The law firm of WilmerHale recently announced that Boyd M. Johnson III, current Deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), will join its trial litigation and white collar practices.
As Deputy U.S. Attorney, Johnson has overseen the litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the SDNY, including several high profile matters: the biggest crackdown in U.S. history on hedge fund insider trading; in regards to the Bernard Madoff fraud scandal, the handling of the criminal prosecutions and civil forfeiture proceedings, as well as the “investigation and prosecution of individuals and entities responsible for structuring and promoting international tax shelters,” per the press release at the firm’s website. In this role, Johnson supervised over 450 federal employees, managed a $50 million budget and took part in the creation of the SDNY’s Civil Frauds Unit.
William Perlstein, co-managing partner at WilmerHale, was quoted as saying in the press release: “Boyd’s reputation precedes him, and his tenacity combined with his intellect, demeanor and dedication to developing young lawyers makes him an excellent addition to our Litigation/Controversy Department and our New York office.”
Prior to serving as Deputy US Attorney, Johnson served as Chief of the SDNY’s Public Corruption Unit. In this role, Boyd supervised bribery and embezzlement prosecutions of New York State legislators and New York City council members, and investigations of corruption of United Nations officials. In addition, he led an investigation into prostitution rings used by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
Johnson served as the Deputy Chief and Chief of the SDNY’s International Narcotics Trafficking Unit from 2004 to 2006. During this time, he led extraterritorial prosecutions of Colombian, Mexican and Chinese drug kingpins; Afghan narco-terrorists; and members of global money-laundering syndicates.
Johnson began his career at the SDNY over a decade ago, in 1999. Since then, he has conducted 15 federal jury trials, briefed and argued 15 appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and led the prosecution in the terrorism trial of Monzer al Kassar, a Syrian arms trafficker who supplied weapons to terrorists for over thirty years.
According to the press release, the New York Times reported that Johnson “has been described as a classic hard-charging government lawyer, confident and talented yet self-deprecating and fair, who would not allow politics to hinder good judgment.”
According to the March 2008 wsj.com blog, “The Man Behind the Spitzer Prosecution: Boyd M. Johnson III”, Randy Mastro, a Gibson Dunn partner and formerly the deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, and who supervised Johnson as an associate at the firm, where he worked in the mid- 1990s, was quoted as saying of Johnson:: “He’s a very affable guy, but don’t let that affability fool you — he’s a very tenacious, determined litigator.” He also was quoted as saying that when he persuaded Johnson to stay with the firm when he was considering moving to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Johnson responded that becoming a prosecutor “is just something I really want to do.”
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has over 1,000 lawyers in twelve offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.