Jonathan Youngwood is Global Co-Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department and is a member of the Executive Committee. With more than two decades of experience, Jon has represented clients in a wide range of high-profile complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters, including securities, corporate control, antitrust, and ERISA disputes.
Chambers and Partners consistently recognizes Jon as a leading securities litigator (Band 1), describing him as a “very well-respected lawyer with a tremendous reputation, and is very good in the courtroom”; “ an outstanding advocate, and everything that a client would want in a difficult case”; “the best lawyer on his feet – he is incredibly comfortable before judges and panels”; and a “smart, focused and creative lawyer who brings the required intensity to the job.” Chambers also describes him as “a detail-oriented litigator with the ability to get to the nub of an issue” who “has extensive securities knowledge”; “impeccable judgment and experience,” a “flair for written work and oral advocacy”; who “commands respect in the courtroom”; and “is highly esteemed for his distinguished securities litigation practice, with a number of major financial institutions calling upon his skills in defending class actions, derivative claims and wider disputes work.” He is recognized in the “Hall of Fame” and as a “Leading Lawyer” by The Legal 500, where market commentators describe him as “very talented”; who has a “client-oriented approach”; “technically superb, bright and articulate”; an “outstanding securities litigator”; and “smart, hardworking and extremely professional.” Jon was named a “Distinguished Leader” by the New York Law Journal in 2017, an award that recognizes lawyers in leadership roles who have achieved impressive results in the last year. In 2017, he was also the recipient of the “Securities Lawyer of the Year” award by Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation, an award that recognizes the country’s most distinguished litigators; he was listed as a “Top 10 Nationwide Securities Star”; and is consistently recognized as a national and New York “Litigation Star” in Securities Litigation by Benchmark Litigation, where sources have described him as “one of the smartest lawyers I know. He not only is hardworking, but he has the ability to be both a big-picture thinker and also pay incredible attention to detail.” Jon is also recognized among Lawdragon’s 2020 “500 Leading Lawyers in America.”
Jon received the Judge Simon H. Rifkind Award in 2020 from The Jewish Theological Seminary in recognition of his dedication to public service, professional accomplishments and deep commitment to the Jewish community. He also received the Burton Award for Achievement in Legal Writing. He edits the Securities Law Alert, a monthly newsletter published by the Firm and is the Co-Chair of PLI’s annual program entitled “Securities Litigation: from Investigation to Trial.”
Among a number of significant pro bono achievements, Jon led the Simpson Thacher team that, along with the ACLU of Mississippi and the ACLU, secured a groundbreaking consent decree that will help to prevent Mississippi’s Madison County Sheriff’s Department from engaging in racially motivated policing practices. The Firm was recognized for its achievement with a Benchmark Litigation Impact Case Award and was also named the Benchmark Litigation Pro Bono Firm of the Year in recognition of its commitment to public service. Early in his career, Jon served on the Simpson Thacher team that achieved a finding (after a seven-month trial) that the New York City public schools fail to provide a constitutionally adequate education.
Jon received his B.A. with honors from Brown University in 1990. He received his J.D. in 1994 with honors from the University of Chicago, where he served as Comments Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review. He also holds a Master of Public Policy from The University of Chicago (1992). Jon joined Simpson Thacher in 1995 following a one-year clerkship with Hon. Dennis G. Jacobs of United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He became a Partner in 2003.