William N. Norton, of counsel at Baker Donelson’s New Orleans office, concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate and business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and finance. He has 40 years of experience in entity formation, capital formation, acquisitions of financial institutions, service companies and energy concerns, defense of unwanted takeovers, business reorganizations, and financings on behalf of lenders and borrowers.
Along with serving on the Louisiana State Bar Association, the New Orleans Bar Association, the Louisiana Bar Foundation and the IOLTA, he is also a member of the American Bar Association.
Since 2006, William’s corporate (and mergers and acquisitions) accomplishments have led him to be included as one of America’s Leading Business Lawyers — an award from Chambers and Partners. Since 2007, he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, a legal marketing network that ranks top attorneys countrywide. In addition, William was listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers for his mergers and acquisitions expertise in both 2012 and 2013. New Orleans Magazine also recognized him as a Top Lawyer in 2010 and 2012.
William received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1969, going on to earn his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law three years later. He believes strongly in improving the community; in 2012, he received Baker Donelson’s Pro Bono Award, celebrating and underscoring his commitment to giving back.
He is the proud father of three children: Kate, Sarah and Barlow.
On the Biggest Challenge of Parenthood
“The biggest challenge has been accepting that I do not have superpowers to ‘do it all,’ as many of us would like to think. But I do have the power to show up for my children, and [I] am very proud of that. If it is 4pm on a Thursday and I am on the sideline of a kid’s soccer game, then that’s where I am and where my focus is. I probably had community service or employment duties, too, but I cannot do it all and I want to be good at what I do. The challenge is to do one thing at a time and focus on it.”
On Being a Great Dad
“I grew up in a home with emphasis on community service, not necessarily always recognized. The reward is in doing the work, in both community service and parenting. I learned a great deal from my father, for example, just by observing him. My mother, too, taught me how to smooth out the rough spots by the way she did it. So I have tried to make good examples for my kids. I see the values I like so well showing up in them. That is rewarding — if I had a little part in making that happen.”