Barton J. Winokur


Barton J. Winokur


New York | Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, United States of America 10036-6797
+1 212 698 3575 | +1 212 698 3599

Philadelphia | Cira Centre, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America 19104-2808
+1 215 994 2505 | +1 215 994 2222


Barton J. Winokur, who joined Dechert in 1965, has been a corporate partner for more than forty years and is the Immediate Past Chairman 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 26 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 star individual for Corporate/M&A and Private Equity in Chambers USA, a referral guide to leading lawyers in the United States based on the opinions of their peers and clients. Recent editions of Chambers USA have cited Mr. Winokur as being “in a different class,” and clients have praised him for being “a talented attorney whose judgment and creativity allow him to provide first-class counsel and advice.” Chambers has also noted Mr. Winokur as “unusually wise and brilliant,” 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. Mr. Winokur is also recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global for Corporate M&A (International & Cross-Border) transactions in the United States. In addition, he has been recognized as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 (U.S.) and Practical Law Company and as a leading dealmaker in The Lawdragon 500 Leading Dealmakers. In 2016, Mr. Winokur was featured in the 2016 Mergers & Acquisitions & Antitrust Trailblazers by the National Law Journal, which honors individuals who have changed the practice in their respective fields through innovative and exceptional legal strategies. In 2013, he was named a recipient of The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which honored some of the most important figures of the legal profession in Pennsylvania over the past 50 years. In the same year, he also received the Law Firm Leader award at The American Lawyer’s 10th annual Lifetime Achievement Awards.

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, including the acquisition of Getty Oil by Texaco and the acquisition of Rohm and Haas by The Dow Chemical Company. 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.

  • Fannie Mae in connection with a US$11.6 billion settlement with Bank of America to settle all repurchase and certain other claims surrounding almost all of the mortgage loans originated by Countrywide Financial Corp and Bank of America National Association from 2000 through 2008. As part of the deal, Mr. Winokur helped skillfully negotiate a settlement that has widely been praised, avoiding what seemed like certain litigation.
  • Haas Trusts as special counsel in connection with their 35% interest in Rohm and Haas. The Dow Chemical Company had agreed to acquire Rohm and Haas in early 2008 for in excess of US$15 billion, but by the end of 2008 and continuing into 2009, the acquisition had foundered in the face of the financial crisis as Dow sued to break the deal. Mr. Winokur played a key role in negotiating and structuring the supplemental financing that enabled the deal to close. The financing was led by the Haas Trusts and was structured to enable them to realize not only the full US$5.5 billion deal value of their shares, but to also realize without risk the full cash value for most of their interest immediately after the closing.
  • One Equity Partners on its US$470 million acquisition of APAC Customer Services, Inc., a Nasdaq-listed business process outsourcing (BPO) company, and the subsequent merger of NCO Group, Inc., another BPO and portfolio company of One Equity Partners, with APAC. In connection with the merger transaction, Mr. Winokur also helped structure and implement a complex reorganization and an approximately US$1 billion refinancing.
  • Innovatus Capital Partners in connection with the formation of Innovatus Flagship Fund, which employs a private debt and diversified asset-based strategy. The fund, which was formed by former key members of the Perella Weinberg Asset Based Value Strategy, focuses on distressed, disruptive and growth opportunities resulting from regulatory changes, market volatility and the pace of innovation.
  • Cornell University, A.B., Government, 1961
  • Harvard Law School, LL.B., 1964, Editor of the Harvard Law Review
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Honorable Abraham L. Freedman
  • Member, several corporate boards
  • Member and Former Chair, Board of Trustees of Brandeis University, from which he received an honorary doctoral degree of humane letters
  • Board of Trustees of Cornell University executive committee and Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dean’s Advisory Board of Harvard Law School
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Board of Governors of Gratz College
  • Corporate Executive Board of the Philadelphia Museum of Art