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Gerry Johnson


Gerry Johnson’s law practice focuses on major community building projects, particularly those involving the participation of both the public and private sectors. Gerry has been counsel to projects ranging from initial development and expansion of the Seattle Art Museum; the recovery of the downtown Seattle retail core anchored by the Nordstrom flagship store and Pacific Place; Safeco and CenturyLink Fields; the Museum of Flight; the Pike Place Market, including the recently completed MarketFront addition; and the transfer of the Washington State Convention Center from state control to a county public facilities district. He counseled the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) with respect to all aspects of its move to its highly acclaimed new home in Lake Union Park. He is currently working with the Seattle Opera on its new facility at the Seattle Center; the Seattle Art Museum on the complete renovation of its Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park; and the Convention Center on its major expansion project. Gerry also works with many smaller communities throughout Washington including Tacoma (redevelopment of Foss Waterway uplands); and Port Townsend (long‑term lease of the historic campus at Fort Worden from State Parks for use as an independent Lifelong Learning Center.)

Gerry is a past board chair of the (Pike Place) Market Foundation and Forterra (fka Cascade Land Conservancy), both of which he helped to form. For years, Gerry has been prominent within regional leadership of numerous initiatives to preserve open space and natural areas and create and support public parks. He also is past chair of the Woodland Park Zoological Society board, and was instrumental in the transition of the management of the Zoo from the Seattle Parks Department to the Society. Gerry served 12 years as a trustee of the Bullitt Foundation, a substantial regional foundation focused on the environment. He currently serves on the boards of the Seattle Parks Foundation, the Downtown Seattle Association and the Friends of Waterfront Seattle. He also serves on the Seattle Central Waterfront Steering Committee advising the Mayor and City Council. The proposed central waterfront project, designed by renowned architect James Corner, will transform the relationship of the Seattle CBD with its historic waterfront following demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Gerry is Managing Partner of Pacifica Law Group. Only established in 2011, the now 30+ lawyer firm received a Seattle Metropolitan Area, Tier One ranking in the 2017 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in the areas of Appellate Law, Education Law, Municipal Law, Public Finance Law and Real Estate Law, and Tier Two for Construction Law. Pacifica Law Group also received a National Tier 2 ranking for Appellate Law and Public Finance Law.

Gerry completed a five-year term as managing partner of Preston Gates & Ellis, a predecessor firm to K&L Gates, at the end of 2004. He also co-founded and served as board chair of Attenex, a successful Seattle-based legal services software developer, which was acquired by FTI in 2008. Earlier, he served as legislative assistant to the Seattle City Council, and legislative assistant and administrative assistant/chief-of-staff to former U.S. Senator Warren G. Magnuson.

Bar Admissions:

  • Washington
  • District of Columbia (inactive)


  • A.B., Dartmouth College, (summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Senior Fellow)
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (cum laude)


  • Selected for Washington Super Lawyers, 2006-2017
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2018, in the fields of Municipal Law and Real Estate Law, and as Lawyer of the Year in Municipal Law in Seattle for 2016 (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)
  • Recipient of Forterra’s 2014 Visionary Game Changer Award
  • Selected as a leading lawyer in the Puget Sound region for 2012, as determined by his peers (Seattle Business Magazine)
  • Recipient of the Municipal League of King County’s James R. Ellis Regional Leadership Award in 2005 and its Doug Mason Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Community in 1981