Robert Johnson


Robert Johnson is a partner in the Chicago office of Gordon & Rees and is a member of the Commercial Litigation & Transactions practice groups.

Mr. Johnson advises and provides legal and business management advice to organizations and individuals. He has over 25 years’ experience advising a wide range of entities on business and legal matters. As a complement to his legal and business experience, Mr. Johnson also regularly advises companies on issues addressing diversity and inclusion. He is an author and a frequent speaker on issues related to diversity and inclusion, personal branding and leadership. Mr. Johnson was also a featured co-author in a book with Stephen Covey and Brian Tracy called “Discover Your Inner Strengths”.

Mr. Johnson provides advice in the areas franchise law, franchise consulting franchise development, business brokerage, business start-ups, buying and selling businesses, social entrepreneurship, sports and entertainment, commercial litigation, products liability, and contract negotiations.

Mr. Johnson is also the principal of a social enterprise management-consulting firm and a full-service business brokerage firm. Previously, he served as Franchise Relations Officer and Ombudsman for McDonald’s Corporation’s Central Division. He also served as a company liaison to the McDonald’s Black McDonald’s Owner Operators, the Hispanic Owner Operators, the Asian Owner Operators and the Women Owner Operator Associations.

Also while at McDonald’s, he was Managing Counsel, responsible for the creation, oversight and management of the Workers’ Compensation Program for all domestic corporate owned restaurants. Prior to this role, he had oversight over all customer related claims and litigation throughout the United States. Mr. Johnson also provided claims handling and crisis management advice for McDonald’s markets in Europe, Australia, Latin America, Canada and Asia.

Mr. Johnson was also a member of McDonald’s Diversity and Inclusion faculty. In this role, Mr. Johnson frequently traveled throughout the country to address diversity issues, instruct on minority career development and intercultural learning. Mr. Johnson also has particular expertise addressing issues related to diversity within the legal profession.

Mr. Johnson received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1993 and Bachelor of Science from Knox College in Illinois in 1990, graduating with dual majors in economics and sociology.

Mr. Johnson serves on the board of Legal Prep Charter Academy, a legal-themed charter high school that seeks to expose students from underrepresented groups to the practice of law.

Mr. Johnson is the recipient of the National Association of African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) 2018 Unity Globe Award, the National Black Lawyers Top 100 in 2017, the 2012 First Chair Award for Top Litigation Counsel, the 2009 Chicago United Business Leaders of Color Award, the 2009 Council on Legal Educational Opportunity Legacy Diversity Award, the 2009 Risk & Insurance Magazine Risk Innovator Award, the 2008 Council on Legal Education Opportunity Legacy Diversity Award, the 2006 National Eagle Leadership Institute and Career Focus Magazine Eagle Award, the McDonald’s Corporation 2003 Shining Light Award, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago 2002 Black & Hispanic Achiever Award, the Bloom Trail High School Hall of Fame for Distinguished Accomplishments in the Field of Law, and the University of Illinois College of Law (BLSA) 1995 James Seaberry Award.

Courses by this instructor:

Ethics, Bias & Professionalism

The Duty of Inclusion


Ethics, Bias & Professionalism

The Duty of Inclusion (Self-Study)