Barton J. Winokur, who joined Dechert in 1965, has been a corporate partner for more than forty years and is the Immediate Past Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the firm. Throughout his career, he has served as chair of Dechert's mergers and acquisitions and international law groups, and was the resident partner of the London office from 1975 to 1979.
Mr. Winokur has been listed as a leading lawyer for the past 25 years by Best Lawyers in America, where he was also recognized as Lawyer of the Year for Mergers & Acquisitions Law in 2012 and as Lawyer of the Year for Corporate Law in 2014. He is consistently designated at the highest level as a leading lawyer for corporate/mergers and acquisitions in Chambers USA, a referral guide to leading lawyers in the United States based on the opinions of their peers and clients. In recent editions, Chambers notes that clients praise Mr. Winokur as 'unusually wise and brilliant,' 'smart, articulate, creative,' and 'a force of nature.' He has also been described as 'extraordinarily smart and essential for solving difficult, complex problems,' 'one of the best negotiators you'll ever see' and a 'legend' of the mergers and acquisitions and private equity practice. In addition, Mr. Winokur has been recognized as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 (USA) and Practical Law Company and as a leading dealmaker in the The Lawdragon 500 Leading Dealmakers.
Mr. Winokur has devoted his practice to the representation of large public and private companies, global leveraged buyout funds, and venture capital firms in complex corporate transactions, such as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, restructurings and securities matters. He has played a pivotal role in some of the nation's most significant M&A transactions. A trusted advisor to clients, Mr. Winokur is also adept at negotiating and achieving successful outcomes in contentious matters. In addition, Mr. Winokur regularly counsels boards of directors and special committees of public companies in connection with corporate governance matters, such as ongoing board activities as well as interested party transactions and issues requiring special investigations and disclosures.
Prior to returning to his legal practice full time, Mr. Winokur served 15 years as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dechert from 1996 to 2011. During his tenure, the firm nearly doubled its headcount, significantly expanded its global footprint with the opening of multiple offices worldwide, expanded its pro bono program and became one of the most profitable law firms in the country. Mr. Winokur's accomplishments as a leader have been duly noted, having been recognized by The Lawyer as one of the 10 most influential lawyers of the next decade who are likely to lead firms' thinking and shape the future of the transatlantic elite. In 2007, The American Lawyer praised Mr. Winokur for his leadership, vision and strategic direction, which were instrumental in Dechert becoming one of the nation's most successful law firms. Mr. Winokur was presented with The American Lawyer's Law Firm Leader Award at the publication's 10th annual Lifetime Achievement Awards dinner last year. Also in 2013, he was one of the recipients of The Legal Intelligencer's Lifetime Achievement Award, given as part of the publication's 170th anniversary and honoring some of the most important figures in the history of the legal profession in Pennsylvania.