C. Richard Johnson is a retired partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and former chair of the Public Finance Practice. Mr. Johnson has extensive experience in a wide variety of public and tax-exempt financial matters, including counseling state and local governments and private parties as to financial matters, development of financial structures (often innovative) and served as bond and underwriter’s counsel in governmental and tax-exempt financings.
Mr. Johnson also has substantial experience in litigation, especially as it concerns public finance matters (and constitutional law more generally).
Mr. Johnson has served as bond counsel or disclosure counsel with respect to the State of Illinois and its bond issuing authorities, including the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the Illinois Finance Authority, as well as numerous local governments including the City of Chicago and other major municipalities in Illinois.
He has developed innovative financing arrangements to expand the ability of the Illinois Housing Development Authority to finance needed housing, to restructure the finances of the Chicago public schools, and to create the means to bring Lake Michigan water to suburban municipalities. He wrote the Regional Transportation Authority Act that created that agency for the six-county Chicago metropolitan area and has drafted key portions of the laws governing public finance in Illinois.
He was active as well in derivative and other secondary market transactions relating to bonds. He had substantial experience in representing bond purchasers, including funds, in acquiring bonds and in work-outs.
On the private business side, Mr. Johnson represented developers and other participants in the complex world of affordable housing, with its portfolio of tax credits, bonds, and government assistance.
In the litigation field, Mr. Johnson won landmark decisions as to the constitutionality of the Illinois Toll Highway Authority (and state bond authorities generally) and various school reform measures. He also represented business clients in litigation that involved securities and commercial claims.
Mr. Johnson graduated summa cum laude from Ripon College and received his J.D. degree cum laude from the University of Chicago where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and of the University of Chicago Law Review. He has written and been a frequent panelist on governmental finance matters.
He is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and is admitted to practice in Illinois and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Johnson was named as a 2007 and 2008 Illinois "Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics Media, Inc. for his bonds/government finance work.*
*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.