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Yana S. Johnson

San Francisco

P 415-796-5430 F 415-394-9401


Yana S. Johnson


Yana S. Johnson is a principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She has 22 years of experience helping clients with employee benefits and executive compensation issues.

Yana advises clients with regard to operational, administrative and fiduciary issues which arise under ERISA plans, Internal Revenue Code Sections 280G and 409A, managing plan audits and the resolution of plan compliance issues through both the IRS's and Department of Labor's correction programs. She regularly represents companies (and executives) with all aspects of compensation and benefits, including executive employment agreements, incentive arrangements, deferred compensation and equity based compensation. 

She has extensive experience assisting clients with all aspects of the employee benefits matters implicated in corporate transactions, including domestic and international, public and private mergers, acquisitions, financings, asset dispositions and spin-offs. Yana leads the drafting and negotiation of definitive deal documents, due diligence review, and closing and post-closing business integrations. She also handles employee benefits issues for debtors undergoing restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings.

During law school, Yana was an articles editor for the Hastings Law Journal and served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


Honors and Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, "Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law" (2022)
  • Legal 500 USA, "Recommended Attorney" (2019 and 2020)

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Western Pension and Benefits Council, Program Committee Co-Chair
  • Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco, Member
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), a LGBTQI+ Bar Association, Member

Published Works

  • "San Francisco Will Tax Employers Based on CEO Pay Ratio," SHRM (August 2021) [Author]
  • "Watch Out for New Calif. Laws Affecting Employers Relating to Health Coverage," (December 2019) [Co-Author]
  • “Incentive Compensation for Financial Institutions: Balancing Business Drivers and New Regulatory Oversight,” Derivatives: Financial Products Report (October 2010) [Co-author]
  • “The Effects of Same-Sex Marriage on Employee Benefits,” Matrimonial Strategist, Vol. 27 No. 1, page 3 (2009) [Author]