60 trials to verdict with the DOJ, including over 25 jury trials, and briefed over a dozen appeals, arguing five – two before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and three before the D.C. Court of Appeals. In recognition of his trial and investigative work, Petkun was nominated by the DOJ for a Director’s Award, received formal commendation from the FBI Director, and twice received DOJ Special Achievement Awards. Petkun began his legal career as an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, prior to serving as a law clerk to the Hon. Michael M. Baylson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.