Mark Johnson is lead counsel in complex commercial litigation and arbitration matters for sophisticated businesses and individuals.

Mark regularly handles disputes involving enforcement and breach of contractual, fiduciary, and tort duties; trade secrets, trademarks, and other intellectual property; professional liability; finance and securities; and cross-border business disputes. Mark has been named one of the Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers and a Minnesota Attorney of the Year.  Clients trust him to provide timely, business-sensitive advice, and to resolve difficult matters—through litigation and otherwise.

Before becoming an attorney, Mark taught philosophy to undergraduates at Purdue University. He learned to explain complicated material in a clear, concise, and entertaining manner. He brings those skills to bear every time he represents a client in court or before an arbitration panel.

When he is not assisting clients, Mark can often be found attempting to repair old cars or spending time with his family. 

Representative Experience

  • Lead Counsel in Litigation To Enforce Settlement Agreement. Mark recently represented a Fortune 100 company seeking to recover seven-figures owed under a settlement agreement.  The case was litigated in state court in Tennessee, and the court granted Greene Espel’s client summary judgment on all claims. 
  • Lead Counsel for Financial Services Firm in Trade Secret and Non-Solicitation Suit. Mark represented a major financial services firm in federal litigation and companion FINRA arbitration seeking the return of nonpublic personal and financial information and to enforce non-solicitation agreements. 
  • Lead Counsel in Multiple Trade Secret and Non-Solicitation Matters. Mark regularly represents a Fortune 100 company in matters seeking to protect the client’s intellectual property, its customer and vendor relationships, and its rights under various commercial contracts.
  • Lead Counsel in Arbitration Seeking $4 million in Contract Damages (2011). Mark represented a Fortune 1000 company in arbitration seeking damages for breach of a contract that obligated the defendant to develop a new software platform for the banking industry and to jointly market the plaintiff’s products alongside the defendant’s. The matter was resolved shortly before the arbitration hearing.
  • Shareholder Litigation. Mark regularly represents clients in shareholder class action lawsuits challenging significant corporate mergers and acquisitions. For example, Mark represented Golden Gate Capital Corporation in multiple Minnesota shareholder lawsuits when it acquired Lawson Software company for $2 billion, and Baxter International Inc. when it acquired Synovis Life Technologies, Inc. for $325 million. Mark represented Vision-Sciences in litigation challenging its merger with Uroplasty, Inc., where the Court dismissed all claims and denied the plaintiff’s request to enjoin the shareholder meeting.  
  • In Re Arrowhead Capital Management LLC Class Action, 712 F. Supp 924 (D. Minn. May 17, 2010).  Mark, Larry Shapiro, and attorneys from a New York firm defended a Bermuda accounting firm in a case alleging that professional negligence and other torts led to the collapse of a Bermuda investment fund that invested in Petters enterprises. The Court held that it lacked federal subject matter jurisdiction over the case because the plaintiffs were foreign companies that were suing (among others) foreign defendants. 
  • Eastling and EFP, LLC v. BP Products North America, Inc., 0:07-CV-03691 (D. Minn. Oct. 8, 2008). Granting BP’s motion for summary judgment in case involving enforceability of restrictive covenant limiting the permissible uses of gasoline station property. The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment, at 578 F.3rd 831 (8th Cir. 2009)
  • Represented plaintiffs in LaRae Fjellman and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals v. Dr. Sanne Magnan and Diane Mandernach (Ramsey County District Court), challenging constitutionality of state law prohibiting massage therapist from having sex and marrying a former client within two years of ending the professional relationship. Testified in the Minnesota legislature and, ultimately, the governor signed a bill to change the law. The case was named one of the Lawsuits of the Year by Minnesota Law & Politics.


  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • State Bar of Minnesota
  • State Bar of Illinois

Professional & Community Affiliations


  • Federal Bar Association


  • Advocates for Human Rights, Volunteer Attorney
  • Minneapolis Rowing Club
    • President (2010-2013)
  • Board of Governors (2008-2010)
  • FAA Certificated Private Pilot

Thought Leadership


  • “Legislate First, Ask Questions Later: Post-Enactment Evidence in Minority Set-Aside Litigation,” 2002 U. Chi. Legal Forum 303
  • Co-Author of “Judge Diana E. Murphy: Memories from the District Court,” Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association: Bar Talk, Vol. II, Issue 4, (May 19, 2009) 


  • Smart Sampling in e-Discovery: Reducing Document Review Costs without Compromising Results, Women in eDiscovery, Panelist (April 11, 2013)


  • Selected to Super Lawyers list, Minnesota Super Lawyers (2015-2018)
  • Honored as Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer (2012)
  • Selected to Rising Stars list, Minnesota Super Lawyers (2011-2014)
  • Recognized as Up and Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer (2011)

Practice Areas


J.D., University of Chicago Law School, with honors (2003); Articles Editor, University of Chicago Legal Forum

M.A., Purdue University, Philosophy (2000)

B.A., Purdue University, with distinction, Philosophy (1998)

Visiting Student, Oxford University, Mansfield College (1996-1997)


Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Associate (2004-2005)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, The Honorable Diana E. Murphy, Law Clerk (2003-2004)