Yana Johnson is a nationwide authority with over 22 years of experience to assist the firm’s public company clients in executive and employee benefits matters. She is pragmatic and business-minded. Yana has experience working in the technology, biotech, construction, health care, financial services, manufacturing, private equity, entertainment, hospitality, temporary staffing and government contracting industries.

Executive Compensation

Yana advises public and private companies, private equity firms, venture capitalists, boards of directors, compensation committees, and high-profile executives and management teams on executive compensation matters, including public disclosures, “say-on-pay,” equity plan disclosure, solicitation and engagement matters, stock exchange listing standards and corporate governance. Yana also has significant experience in helping clients to negotiate executive employment agreements and design equity and phantom equity plans and awards, long-term incentive compensation and deferred compensation plans. She is fluent in relevant corporate governance, securities and tax reporting issues related to executive compensation and benefits.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Yana guides domestic and international as well as public and private buyers and sellers through executive compensation, benefits and HR issues that arise in business transactions, including mergers, asset sales, spin-offs, financings and IPOs.

Employee Benefits

Yana regularly advises clients on issues related to broad-based compensation arrangements, including 401(k), pension, health, welfare, fringe benefit and early retirement plans.
Yana also advises venture funds, plan sponsors and financial institutions on compliance with Title I of ERISA, including in credit facilities, investments and plan vendor arrangements.

Personal Interests

In her spare time, Yana enjoys horseback riding with her daughter, staying at her house in Costa Rica, and crafting (and imbibing) unique cocktails.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California


University of California, Hastings College of the Law
J.D. magna cum laude, Hastings Law Journal (articles editor) (1999)

University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A. in Economics (1995)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Western Pension and Benefits Council, San Francisco Chapter, Program Committee Co-Chair (2020-21)
  • Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco, Member (2018-present)
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (LGBTQI bar association) (1998-present)


  • Best Lawyers® — Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2022-23
  • Legal 500 USA Recognized Attorney, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, 2019-20
The Faegre Baker Daniels website uses cookies to make your browsing experience as useful as possible. In order to have the full site experience, keep cookies enabled on your web browser. By browsing our site with cookies enabled, you are agreeing to their use. Review Faegre Baker Daniels' cookies information for more details.