Mr William G Lawlor > Dechert LLP > Philadelphia, United States > Lawyer Profile

Dechert LLP
United States
William G Lawlor photo

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William G. Lawlor heads Dechert’s Global Corporate Governance Group. 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.


Chairman’s Advisory Council, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia; Board of Advisors,; Mergers & Acquisitions Editorial Advisory Board, Law360; Member, Title 15/Business Associations Committee


University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1977; Stanford Law School, J.D., 1980

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Finance > Capital markets: debt

Acting primarily for issuers, Dechert LLP is noted as ‘a leader in advising business development companies’, and is also well known in the life sciences sector. Recent highlights included James Lebovitz, who splits his time between Philadelphia and New York, advising a business development company on a $500m senior notes offering. In a high-profile multi-jurisdictional deal, Philadelphia partners William Lawlor and Ian Hartman advised Crown Holdings on two private placements of notes worth €335m and €500m respectively, which were issued by its French subsidiary. The team also advised Crown on a $875m private placement of notes issued by US subsidiaries. Boston-based Thomas Friedmann and New-York based David Rosenthal co-chair the corporate finance and capital markets practice.

United States > Finance > Capital markets: global offerings

Business-oriented, committed and knowledgeable’, according to one source, Dechert LLP’s capital markets practice ‘works closely with the client to provide an active and prominent voice in internal dialogues’. The group, which is well weighted between issuer and manager mandates, attracts particular praise as ‘a specialist advisor to business development companies’; it is also well versed in life sciences matters. In a significant cross-border highlight, Philadelphia-based partners William Lawlor and Ian Hartman advised Crown Holdings on two euro-denominated private placements of notes worth a combined €835m (issued by a French subsidiary of Crown) and a simultaneous $875m private placement of notes (issued by US subsidiaries of Crown) — the team was supported by lawyers in London, Paris and Luxembourg. Boston-based Thomas Friedmann, who advised PennantPark Floating Rate Capital on its $138.6m notes offering in Israel, and New York-based David Rosenthal, who ‘seeks to understand the client’s business’, jointly lead the department.

United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Dechert LLP‘s increasing global prominence and dedication to the private equity segment has further bolstered its standing in strategic M&A. Moreover, its commitment to developing an international antitrust team, its strong CFIUS credentials and its experienced tax groups in key money centers, has further enabled it to gain traction in cross-border M&A. The ‘world-class‘ team ‘is always thinking several steps ahead‘, ‘anticipates key deal structuring issues and presents innovative solutions‘. It consistently outperforms many top Wall Street firms, according to one client. It is ‘very thorough‘ and delivers ‘a quick turn around, responsiveness, precision and good internal communications across disciplines‘. It has an especially fine record in financial services, life sciences and healthcare transactions. Clients include B&G Foods, Crown Holdings, Differential Brands Group and H&E Equipment Services. It advised SK hynix as part of a Bain Capital-led consortium that acquired Toshiba’s NAND flash memory and solid-state drive business for $18bn. It also advised Crown Holdings on its $3.91bn acquisition of Signode Industrial Group Holdings, the global provider of transit packaging systems and solutions, from The Carlyle Group. Mark Thierfelder, chair of the global corporate and securities practice, has played an anchor role in increasing the team’s status globally and in New York especially; he is ‘a truly excellent deal lawyer‘ and ‘his strategic guidance is invaluable‘. Philadelphia’s William Lawlor heads the global corporate governance practice and is an experienced domestic and cross-border M&A expert, as is Philadelphia partner Ian HartmanJonathan KimChristian MatareseMarkus Bolsinger and Naz Zilkha are also highly rated. Derek Winokur is ‘super smart, super hardworking, and a genuinely really nice guy‘, he ‘presents savvy negotiating tactics and superior M&A technical advice‘ and ‘knows how to manage a relationship to ensure win-win outcomes‘. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.