Our Team

John N. Costello

John N. Costello’s practice focuses on corporate, intellectual property and education law.  Formerly an in-house corporate counsel, John represents businesses from a holistic point of view, focusing on real-world solutions that consider all business needs concurrently.  John practices out of both the firm’s Easton and Annapolis offices.

John reviews and advises on all types of business agreements including, but not limited to, commercial contracts, leases, multimillion-dollar outsourcing agreements, software licenses and professional service agreements. John represents both vendors and customers in complex contract negotiations, maximizing value and minimizing risk to the business. John counsels on the viability of all manner of business transactions and works to protect the interests of large and small corporations and individuals alike.

As a corollary to his corporate practice, John provides counseling and registration services for all forms of intellectual property including patents, trademarks, copyrights, moral rights and more.  A business’ intellectual property is only as strong as the degree to which it is protected from infringement.  John advises on the best strategies to achieve maximum value and to protect the critical interests on which a business depends.

John is the former Managing Counsel of Intellectual Property and Technology for Laureate Education, Inc. where he led the Corporate Contracts Team, managed worldwide litigation, drafted corporate policies as the Policy Leader and managed the company’s intellectual property portfolio.  John understands the needs of innovative companies working in the highly regulated education industry and provides advice and counsel on the challenges such companies face in an ever-changing business landscape.

John earned his J.D. at the University of Maryland School of Law.  He is a member of the U.S. Patent Bar and the Maryland State Bar Association.  John began his career as a naval architect and computer systems manager, having graduated with a B.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute, and he later served for a decade as Secretary of Webb’s Board of Trustees.  He also has an M.A. in English Literature.  John lives in Queenstown with his wife and three boys and is an avid boater and cyclist.

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland State Bar Association, 1999
  • U.S. Patent Bar

Professional Affiliations

  • Member: U.S. Patent Bar
  • Member: Maryland State Bar Association
  • Secretary: Webb Institute Board of Trustees 2009 – 2019


  • Government Contract Law; Government Horizons, 2006
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop; Sitt, Feld, Handy Group, 2006
  • Defense Trade Controls Seminar; Black, Sengers and Associates, 2005
  • Income-Outcome: Finance for Non-Financial Managers; Andromeda Training, 2005
  • Corporate Counsel University; Association of Corporate Counsel, 2004
  • Channel Partner Management; Miller Heiman, 2003


  • What’s Up? Anne Arundel County & Prince George’s County Leading Lawyer: Intellectual Properties/Patent Law; 2024-2025
  • What’s Up? Eastern Shore Leading Lawyer: Business Law; Intellectual Properties/Patent Law; 2024-2025


  • J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 1999, Admitted to Maryland Bar 1999

  • B.S., Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Webb Institute, 1989

  • M.A., English Literature, Signum University, 2017