W. Clayton Johnson

Senior Counsel

T: +86 10 5920 1020
F: +86 10 5879 3902

Hong Kong
T: +852 2532 3786
F: +852 2845 9026

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W. Clayton Johnson is senior counsel based in the Beijing and Hong Kong offices.

Mr. Johnson’s practice focuses on international securities and capital markets transactions, and mergers and acquisitions transactions, including private equity transactions, in China and the rest of Asia. He has extensive experience representing major investment banks and issuers in securities offerings in China, the rest of Asia and the United States, including IPOs and other equity offerings, convertible bond offerings, investment grade and high yield bond offerings, and sovereign bond offerings. A substantial portion of his practice consists of representing investment banks, issuers and private equity firms in transactions in China. Mr. Johnson is distinguished as a leading capital markets lawyer in China/Hong Kong and a leading overseas lawyer in the Philippines by Chambers Global. He is also recognized by Chambers Asia, Asialaw Leading Lawyers and IFLR.

Mr. Johnson joined the firm as a partner in November 2005 and became senior counsel in 2015. Before joining the firm, Mr. Johnson was a partner for 17 years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where he practiced from 1984 to 2005. Mr. Johnson was instrumental in establishing Cravath’s office in Hong Kong. Based there from 1994 to 2003, he developed a leading capital markets practice in Asia. Prior to moving to Hong Kong in 1994, Mr. Johnson spent six years as a mergers and acquisitions partner in Cravath’s New York office.

Mr. Johnson received a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1980, where he was a member of the Law Review. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia College of Arts and Sciences in 1977.

Mr. Johnson is a member of the Bar in New York, and a solicitor of the High Court of Hong Kong. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.

Honors and Distinctions

Chambers Global - Capital Markets: Equity (International Firms): China. Corporate/M&A (International Firms): China.

Chambers Asia - Capital Markets: Equity (International Firms): China. 

Asialaw Leading Lawyers -  Mergers and Acquisitions.

IFLR 1000 - Capital Markets: Foreign Firms; China. Mergers and Acquisitions: Foreign Firms; China. Private Equity/Venture Capital: Foreign Firms; China. Capital Markets: Equity; Hong Kong. Capital Markets: Debt; Hong Kong. Mergers and Acquisitions: Hong Kong. Private Equity: Hong Kong. 


  • University of Virginia School of Law
    (J.D., 1980)
  • University of Virginia
    (B.A., 1977)

Bar Admissions

New York - 1985
Hong Kong - 2010


  • English

Areas of Law