Mark Johnson is a partner in the firm’s Hong Kong office and a member of the International Dispute Resolution Group. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, international arbitration and white collar/regulatory defense matters, particularly in the financial services sector.
Mr. Johnson joined Debevoise in March 2015. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Johnson was a partner at a leading international firm in Hong Kong, where for over 25 years, he advised clients on a range of dispute resolution and white collar crime matters in Hong Kong and most of the major financial centres in Asia. During this period, he also oversaw the opening of that firm’s disputes practices in Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. Mr. Johnson has since 2018 also served as convenor on the Financial Reporting Review Panel, an independent body appointed by the Hong Kong Government to uphold the quality of financial reporting of limited companies.
Mr. Johnson has built a successful practice advising on large-scale cross-border and domestic commercial disputes in the courts or before arbitral institutions, internal and regulatory investigations and advising clients in relation to inquiries from a range of regulatory bodies, both in Asia and elsewhere. These include matters involving the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Much of his work is in the financial services, private equity and private wealth sectors.
Mr. Johnson has become one of Asia’s most respected and experienced litigators. Chambers Asia-Pacific (2023) ranks him as a Band 1 lawyer in China for financial services: contentious regulatory matters and litigation, noting that he offers “all-round superior services and strategies.” He is described as “very hands-on, smart, efficient, professional and reliable.” According to sources, “he not only provides the correct legal analysis, but also provides commercial insight and strategic thinking to the client.” Clients praise his skill, saying that he is a “very experienced” litigator who has “built a decent reputation in the investigations and regulatory space,” and that he is “a terrific lawyer” who is “doing an outstanding job on high-stakes and complex matters.” According to previous editions of the guide, “complex regulatory matters in difficult jurisdictions are his sweet spot,” and he has “very strong judgement, creativity and excellent insight.” Labelled as an “Asia disputes doyen” and “absolute star” by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Mr. Johnson is listed in its Hall of Fame for litigation, as well as a leading individual for anti-corruption and compliance, with clients noting his “encyclopaedic knowledge” of this area and his ability to handle “the biggest and most complex cases with real aplomb.” The guide further recommends him for international arbitration. He is also listed in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific – Greater China (2024) and included in The Legal 500 Arbitration Powerlist for Hong Kong (2023). He is ranked in the top tier for Dispute Resolution: Litigation in Chambers Global (2023). The guide has described him as a “very experienced” litigator who has “built a decent reputation in the investigations and regulatory space,” and also noted that he is “very, very knowledgeable.” IFLR1000 (2023) recommends Mr. Johnson for Financial Services Regulatory work, Lawdragon recognizes him as one of the 500 leading global litigators, Benchmark Litigation (Asia-Pacific) names him a Dispute Resolution Star and he is also named by Expert Guides in its “Best of the Best” list for Litigation and White Collar Crime.
Mr. Johnson holds a law degree from Bristol University. He is admitted to practice as a solicitor in Hong Kong and England & Wales.