Joseph L JohnsonIII

Joseph L. Johnson III

Joseph L. Johnson III
+1 617 570 1633

Joe Johnson is a partner in Goodwin’s Business Law Department, former chair of its M&A/Corporate Governance practice and head of its Shareholder Activism & Takeover Defense practice. Mr. Johnson advises clients in shareholder activism matters, public mergers and acquisitions and a variety of strategic corporate governance matters. He regularly advises clients in a variety of industries including technology, life sciences and real estate.


Mr. Johnson’s recent work includes:

Proxy Contests and Other Shareholder Activism Matters

  • Virtusa in its defense against, and entry into settlement agreement with, New Mountain Vantage Advisers 
  • LaSalle Hotel Properties in its defense of activist campaigns in connection with a hostile takeover
  • Leaf Group in its successful defense of several activists campaigns 
  • Monotype in its successful defense of a threatened proxy contest by Starboard Value
  • Cognizant in the negotiation of a cooperation agreement with Elliott Management
  • PAREXEL in its defense of activist campaigns led by Corvex and Starboard Value
  • iRobot in its successful proxy contest concerning board representation against Red Mountain Capital
  • Brightcove in its successful defense of several activists campaigns
  • Progress Software in its successful defense of a threatened proxy contest by Starboard Value

Mergers & Acquisitions

Mr. Johnson has substantial experience in the merger and acquisition area representing both buyers and sellers, including:

  • Virtusa in its $2 billion sale to Baring Private Equity Asia in a "going private" transaction
  • LaSalle Hotel Properties in its response to unsolicited public acquisition proposals from Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, leading to its proposed $4.8 billion sale to Blackstone in a “going private” transaction, and subsequent acceptance of topping bid from, and $5.2 billion cash and shares acquisition by, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
  • Leaf Group in its $323 million sale to Graham Holdings Company
  • Control4 in its $680 million sale to SnapAV, a portfolio company of Hellman & Friedman
  • Monotype in its $825 million sale to HGGC
  • Imprivata in its $544 million sale to Thoma Bravo in a “going private” transaction




Boston College Law School

(summa cum laude)


Vassar College

(cum laude)



  • Massachusetts

Recognition & Awards

Mr. Johnson has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Mergers and Acquisitions Law 2022-2023.

Mr. Johnson has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, U.S. News-Best Lawyers, The Legal 500 U.S. and Massachusetts Super Lawyers. He has been consistently recognized in The Legal 500 United States as a “Leading Lawyer” for middle-market M&A. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Boston College Law Review during 1985-1986.