Boyd Johnson, general counsel for private investment company Soros Fund Management since mid-2018, is rejoining WilmerHale as a partner starting in January.
He’ll also be a member of the white-collar investigations and litigation practices in the New York office. He previously worked at WilmerHale after serving as a deputy U.S. attorney for the Southern District New York from 1999 to 2011.
He joins the firm on the heels of the departure of Reginald “Reg” Brown and three other WilmerHale partners for Kirkland & Ellis. Brown, who earlier worked in the George W. Bush White House, was chairman of WilmerHale’s financial institutions practice and considered a top “get” in the area of bank enforcement and investigation work.
The movements are part of a Big Law hiring wave where firms are poaching experienced lawyers from rivals to build up, or build out, attractive practice areas.
Johnson will also be involved in WilmerHale’s financial institutions and financial practices, drawing on his background at the Soros Fund, where he oversaw its legal, compliance and regulatory functions in New York, London and Hong Kong.
As general counsel, Johnson supervised the negotiation and structuring of capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions and investments in public and private equity. He also served as a director of investment fund and portfolio companies and on the fund’s valuation, liquidity and risk and cybersecurity committees.
Johnson’s “recent general counsel experience, on top of everything else he’s done so well, will be of tremendous value to our clients and firm,” Robert Novick, WilmerHale’s co-managing partner, said in a statement.
Johnson said in a statement that he shares with his new colleagues “the same inspiration – to find the smartest solution to every client’s toughest challenge.”