Yana Johnson is a nationwide authority with over two decades of experience in executive compensation and employee benefits matters, specializing in assisting the firm’s public company clients. She is pragmatic and business-minded, with a specific focus on equity compensation, governance, disclosure and succession issues. Yana has extensive experience working in the technology, life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, entertainment, energy, healthcare, construction and government contracting industries.

Executive Compensation

Yana leads the firm’s executive compensation practice, and advises public companies and compensation committees on matters including executive compensation disclosures, pay for performance, and equity plan proposals; “say-on-pay” and engagement with institutional stockholders and proxy advisory firms; stock exchange listing standards; and corporate governance. Yana also has significant experience in helping private equity firms and high-profile executives and management teams clients negotiate executive employment agreements and design equity and phantom equity plans and awards, long-term incentive compensation, change in control arrangements and non-qualified 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 buyers and sellers, both domestic and international, through equity compensation, employee 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 governed by ERISA, including 401(k), pension, early retirement, health, welfare, fringe benefit and severance plans.

Personal Interests

In her spare time, Yana enjoys horseback riding 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)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • SEC Clawback: Stock Exchange Listing Requirements and Preparing for Compliance
    Republished in The Corporate Governance Advisor, November/December 2023, Vol. 31, No. 6

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)


  • Chambers USA — California: San Francisco, Silicon Valley & Surrounds, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, 2023
  • Best Lawyers® — Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2022-24
  • Legal 500 USA Recognized Attorney, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, 2019-20
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