Johnson is currently head of the firm’s disputes practice in Asia and is also a member of its governance board.
He has been a partner at Herbert Smith since 1993 and has been based in Hong Kong since 1987. He is particularly experienced in handling contentious issues involving publicly listed companies and securities.
As head of Asia, Johnson will chair the firm’s Asia executive committee and take a lead role in the development and implementation of the firm’s Asia strategy.
The managing partners of the firm’s Greater China, Tokyo and South East Asia practices will also report to him.
Johnson will retain his fee-earning and client development responsibilities when he takes up his new role.
Herbert Smith’s senior partner Jonathan Scott said in a statement: “We’re very pleased to have someone of Mark’s calibre step into this critical leadership role. He’s a well-respected figure not just in the Hong Kong business community but across Asia and will bring to the post strong management experience, good judgement and a deep understanding of the region.”