Tony Johnston is a partner in Willkie’s Corporate & Financial Services Department and Private Equity Practice Group and is based in the Firm's Dallas office.

Tony advises private equity firms, portfolio companies, family offices and corporate clients on strategically important and complex transactions, with a particular focus on the energy and infrastructure sector. He regularly advises on private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, financial sponsor-management team partnerships, preferred equity and other minority investments, and recapitalizations and restructurings for clients across the energy spectrum – ranging from oil and gas to energy transition matters. He also guides private equity firms and their funds throughout their life cycles, including through the formation, investment and monetization processes.


Tony was previously a partner at Kirkland & Ellis. 

Joint Ventures & Strategic Transactions

  • A global infrastructure private equity firm in its acquisition of a majority stake in a leading U.S. offshore wind energy solutions provider.
  • Braya Renewable Fuels, a producer of low-emission renewable fuels, in its $300 million preferred equity investment from Energy Capital Partners, a leading energy transition focused investor in the electricity, clean energy, renewable and sustainable infrastructure sectors.
  • Tailwater Capital, together with Waste Management (NYSE: WM) through a newly formed joint venture, in its acquisition of a significant interest in Continuus Materials, a waste-to-product business that transforms discarded plastic and fiber material into engineered building products.
  • A mid-market U.S. private equity firm in its carve out acquisition of the credit investment business of a UK asset management firm. 
  • Montage, the controlling shareholder of Ubiquity, in the sale of Ubiquity's fiber networks, and subsequent formation of a $400 million joint venture between Montage and Generate Capital to build high-quality fiber-to-the-premises networks and complementary sustainable digital infrastructure. 
  • DoublePoint Energy in connection with the dedication of certain of its leasehold acreage related to natural gas production in Midland, Martin, and Glasscock Counties to an affiliate of Pinnacle Midstream II, LLC and certain other related transactions.
  • Tailwater Capital in its joint venture with The Energy & Minerals Group to fund Silver Creek Midstream's purchase and expansion of Genesis Energy's crude gathering, storage and rail assets in the Powder River Basin.
  • A large private equity-backed E&P joint venture in an upstream/midstream joint venture with a private equity-backed midstream company related to crude oil gathering and transportation in the Permian Basin.
  • Vaughn Petroleum in the formation of High River Resources, an E&P operating company and joint venture with Silver Hill Energy and other institutional or high net worth investors.
  • A large-cap energy private equity firm in its investment in a joint venture regarding the Willow Glenn Terminal in Louisiana.
  • Grenadier Energy Partners in its formation of a joint venture with a private equity-backed midstream company to pursue natural gas gathering, processing and transportation in the Northern Louisiana Salt Basin.
  • Pivotal Petroleum Partners, an affiliate of Tailwater Capital LLC, in a farmout transaction with Black Stone Minerals, L.P. that covers the majority of Black Stone's Haynesville and Bossier shale acreage under active development agreements in the Shelby Trough in Angelina and San Augustine Counties, Texas.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • An upstream oil and gas PE-backed company operating in the DJ Basin in its sale to a consortium of private equity and family office investors.
  • Cresta Fund Management in its acquisition of Braya Renewable Fuels, a renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel refinery.
  • Cureton Front Range, a midstream oil and gas company, in its acquisition of a portfolio of midstream assets from Aka Energy Group. 
  • Coastal Welding Supply in its definitive agreement to be acquired by American Welding & Gas, one of the nation’s largest independently owned producers and distributors of industrial, medical, beverage and specialty gases.
  • An oil and gas private equity firm in the structuring and acquisition of certain oil and gas assets in the Hugoton Basin by multiple of its investment funds and co-investment vehicles from a publicly-traded E&P company.
  • The founder of one of the largest residential HVAC and plumbing services company in the U.S, in the sale of such company from one private equity firm to another and the related rollover transaction.
  • A large-cap energy private equity firm in its purchase of and subsequent investment in an energy storage and technology company.
  • Silver Hill Energy in its sale of Silver Hill Energy Partners I and Silver Hill Energy Partners II and their related Permian Basin oil and gas assets to RSP Permian Inc.
  • Caelus Energy in its acquisition of a 75% working interest ownership in Smith Bay state-owned offshore Alaskan leases from Nordaq Energy.
  • Casillas Midstream in the sale of Woody Creek Midstream to Bison Oilfield Services.
  • Growers Express, a private equity-backed produce company, in its acquisition of Curran Bean Sprout Co.
  • Selle Supply Company and PBI Supply, full-line distributors of insulation products and related construction materials, in their sale to Distribution International, Inc.
  • A private family office in the acquisition of an industrial bolting service and solutions company and the related rollover transaction.

Private Equity Investments

  • Tailwater Capital in multiple portfolio company investments, including:
    • Renovo Resources, a water treatment asset development company that provides turnkey solutions for the beneficial reuse of produced water from upstream oil and gas exploration and production operations.
    • Frontier Carbon Solutions, a carbon capture infrastructure and carbon marketing company that provides safe and permanent carbon storage services for industrial emitters across the Mountain West.
    • Freestone Holdco, an investor in companies that specialize in disruptive infrastructure, manufacturing, support services, and technologies that enable the transition to a lower carbon or more circular economy.
    • Align Midstream Partners II, a midstream company focused on serving producers’ needs in emerging and established basins within the United States.
    • Silvercreek Midstream, a private midstream company focused on providing crude oil gathering, transportation and storage services in the Powder River, Big Horn, and Wind River Basins.
    • Elevate Midstream Partners, a private midstream service company focused on providing responsive, scalable, value enhancing midstream solutions to exploration and production customers across the United States onshore oil and gas production basins.
    • Copperbeck Energy Partners, a private energy company focused on providing strategic midstream and downstream-adjacent infrastructure and services for refineries, petrochemical and industrial concerns.
    • E2 Energy Services, a fee-based, growth-oriented midstream company that provides natural gas gathering and processing services as well as extended services and solutions from well pad to market.
    • Valiant Midstream, a private midstream energy company focused on providing innovation, energy and results to midstream customers in the Mid-Continent and across North America.
  • NGP Energy Capital in multiple portfolio company investments, including:
    • Cloverleaf Infrastructure, a developer of large-scale digital infrastructure sites powered by low-carbon electricity. 
    • Rubicon Carbon, a company created to scale market-based products and solutions that enable net zero goals.
    • Black Mountain Sand, an in-basin frac sand provider operating in the Permian, Eagle Ford and Mid-Con regions.
    • Titus Oil & Gas, a Fort Worth upstream oil and gas company.
    • CH4 Energy VI, LLC, an upstream oil and gas company focused on the Southern Delaware Basin in West Texas and New Mexico.
    • Black Mountain Oil and Gas, an upstream oil and gas company focused on the Southern Delaware Basin in West Texas and New Mexico.
    • Wing Resources, a Permian Basin focused mineral and royalty acquisition company.
    • 89 Energy, an aggressive, growth-oriented oil and gas exploration and production company with a proven track record in Mid-Continent resource plays.
  • Pearl Energy Investments in its investment in:
    • Colgate Energy, a private, independent exploration and production company focused on acquiring and developing conventional and unconventional oil properties in the Permian Basin.
    • Teal Natural Resources, a private, independent exploration, production and development company focused on developing conventional and unconventional reserves primarily in the Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas.
  • RedBird Capital Partners in its investments in:
    • Go Rentals, the premier luxury car rental provider in the United States specializing in premium end-markets.
    • Aero Centers, a platform of full-service FBOs
  • Edge Natural Resources in its investments in multiple small-cap upstream oil and gas portfolio companies.
  • Double Eagle Natural Resources in the formation of multiple private equity-backed oil and gas and minerals portfolio companies.
  • Slant Energy II in its partnership with Pearl Energy Investments to pursue upstream development and acquisition opportunities. 
  • Bayou Midstream, a full service midstream company providing midstream solutions for oil and gas producers across the US Rockies, focused on the Powder River Basin and the Bakken, in an investment by EIV Capital.
  • Meritage Midstream, platform midstream company focused on greenfield development opportunities and opportunistic acquisitions for the gathering, treating, and handling of oil and gas in Western Canada's emerging resource plays, in its investment by Riverstone.
  • Salt Fork Resources, a Pittsburgh-based private oil and gas company formed to pursue oil and gas acquisition and development opportunities in the Appalachian Basin, in its investment by Riverstone.

Fund Formations

  • Scout Energy Partners in the formation of multiple operated oil and gas investment funds and their related co-investment vehicles.
  • PetroCap, LLC in the formation of multiple non-op oil and gas investment funds and their related co-investment vehicles.
  • Grey Rock Energy Partners in the formation of multiple non-op oil and gas investment funds.
  • Tailwater Capital in the formation of Tailwater Energy Fund III, LP, a midstream oil and gas private equity fund, and a related co-investment vehicle.
  • NGP Energy Capital in the formation of NGP Natural Resources XI, L.P., an energy private equity fund.
  • Urban Oil & Gas in the formation of an operated oil and gas investment fund.

*Tony advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.




University of Texas at Austin School of Law, J.D. (with honors), 2013 Vanderbilt University, B.A. (cum laude), 2009

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