Johnny is one of South Carolina’s most experienced real estate development and corporate transactions attorneys. He has represented banks as general counsel and special counsel on complex secured loan transactions, regulatory matters, internal redemptions, SEC filings, workouts and litigation, including with the FDIC, foreclosures, and debt collections.

In addition, he has guided mid-market and smaller corporations, partnerships and joint ventures in formation, dissolutions, intra-company disputes, general corporate and business entity matters, mergers and acquisitions, and internal investigations. He has represented industrial, commercial and residential developers in commercial and residential real estate development, sale and leasing, including office projects, dormitory projects and multi-use tract developments.

Johnny has served on the Board of Directors for both Roper Hospital and Spoleto Festival USA and served as President of the Boards of Historic Charleston Foundation and College of Charleston Foundation. He has also served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra twice, for the 1985-1986 season and again from 2010 through 2012.

Civic and Professional Activities

  • Charleston County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar Association: Former Chair, Corporation, Banking and Securities Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Former Board of Directors, Roper Hospital
  • Former Board of Directors, Spoleto Festival USA
  • Former President of the Board, Historic Charleston Foundation
  • Former President of the Board, College of Charleston Foundation
  • Former President, Board of Directors, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, 1985-1986, 2010-2012

Honors and Awards

  • Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer, Corporate: M&A, Real Estate, South Carolina, 2016 – Present
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Real Estate Law, Securities / Capital Markets Law, Securities Regulation, 1993 – Present
  • Recognized in Charleston Business Magazine’s Legal Elite, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, 2021
  • Received the Best Lawyers™ Banking and Finance, Corporate, Real Estate "Lawyer of the Year" award in Charleston, South Carolina, 2009 – 2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Peer Rated AV Preeminent 5.0/5.0


Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Acted as lead counsel for purchaser in the acquisition of a fully integrated mature coastal island real estate development at a purchase price exceeding $100 million.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a regional private aviation company in a roll-up of approximately 15 private aircraft FBO locations across the United States and acted as lead counsel to that company in a merger with a national private equity buyer.
  • Acted as lead counsel for the purchaser to the acquisition and development of a major private island-wide residential and multi-use development of 12,000 acres.
  • Acts as general counsel for an SEC reporting bank holding company.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a real estate developer in the assemblage of a substantial portion of a city block in the City of Charleston and the construction and development of the multi-use dormitory, retail and parking facility, for a total project exceeding $60 million in capital costs, all in the form of leasehold condominiums.