Nicholas R. Johnson



Nicholas (Nick) Johnson is an associate with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Environmental Regulation Practice and Food & Beverage Industry Team.

Mr. Johnson has substantial experience in all facets of environmental law and corporate environmental risk management, including both contested proceedings and general regulatory guidance and advice with respect to CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, state voluntary cleanup programs, and other state and federal environmental laws. Mr. Johnson routinely works with buyers, sellers, investment funds, and lenders to highlight and mitigate environmental risk in the context of corporate and real property transactions, including asset and stock transactions, acquisition financing, redevelopment of brownfields properties, and the purchase and sale of alternative energy facilities. He has helped clients navigate through the complexities of the CERCLA cleanup and cost recovery process, including the preparation and review of remedial investigations, risk assessments, and feasibility studies.

In addition to his corporate counseling practice, Mr. Johnson has litigated products liability and toxic tort claims due to alleged exposure to manufactured substances. Throughout the course of his litigation practice, he has managed all aspects of the discovery process, worked closely with retained experts, and engaged in significant motion practice, including dispositive motions.

Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Johnson held a research fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he published and spoke extensively on issues related to food safety and food products liability. At Foley, he advises food and beverage companies on food-related regulatory matters, including products liability, permitting matters, product recalls, and manufacturing best practices.


A native of Hudson, Wisconsin, Mr. Johnson earned his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude) and received his bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from Northwestern University (B.S., summa cum laude).

Selected Publications

  • Author, “’I Agree’ to Criminal Liability: Lori Drew’s Prosecution under § 1030(a)(2)(C) of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and Why Every Internet User Should Care,” University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology & Policy, Vol. 2009 Issue 2 (2009)
  • Co-author, “Small Producers, Big Hurdles: Barriers Facing Producers of ‘Local Foods,’” Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, Vol. 33 (2011)
  • Co-author, “United States Food Law Update: Moving Toward a More Balanced Food Regulatory Regime,” Journal of Food Law & Policy, Vol. 7 Issue 2 (2011)

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Mr. Johnson is admitted to practice law in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Mr. Johnson is a member of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC), a board member of the Clark and Hinman Foundation, and an alumni board member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at Northwestern University.



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