Ethan W. Johnson counsels clients on a variety of regulatory and transactional matters, with a focus on hedge fund and private equity fund formation, and guides investment managers through the legal intricacies of international operations. He also advises clients on establishing offices and operations outside the United States, developing and offering financial products and services sold on a global basis, and building global compliance programs.
Ethan’s regulatory and transaction practice includes counseling clients on the creation of hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS), and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered funds. He also advises on the organization and operation of broker-dealers and investment advisers, and on corporate finance projects including public and private offerings of debt and equity securities.
Through Morgan Lewis’s US, European, and Asian offices, he advises on the laws of more than 100 non-US jurisdictions, including all major financial centers, most emerging markets, and less-developed nations. He has experience counseling many US-based firms on US and non-US securities and regulatory matters—including joint ventures and investment projects—in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. In cross-border business matters, he helps clients comply with local marketing restrictions, and advises them on local authorizations and exemptive relief. He also works to ensure concurrent compliance with US and local laws.
A frequent author and lecturer, Ethan addresses topics including the regulation of broker-dealers and investment advisers; global distribution of investment funds; private equity real estate funds; investment in emerging markets; and corporate governance. He is an editor of the Morgan Lewis Hedge Fund Deskbook, published by Thomson Reuters/West.
Emory University School of Law, 1985, J.D.
Harvard University, 1979, B.A.
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Best ETF Law Firm, ETF Express US Awards (2021)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Asset Management, Law360 (2017)
Recognized, Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law, Miami, The Best Lawyers in America (2007–2020, 2022)
Lawyer of the Year, Private Funds / Hedge Funds Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2015, 2018)
Recommended, Investment fund formation and management - Alternative/hedge funds, The Legal 500 US (2008–2009, 2015–2017, 2019)
AV Preeminent Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Top Lawyer, Investment Management & Banking and Financial Institutions, South Florida Legal Guide (2005–2018)