Clifford Chance banking heavyweight Johnson exits after 16 years

Clifford Chance banking and finance partner James Johnson is exiting the firm after 16 years.

Johnson said he is “finished with law” and will launch a “second career with some friends from university” in the commercial property fund space.

He will leave the firm at the end of the financial year.

Johnson’s practice focuses on corporate banking, particularly leveraged and acquisition finance and restructurings. He is noted in the football and finance world for his pro bono work on the consortium run by Gary Lineker to rescue Leicester City FC from administration.

The magic circle firm has seen relatively few exits in London in recent years. Capital markets partner Peter Voisey left the partnership last September, resurfacing at Dentons last month. Banking partner Nick Swinburne also left Clifford Chance’s London office last June for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.