Michele Johnson, Global Chair of the Litigation & Trial Department, is consistently recognized as a leading California litigator. She represents financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, boards of directors, and individuals in securities, M&A, and other complex commercial litigation. Ms. Johnson is a former member of Latham & Watkins’ Executive Committee and the former Managing Partner of the Orange County office.
Ms. Johnson’s practice focuses on securities and corporate control litigation, and she represents industry-leading companies, officers and directors, special committees, and financial institutions in connection with:
- Securities class actions
- Shareholder derivative litigation
- Mergers and acquisitions litigation
- Battles for corporate control
- Proxy contests
- SEC enforcement actions
- Internal investigations
- Other complex, high-exposure litigation
Ms. Johnson’s recent representations include special committee engagements in controlling stockholder transactions, multi-jurisdictional litigation arising out of solicited and hostile takeover attempts, and investigations and litigation on behalf of special committees and boards of directors related to public company crises. In a widely publicized matter that began in 2014, she represented Allergan in defending against the US$54.6 billion hostile takeover attempt by Valeant Pharmaceuticals assisted by Pershing Square. She has significant trial experience involving product liability, unfair business practices, tax, trusts and estates, and insurance bad faith trials.
Ms. Johnson was recognized as a Leading Lawyer for M&A Litigation by The Legal 500 US 2018. She was selected as Top-Rated Securities Litigation Attorney by Super Lawyers 2019. Recently, she was named to the 25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law by Law360, the Top Women Lawyers list in California by the Daily Journal, and the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s list of Women Worth Watching.
Ms. Johnson has served on the firm's Pro Bono, Associates, and Diversity Committees. She serves on the boards of Berkeley Center for Law and Business, the Public Law Center, the Orange County Bar Foundation, and the Orange County chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.