Kevin J. Johnson


(952) 995-9576

Kevin's Assistant
Cathy Soderberg

Kevin Johnson is a founding shareholder of Fafinski Mark & Johnson, P.A. He concentrates his practice in aircraft finance and leasing, cross-border transactions, unmanned aircraft systems, corporate aviation structuring, mergers and acquisitions and other complex commercial transactions. He has negotiated equipment leases, transfers, foreclosures and financings worldwide and handled the restructuring of hundreds of aircraft transactions arising out of the United, Delta, Northwest and American Airlines bankruptcies.

Kevin has also represented airlines, charter operators, FBOs, and corporate aircraft lenders, owners and lessees. He began his legal career in-house at Northwest Airlines where he learned the airline industry from the inside including airline distribution (global distribution systems or GDSs), marketing, purchasing, maintenance and ground handling contracts, antitrust and competition matters and associated regulatory matters. As in-house counsel and in private practice, he has also been a trusted advisor to companies of all sizes in developing strategies for overcoming business and commercial law issues.

Kevin has been honored by his peers as a “Super Lawyer” for several years in a row – an honor only given to the top lawyers in Minnesota. He holds an “AV” Peer Review Rating through Martindale-Hubbell, ranking him at the highest levels of legal professional excellence. He has also been recognized as one of the leading commercial aviation attorneys in the world, as he has been named to the International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers every year since 2008.


University of Minnesota Law School (JD cum laude 1989)
University of Minnesota (BA summa cum laude 1986)

State Bar Admissions:
State of Minnesota

Professional Memberships and Associations:
International Society of Aircraft Trading (ISTAT)
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
National Business Aircraft Association
Minnesota Business Aircraft Association
Minnesota State Bar Association, Business Law Section

Publications and Presentations:

  • My Client is Buying an Airplane: Five Things Professional Advisors Need to Know,” FMJ Newsroom, March 2017
  • “Aircraft Finance Update: Hot Topics in 2014,” SBOT Annual Meeting, June 2014
  • “Does the FAA Review of Non-Citizen Trusts Impose New Requirements on all Aircraft Owners?” FMJ Aviation Advisor, October 2013
  • How to Buy a Business Jet,” Forbes Aviator Blog, co-authored with Matthew Stibbe, July 2011
  • “Legal and Tax Developments 2010: Opportunities and Pitfalls in Business Aviation,” November 2010
  • “New Aircraft Registration Rule Takes Effect,” FMJ Aviation Advisor, October 2010
  • “Congress Told us to Sell our Jet. Now What?” Business Law Institute, May 2009 (Minnesota State Bar Association Business Law Section)
  • “Getting Technical: Prepurchase Inspections” (with Deborah Bew Liu, Aircraft Acquisitions, Inc.), 16th Annual Aircraft Registry Forum, February 2009
  • “Computer Reservations System Participation: Is It Still Necessary for Smaller Carriers?” Forum on Air and Space Law, American Bar Association, Spring 1997
  • “When Disaster Strikes – Planning for Disaster Recovery,” Presentation – Minnesota Technology Forum, 1997
  • “On the Road Again: Business Roadblocks and How to Avoid Them,” Minnesota Business and Opportunities, December 1996
  • “Legal Issues in a Paperless Workplace” (co-author and presenter), Presentation – Minnesota Technology Forum, 1996

Published Cases and Key Transactions:

  • Knudsen vs. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 450 N.W.2d 131 (Minn. 1990)
  • Evans vs. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 1993 WL 23589 (D. Minn. 1993)
  • Formation and restructuring of Worldspan, L.P., an airline computer reservation system (1990, 1993 and 1994)
  • DOT review of Australian Route Authority for Northwest Airlines (1991)
  • DOT computer reservation system (CRS) rulemaking (1991)
  • DOT Consent to Northwest Airlines, Inc./KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Open Skies antitrust immunity (1992)
  • Sale of Novus Marketing Inc. to Omnicom (2000)
  • Computer Associates/Legent Corporation Antitrust Settlement/Software License to BI Moyle Associates, Inc. (1997)