Michele Johnson is a member of the firm's Executive Committee and the former Managing Partner of the Orange County office. She is also the former Chair of the office's Litigation & Trial Department and is recognized as a leading California litigator. Her practice focuses on securities and professional liability litigation, and she represents industry-leading companies, officers and directors, special committees and accounting firms in connection with:
- Securities class actions
- Shareholder derivative litigation
- Mergers and acquisitions litigation
- SEC enforcement actions
- Internal investigations
- Other complex, high-exposure litigation
Ms. Johnson’s recent representations include 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. She has represented pharmaceutical companies in clinical and post-clinical trial phases of development, energy companies and major accounting firms in professional malpractice actions. She has had significant trial experience involving product liability, unfair business practices, tax, trusts and estates, and insurance bad faith trials.
In a widely publicized matter that began in 2014, she represented Allergan in defending against the US$53 billion hostile takeover attempt by Valeant Pharmaceuticals assisted by Pershing Square. In another high-profile case, she represented Alphatec Holdings in a securities class action, Mallen v. Alphatec Holdings Inc., et al., that the Daily Journal named one of the “Top Verdicts of 2013” and the Ninth Circuit affirmed in 2015. Most recently Ms. Johnson was recognized in Law360 2016 as one of “The 25 Most Influential Women In Securities Law.” She has also been recognized as a "recommended" lawyer for M&A Litigation by Legal 500 US 2015, named to the “Top Women Lawyers” list in California by the Daily Journal and included in the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s “Women Worth Watching."
Ms. Johnson has lectured and written on a variety of topics involving corporate governance, litigation techniques and securities laws.
Ms. Johnson has served on the firm's Pro Bono, Associates and Diversity Committees. She serves on the board of the Public Law Center and the Orange County chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.