William G. Lawlor


William G. Lawlor

Retired Partner

Philadelphia | Cira Centre, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America 19104-2808
+1 215 994 2823 | +1 215 994 2222


William G. Lawlor is a retired partner and the former head of Dechert’s Global Corporate Governance Group. With experience spanning four decades, he represents companies, boards of directors, special committees and investors in a broad range of national and cross-border M&A, governance matters, securities offerings, proxy contests, activist campaigns and merger arbitrage. A frequent advisor to general counsel, Mr. Lawlor’s practice includes strategic and litigation advice within the context of broader corporate matters. 

Mr. Lawlor frequently advises companies and investors engaged in sophisticated M&A and proxy contests in Pennsylvania with respect to Pennsylvania’s complex takeover statutes.

He is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer for corporate/M&A and private equity by Chambers USA, a referral guide to leading lawyers in the United States, which has cited Mr. Lawlor as “extremely bright and analytical” and “smart, practical and efficient," who “regularly offers thoughtful and strategic business advice.” Clients have also praised him as “a super tough negotiator and a quick thinker—a lawyer you would follow to any corner of the States.” He is regularly recommended in the mergers and acquisitions: large deals and capital markets: debt and global offerings categories by The Legal 500 (U.S.), which has described him as “highly reputed” and “a great negotiator” who is “adept at finding pragmatic solutions.” Relentlessly client focused, Mr. Lawlor has also been recognized as a leader for client service excellence in The BTI Client Service All-Star Team for Law Firms 2011. In addition, he is a leading media commentator and has published dozens of articles in leading trade journals.

  • US$5.6 billion, US$3.9 billion, US$1.6 billion and US$1.2 billion acquisitions, several multi-billion dollar debt restructurings, and a US$750 million divestiture by Crown Holdings, Inc. and numerous other significant domestic and international transactions.
  • Numerous capital markets and M&A transactions for Amkor Technology, Inc.
  • US$1 billion divestiture and a US$460 million tender offer by Rohm and Haas, and several transactions for its affiliate The Dow Chemical Company.
  • US$170 million tender offer and other significant M&A transactions for Siemens AG.
  • US$1 billion tender offer by Dyckerhoff AG.
  • US$550 million IPO and debt placement by Constar International, Inc.
  • US$255 million acquisition and a US$352 million acquisition by Israel Chemicals Ltd.
  • Trian Fund Management, L.P. proxy contest to successfully elect directors of HJ Heinz.
  • US$650 million leveraged recapitalization and a US$270 million tender offer by companies associated with the private equity sponsor Bruckmann Rosser & Sherrill.
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1977
  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1980
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • President, Board of Trustees, Radnor Memorial Library (2020 – 2021)
  • Former President, Board of Trustees, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-Eastern PA Chapter
  • Chairman’s Advisory Council Member and former Director, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
  • Title 15/Business Associations Committee (state bar legislative oversight)
  • Board of Advisors, DealLawyers.com
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Editorial Advisory Board, Law360 (2015 – 2017)