Mary Jo Johnson
Class of 2017
Mary Jo Johnson is a leading securities lawyer with an extensive career working with boards of directors and management of public corporations. She has been a trusted advisor to directors and companies in diverse industries including technology, healthcare, life sciences, financial services, banking, mortgage servicing and insurance to name a few.
Noted for her good judgment and practical advice, Ms. Johnson is an invaluable partner to business leaders in developing sound strategies to meet corporate goals while at the same time protecting the company against unreasonable risk. Her work on over 65 investigations and internal reviews has given her exposure to the decision-making challenges facing boards of directors on a broad range of issues such as revenue recognition, accounting policies, financial reporting, public disclosures, option grants, alleged consumer fraud, regulatory compliance, and insider trading. During the last few years she led enterprise-wide compliance and risk management reviews for boards of directors and corporate management in highly regulated industries to assess, as a preventative matter, whether key corporate policies and procedures were adequate to meet legal and industry standards and to structure remedial measures where necessary. She has also worked hand in hand with directors to formulate strategies to prevent or address corporate crises.
During Ms. Johnson’s career at WilmerHale, one of the nation’s most prestigious firms, she has defended dozens of corporations and financial institutions and their officers and directors in high stakes investigations by regulatory agencies. These agencies have included the Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Executive Office of the U.S. Trustee, and the Massachusetts Securities Division. Her work often involved close collaboration with audit and special committees on corporate governance matters and on how to address some of the most difficult financial reporting issues facing their corporations. Over the last decade, Ms. Johnson was a director on two non-profit boards where she held leadership positions. She chaired the Governance Committee and was on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange for many years, and she was a past President of the Board of the Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts. Recognized as a “New England Super Lawyer” in securities litigation for over a decade, Ms. Johnson was a frequent presenter at seminars and training sessions on investigations, securities litigation practice and corporate governance. She also led women’s leadership initiatives for both her law
firm and the Massachusetts bar. Ms. Johnson received her law degree from Boston College Law School and her undergraduate degree from Rosemont College.