Clients and colleagues call Barry Barnett an “incredibly gifted lawyer” (Chambers and Partners) who is “magic in the courtroom” (Who’s Who Legal), “the top antitrust lawyer in Texas” (Chambers and Partners), and “a person of unquestioned integrity” (David J. Beck, founder of Beck Redden).
Barnett is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and Lawdragon has named him one of the top 500 lawyers in the United States three years in a row. Best Lawyers in America has honored him as “Lawyer of the Year” for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2019 and 2017) and Patent Litigation (2020) in Houston. Based in Texas and New York, Barnett has tried complex business disputes across the United States.
Barnett focuses on complex matters, particularly ones involving antitrust, energy, or intellectual property. He has represented big companies like KKR & Co. Inc., Cisco Systems, Encana Oil & Gas, Texas Instruments, Duane Reade, Alaska Airlines, and Neiman Marcus Group and little ones against behemoths like Abbott Labs, Alcatel-Lucent, AmerisourceBergen, Apple, AT&T, Bank of America, BlackBerry, Comcast, Samsung, and Visa.
The judge in a patent infringement trial called his opening statement the finest he had ever seen. Another trial judge said Barnett was one of the two best trial lawyers he’d ever come across. The other one was dead, he said.
Barnett can handle a case from start to finish. He’s briefed and argued appeals in cases that he had tried when they went before the Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits, the Supreme Court of Louisiana, and (in the case of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend) even the Supreme Court of the United States. His performance before the Supreme Court in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend prompted the Court to withdraw the question on which it had granted review.
From 2007 through 2015, Barnett’s Blawgletter® law blog provided analysis of important commercial litigation cases and trends and became a resource for attorneys and senior corporate executives facing major litigation. Barnett also served on panels and spoken on topics such as trying class actions, enforcing arbitration awards, alternative fee arrangements, and streamlining litigation. He also comments on trends in commercial litigation and the implications of major rulings for outlets such as Reuters, Law360, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Corporate Counsel, and The Dallas Morning News.
What people say
Clients and other hard-graders have praised Barnett for his courtroom skills and legal smarts.
“Barry Barnett was magnificent” in trying a $500 million breach of contract dispute, the client wrote. “We couldn’t ask for more able trial counsel.”
Another client, in a $100 million oil and gas case that Barnett won at trial and held on appeal, said Barnett and his team “presented a rare combination of strong legal intellect, common sense about right and wrong, and credibility in the courtroom.”
Chambers and Partners calls him a “superb trial advocate” and “an incredibly gifted lawyer”. Who’s Who Legal says he “does a fantastic job for his clients”.
Barnett grew up in Nacogdoches. He’s a roughneck’s son who played varsity football in high school and at Yale before going on to Harvard for law school, a Fifth Circuit clerkship, and partnership in the number one trial boutique in the country.
Barnett is steady and loyal. He has practiced at Susman Godfrey his entire 30-year career. He and his wife Nancy live in Dallas and spend time in Houston and New York, where they have apartments. Their daughter and son work and attend college in New York and Connecticut. And, as a member of two Ivy League championship teams at Yale and a parent of two Yalies, Barnett has no trouble choosing sides for The Game in November.
Education and Recognition
Yale University, magna cum laude, History and Economics, B.A., 1981
Harvard Law School, cum laude, J.D., 1984
Clerk, Hon. Jerre S. Williams, Fifth Circuit, 1984-85
Partner, Susman Godfrey L.L.P., 1985-present
Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Elected Member, American Law Institute
Alumnus Member, Texas Lyceum
Former Trustee, Greenhill School
Executive Committee Member, Center for American and International Law
Professional recognition by Lawdragon, 500 Leading Lawyers in America; Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, in Antitrust and Litigation: General Commercial; The Best Lawyers in America in Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation (Antitrust, Class Actions, Complex Litigation, Intellectual Property, Securities), Litigation – Antitrust, Litigation – Intellectual Property, and Litigation – Patent; Who’s Who Legal: Competition; The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists; The Legal 500 U.S.; Top 10 Antitrust Lawyer in Texas, Business Today; Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Super Lawyer, Texas Super Lawyer in Business Litigation, Antitrust Litigation, Class Action/Mass Torts; and Martindale-Hubbell AV (highest rating) since 1995; D Magazine Best Lawyers in Dallas.