Steven Barth

"Nothing can replace hard work"

Steven Barth

Partner and business lawyer
Foley & Lardner LLP
Industry: Law
Employees: About 2,500

“I have three maxims that I live by that I learned from my dad that I use all the time. I pass them on to any of the young lawyers who will listen to me, too. They really still ring true.

“The primary one that really drives me and I really try to imbue in my young associates is…there are always going to be competitors who are smarter than you and there are always going to be competitors that are luckier than you…but always make sure that there’s no competitor that works harder than you. It’s true. There are many others that are smarter than me, there are many others that are luckier, but if you are the hardest worker around, sooner or later, breaks will come to you.

“Nothing can replace hard work and out-hustling and the respect that that generates and the good fortune that arises from it, as well.”

AGE: 57


Barth earned his juris doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1984. He holds a bachelor’s in finance from Indiana University. Barth has been recognized for the past four years as a leading corporate/M&A lawyer by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 has recommended him for his M&A work from 2012 to 2016 and he has regularly been listed as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer and among the Best Lawyers in America. Barth is co-chair of Foley’s national Transactional & Securities practice and a member of the firm’s management committee. He has represented buyers, sellers, investors and intermediaries in more than 600 business combination transactions aggregating more than $20 billion in total consideration, and has represented many publicly traded companies, including The Marcus Corp., Cummins Inc., Bucyrus International Inc. and MGIC Investment Corp.


The M&A market continues to boom, valuations are high, private equity is chasing deals harder than ever, and strategic buyers are trying to stay competitive through acquisitions, Barth said. And if President Donald Trump’s planned repatriation of corporations’ foreign cash goes through, deal volume will increase further. “If they can now bring that cash back, they’re going to have to put it to use and that could mean really heightened deal activity,” he said.

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