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Our Areas of Practice

Besse M. Johannsen Esq.

JohannsenOf Counsel

Location: San Diego, California
619-546-5527 (Direct Dial)
619-696-9500 (Ext. 124)
Fax: 619-615-5290

Besse M. Johannsen is Of Counsel to the Firm based in the San Diego office. Her experience and expertise is in tax-driven business transactions, trusts and estate planning. Besse also has experience specializing in tax controversy matters. A fourth-generation graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Besse received her law degree Summa Cum Laude in 2002 from California Western School of Law in San Diego. While at Cal Western, Besse was Executive Editor of the California Western Law Review, Treasurer of the Public Interest Law Foundation and a Judicial Extern to the Hon. James F. Stiven, U.S. Magistrate Judge (now retired). Besse also holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from New York University School of Law, the nation’s premiere institution for tax law.

Besse has extensive experience representing clients in a variety of personal and business transactions, including entity formation, private debt and equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions, employment agreements, executive compensation arrangements, real estate transactions, distribution contracts, technology licensing, protection of trade secrets and other proprietary technology and information, tax reduction planning, estate planning (including wills and trusts) and family wealth succession planning and asset protection.

A former member of the San Diego Uptown Rotary Club, Besse is currently the Secretary and member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Chapter of EWI (Executive Women International), an organization that works to promote literacy and scholarship programs in the community.

Areas of Practice

  • Tax and Estate Planning
  • Corporate and Securities Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Business Transactions
  • Entity Formation
  • Private Debt and Equity Offerings
  • Employment Agreements
  • Executive Compensation Arrangements
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Distribution Contracts
  • Technology licensing
  • Tax Reduction Planning
  • Estate planning (Including Wills and Trusts)
  • Family Wealth Succession Planning
  • Asset Protection

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2003


  • New York University School of Law, New York, New York
    • LL.M.Taxation – 2003
  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California – 2002
    • Honors: Summa Cum Laude
    • Law Review: California Western Law School Law Review, Executive Editor
  • University of California, Santa Barbara

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Diego Chapter of EWI (Executive Women International), Secretary and Member of the Board of Directors

Past Employment Positions

  • Hon. James F. Stiven, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Judicial Extern

Pro Bono Activities

  • Former Member, San Diego Uptown Rotary Club