Gerry Johnson has long represented clients in the development of civic projects; he additionally serves in leadership positions for several philanthropic organizations.
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 downtown Seattle Art Museum; the construction and operation of T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field; facilities for the Museum of Flight and 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 and its recent and widely acclaimed Summit addition.
He counseled the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) with respect to all aspects of its move to its iconic new home in Lake Union Park; Seattle Opera on its new facility at the Seattle Center; and the Seattle Art Museum on the complete renovation of its Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park. Gerry also works with smaller communities throughout Washington, including the City of Vancouver on a substantial downtown development project, and the City of Everett on a minor league professional baseball stadium project. He represented the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District in its T-Mobile Park lease renewal negotiations with the Seattle Mariners, and the Arboretum Foundation in securing WSDOT’s commitment to restore and return to Arboretum use land committed to the SR520 project. Gerry is currently supporting the City of Seattle in a cooperative effort with Seattle Public Schools to replace its Memorial Stadium, and a Downtown Seattle Association affiliate on the recently announced Elliott Bay Connections Project.
Gerry is a past board chair of the (Pike Place) Market Foundation and Forterra (formerly 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. He recently represented the Zoo Society in renewing its Operating Agreement with the City. Gerry served 12 years as a trustee and Board Chair of the Bullitt Foundation, a substantial regional foundation focused on the environment. He currently serves on the boards of the Seattle Parks Foundation and the Downtown Seattle Association. After many years of providing citizen leadership on the evolution of the City of Seattle’s central waterfront project that will transform the relationship of the Seattle CBD with its historic waterfront in the wake of the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Gerry now serves as chair of the City’s Oversight Committee advising the Mayor and City Council on project implementation.
Gerry was the founding Managing Partner of Pacifica Law Group and served in that capacity through 2022. Established in 2011, the now 40+ lawyer firm received Seattle Metropolitan Area, Tier One rankings in the 2021 and 2022 Editions of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in the areas of Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation (2022), Education Law, Litigation – Construction (2022), Municipal Law, Public Finance Law and Real Estate Law, and Tier Two for Construction Law. Pacifica Law Group also received National Tier 2 rankings for Appellate Practice, Litigation – Construction 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 that was acquired by FTI in 2008. Earlier, he was a legislative assistant to the Seattle City Council, and legislative assistant and administrative assistant/chief-of-staff to former U.S. Senator Warren G. Magnuson.
- District of Columbia (inactive)
- Dartmouth College, A.B., summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Senior Fellow
- Georgetown University Law Center J.D., cum laude
- Selected for Washington Super Lawyers, 2006-2019, 2022-2023
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Municipal Law, 2007-2024, and Real Estate Law, 2008-2024, and as Lawyer of the Year in Municipal Law in Seattle for 2016, 2020, and 2024
- Selected for Chambers & Partners, USA, in Real Estate in Washington, 2022-2023
- 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