Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Expands Litigation Practice

- Steffen Johnson Joins the Firm’s Washington, D.C., Office -

Alicia Towler White
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

PALO ALTO, CA (September 4, 2019) – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that Steffen N. Johnson has joined the firm’s litigation department as a partner in the Washington, D.C., office, where he will chair a new nationwide Supreme Court and Appellate practice. Johnson is the fifth partner hired in WSGR’s Washington, D.C., office in 2019.

Johnson has extensive experience with all aspects of appellate and Supreme Court litigation, from successfully arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court to handling federal and state appellate matters to developing litigation strategy and briefing key motions in high-stakes trials. Legal 500 describes him as "a fantastic name for patent litigation" and "quick on his feet with persuasive arguments." In addition, Johnson has twice been named a "Legal Lion" by Law360 for Supreme Court and Federal Circuit victories in patent and antitrust litigation.

Johnson prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s first decision involving the drug competition provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act, and in the Court’s first decision interpreting the America Invents Act’s revised standards for patentability. Johnson has briefed nearly 90 cases before the Supreme Court. In 2018, he successfully represented a leading internet service provider (ISP) in the first federal appellate decision to address standards for secondary copyright infringement liability for ISPs, and he recently prevailed in a leading D.C. Circuit decision involving the intersection of labor and civil procedure law. Johnson has also argued numerous patent cases, involving a host of technologies, in the Federal Circuit.

Although Johnson focuses principally on intellectual property litigation, he also has long experience representing clients in antitrust matters, class actions, consumer protection claims, constitutional law, and labor and employment disputes. Johnson has represented clients in several industries—including the pharmaceutical, medical device, energy, and telecommunications sectors.

"Steffen is an accomplished appellate litigator with masterful oral advocacy and brief writing skills," said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. "The arrival of Steffen, together with Stanford Law School Professor Michael McConnell—who served as a Tenth Circuit judge for a decade and is, in his own right, a leading practitioner—has greatly enriched our already formidable litigation practice."

Prior to joining WSGR, Johnson was a partner at Winston & Strawn, which he joined in 2005. He was based in that firm’s Washington, D.C., office, where he became co-leader of its appellate and critical motions practice. From 2002 to 2005, he served in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, from 2002 to 2005, where he advised senior Executive Branch officials on complex issues of statutory, administrative, and constitutional law. Before that, he was an associate in the Appellate & Supreme Court practice at Mayer Brown’s Chicago office and an adjunct professor teaching First Amendment courses at University of Chicago Law School. At the outset of his career, he clerked for the Honorable Donald Lay on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Johnson received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he graduated cum laude, in 1995 and his B.A. in philosophy from St. Olaf College, where he graduated magna cum laude, in 1991. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia; Minnesota; Illinois; the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, District of Columbia, and Federal Circuits; and various U.S. district courts.

Johnson is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for appellate litigation. He was twice named a "Legal Lion" by Law360 for U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit victories in patent and antitrust litigation. His cases—including U.S. Supreme Court matters—have been widely published, including in the National Law Journal’s Appellate Hot List, and his articles have been cited by various courts.

WSGR’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice has successfully represented corporate clients and other entities before federal and state appellate courts. The firm's appellate attorneys have prevailed in high-profile cases involving significant issues of law, particularly in antitrust, consumer fraud, intellectual property, and securities litigation matters. Our appellate attorneys have also litigated landmark internet and privacy law cases. WSGR has represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court and all of the federal courts of appeals, including the Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The firm now has a dedicated Appellate and Supreme practice, most recently bolstered by the addition of Steffen Johnson, who will lead the practice, and Professor Michael McConnell, who joined WSGR in May 2019. McConnell served for seven years as judge in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

WSGR has hired five partners in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office in 2019. In addition to Johnson, the firm added Jeffrey Lehtman (government investigations) in February, Georgia and James Ravitz (FDA/healthcare regulatory) in April, and Tarek Helou (government investigations) in August.

About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
For more than 50 years, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offered a broad range of services and legal disciplines focused on serving the principal challenges faced by the management and boards of directors of business enterprises. The firm is nationally recognized as a leader in the fields of corporate governance and finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities litigation, employment law, intellectual property, and antitrust, among many other areas of law. With deep roots in Silicon Valley, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offices in Austin; Beijing; Boston; Brussels; Hong Kong; London; Los Angeles; New York; Palo Alto; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Shanghai; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, DE. For more information, please visit