Jim Johnston of the Johnston firm in Atlanta is the first to tell you he is not an insurance lawyer. Or a litigator.

“I’m a deal lawyer,” Johnston said right out of the gate into a long conversation with the Daily Report about how he wound up—or as he put it with a laugh, “got drug into”—litigating an insurance dispute for the past six years. “Most of my practice for 36 years has been doing deals. I buy and sell companies and do M&A work,” he said. “This client insisted that I do this case.”