Lee Johnston has earned a reputation for closing deals. From a $59 billion merger of telecom giants to the $820 million sale of a Colorado goldmine to middle market deals involving private equity and corporate clients, Mr. Johnston assists clients in all aspects of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In addition to his M&A, venture capital and strategic investment experience, corporate clients, financial institutions and investors have relied on his ability to close syndicated lending and leveraged finance transactions and capital markets offerings. Mr. Johnston's broad corporate law experience is a valuable asset in M&A and other transactional matters, enabling him to resolve issues that could potentially disrupt or derail a deal.

He advises private equity and corporate clients, both public and private, in mergers and acquisitions across telecommunications, technology, consumer products and food manufacturing, financial services and other industries. From matters involving emerging and mid-level companies to front-page transactions featuring multinational corporations, Mr. Johnston's experience managing deal teams of all sizes – including attorneys in areas such as tax, executive compensation, intellectual property, antitrust and others – helps clients close deals.

Highlights of Mr. Johnston's 10-year transactional career include his work on the $59 billion Sprint and T-Mobile merger, advising a multinational software company in its $275 million acquisition of a venture-capital funded construction services company and representing a family office in its $40 million strategic investment in a leading vitamin and supplement company. Additionally, he has advised clients in investment grade and high-yield securities transactions, syndicated lending and leveraged finance transactions and general corporate matters.

Previously, he practiced at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco, focusing on M&A and strategic investments involving private equity investors, venture capital firms and corporate clients. He began his legal career in the New York and London offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where he maintained a broad corporate practice, including mergers and acquisitions, syndicated lending and leveraged finance, capital markets and securities regulation.


  • Oxford University, Brasenose College, MSc, Law and Finance, with distinction
  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Vanderbilt University, B.A., Political Science
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • New York
  • Tennessee