Mark Johnson, a transactional lawyer and former naval officer and ship captain, has joined Haynes and Boone, LLP as a London partner in the firm’s Shipping Practice.
Mark has extensive experience advising on the construction, sale and purchase, financing, management, operation and ownership of all types of vessels, including some of the world’s largest superyachts. His clients range from major banks and oil companies to shipowners, leasing companies and shipyards.
Simon Curtis, senior partner at Haynes and Boone, said: “Mark’s considerable maritime and legal experience gained over 20 years will add significantly to the existing shipping practice of our London office. I am certain that his in-depth sector knowledge, acquired in acting for major oil companies, shipowners, offshore contractors and their financiers, will prove to be of great benefit to the firm’s shipping and offshore client base generally.”
Mark says he was drawn to Haynes and Boone by the reputation of its shipping practice, along with the strength and breadth of other services it can offer to clients. “In Simon Curtis, you have the person who literally wrote the book on shipbuilding contracts, and the firm has so many excellent complementary practices, including litigation, arbitration, and restructuring,” Mark said.
Above all, he said he is impressed with Haynes and Boone’s collegiate culture and dedication to providing tailored, personalized service to clients.
“The culture is similar to my previous employment in the Royal Navy, where one is a part of something bigger than oneself and success is achieved by working as a team for a common objective,” Mark said. He added: “That ethos is important and in the legal sector can enable an external counsel to become a real member of the client’s team working to successfully achieve the client’s goals.”
Mark served 13 years in the Royal Navy, with a wide variety of posts including boarding office, navigating officer, and exchange officer (to the Royal Dutch Navy). He also served as a captain of a patrol boat through 2005 and 2006 – an appointment which included planning and directing the deployment of multiple patrol vessels in addition to his own. He said his experience as a naval officer working to build motivated teams and provide resilient planning and risk management has been helpful in his legal career.
Most recently, Mark handled a broad range of matters, including advising companies in connection with building, acquiring, and disposing of vessels and rigs in the offshore oil and gas sector as well as negotiating the workout and restructuring of shipbuilding contracts.
Haynes and Boone is an international corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York, California, Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., London, Mexico City and Shanghai, providing a full spectrum of legal services in energy, technology, financial services and private equity. With more than 550 lawyers, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest U.S.-based firms by The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and The Lawyer.
Since Haynes and Boone entered the London market in 2016 by merging with Curtis Davis Garrard LLP, it has hired lawyers from many established firms, more than doubling the London office’s partner headcount and broadening the office’s capabilities in arbitration, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, finance, energy, and shipping. “The addition of Mark Johnson, along with the other fine lawyers we have recruited in recent years, will allow us to better serve our clients and continue the momentum we have developed in the market,” said Brad Richards, administrative partner of the London office.
Several news outlets reported the firm's new hire, including the following: