Attorney John Barwell Business Lawyer Phoenix


Former U.S. Marine John Barwell concentrates his practice litigating insurance coverage disputes, helping small and large companies negotiate complicated insurance claims to recover their insured losses. He also represents both plaintiffs and defendants in breach of contract actions, and in other business, civil and commercial litigation matters.

Before joining FR Law Group, John spent 8 years as a trial attorney and partner at a national AM Law 100 law firm, where he gained notable experience defending several personal injury lawsuits, including catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of an international vehicle rental company. He also prosecuted several breach of contract actions on behalf of a prominent Arizona country club.

During his 15 years in the Marines, John served early on as an infantry rifleman, and later as a combat journalist and public relations practitioner. His service included a combat tour protecting the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia. In law school, Mr. Barwell was active assisting military veterans by spearheading an initiative culminating in Tucson’s first Veteran’s Court, which is designed to assist veterans transitioning to civilian life.

John has been named to Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2014-present).



FR LAW GROUP PLLC. Phoenix, AZ. Of Counsel. January 2020 – Current.
FR Law Group PLLC is a boutique litigation and commercial transaction law firm. The founding partners come from AM Law 100 law firms and a Fortune 1000 company.

POLSINELLI PC. Phoenix, AZ. Shareholder. November 2010 – December 2018.
Polsinelli is a national AM Law 100 law firm.
Served the firm’s business litigation, insurance recovery, products liability practice groups.

  • First Chair, Jury Trial, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, May 2016.
  • First Chair, Jury Trial, Maricopa County Superior Court, December 2015.
  • Second Chair, Bench Trial, Maricopa County Superior Court, December 2013.


Juris Doctor, May 2010

  • Arizona Law Review; Writer
  • ABA Student Lawyer Magazine, Student Editor & Board of Governors Member
  • Tucson City Veterans’ Court, Co-Founder & Student Lawyer

Master of Science, Organization and Management (emphasis in leadership), March 2007.

Graduate Certificate, DoD Joint Course in Communication, May 2004.

Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies, December 2003.


United States Marine Corps (1992 – 2007): Honorable Discharge, June 2007, Gunnery Sergeant.


Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy
Fellow (2017)
The Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy is sponsored by the Flinn Foundation and the Thomas R. Brown Foundations to help expand the cadre of Arizonans in state-level civic leadership positions with the knowledge, skills, and commitment to address the state’s critical long-term issues.

Maricopa County Democratic Party
Secretary, Executive Board (December 2016 – April 2017)
Elected to serve as the Secretary on the Executive Board.

Valley Leadership Institute
Class 37 (2015-2016)
Competitively selected from among a variety of emerged leaders in industries ranging from business and politics to nonprofit organizations. The nine-month program brings about 50 Phoenix-area business and civic leaders together for extensive executive leadership training developed by the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale. The program is designed to help its graduates thrive at the highest levels of their careers.

District 24 Democrats
Treasurer, Executive Board (November 2014 – November 2016)
Elected to serve as the Treasurer on the Executive Board.

Maricopa County Bar Association
Editorial Board, Maricopa Lawyer Newspaper (2012 – November 2015)
Served on the Editorial Board for the Maricopa Lawyer, the Association’s monthly publication for news and information relevant to the Maricopa County’s legal community. As a volunteer member of the Board, I participated in monthly planning and strategy meetings for the paper, and I assisted with the final editing and proofing of the paper before it went to print.

Tucson City Veterans’ Court
Founding Member & Volunteer Attorney (2008 – 2010)
Spearheaded the initiative to start Tucson’s first veterans’ court, which helps military veterans avoid the consequences of criminal records by affording them the opportunity to receive various behavioral healthcare or other treatment from the Veterans Administration. Advocated on behalf of military veterans charged with misdemeanor criminal offenses.

American Bar Association, Law Student Division; Student Lawyer Magazine
Student Editor & Board of Governors (2009 –2010)
Sought out, reported, and wrote Law Student Division news for the magazine’s Division Dialogue section. Filed articles on deadline as established by the staff editor. Assigned articles to student writers; reviewed all magazine copy prior to publication; and alerted staff editor to any oversights or potential problems. Consulted with staff editor on various issues involving the magazine, including editorial content. Judged the Law Student Division’s annual law school newspaper contest.


  • Artificial Intelligence May Force Legal Community to Reconsider Rules of Evidence, American Bar Association (July 21, 2017).
  • FDA Proposed Rules to Hatch Liability for Generic Drug Makers, Waxing Mensing’s Preemption Defense, webinar, Polsinelli PC (2014).
  • Close The Loop on Protective Orders After Litigation, Case Note, Maricopa Lawyer (2013).
  • Guide to Arizona Statutes of Limitations: Personal Actions or Injuries, Maricopa County Bar Association (2011).
  • City of Phoenix v. Fields and Backus v. State: Undoing Deer Valley’s Damage, 51 Ariz. L. Rev. 503 (2009).
  • Notice of Claims and the “Sum Certain” Requirement: The Fallout from Deer Valley, 50 Ariz. L. Rev. 1205 (2008).