Deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Boyd M. Johnson III Will Join WilmerHale

Deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Boyd M. Johnson III Will Join WilmerHale


Boyd M. Johnson III, current Deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), will join law firm WilmerHale on October 1. Johnson, who as Deputy US Attorney has overseen the litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the SDNY, will bring tremendous value to WilmerHale’s trial litigation and white collar practices.

As Deputy US Attorney, Johnson has managed multiple high-profile matters, including the largest crackdown on hedge fund insider trading in US history; the criminal prosecutions and civil forfeiture proceedings related to the Bernard Madoff fraud; and the investigation and prosecution of individuals and entities responsible for structuring and promoting international tax shelters. He supervised more than 450 federal employees (including more than 230 Assistant US Attorneys), administered a $50 million budget and participated in the creation of the SDNY’s Civil Frauds Unit.

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.” William Perlstein, co-managing partner at WilmerHale, commented: “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 Johnson’s elevation to Deputy US Attorney in 2009, he served as Chief of the SDNY’s Public Corruption Unit. In that capacity, Boyd supervised bribery and embezzlement prosecutions of New York State legislators and New York City council members, as well as investigations of corruption of United Nations officials. It was during this time that he led a probe into prostitution rings used by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.

From 2004 to 2006, Johnson served as the Deputy Chief and Chief of the SDNY’s International Narcotics Trafficking Unit. During his tenure, he led extraterritorial prosecutions of Colombian, Mexican and Chinese drug kingpins; Afghan narco-terrorists; and members of global money-laundering syndicates.

He started his career at the SDNY in 1999. Over the course of 13 years, Johnson conducted 15 federal jury trials, briefed and argued 15 appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and was the lead prosecutor in the terrorism trial that resulted in the conviction of Monzer al Kassar, a Syrian arms trafficker who supplied weapons to terrorists for more than three decades.

Johnson began his career as an associate at a large private law firm, where he practiced for five years. He earned his BA in English and government, magna cum laude, from Hamilton College in 1989. Johnson received his JD, cum laude, from Cornell Law School. While at Cornell, he was an editor of the Cornell International Law Journal.