2019 Vault Rankings
“Pro bono work”
“Great firm culture”
“Ability to take on early responsibility”
“Too much work to do”
“Workflow could be more balanced”
“The technology is seriously lacking”
Since its founding in 1875, Dechert has become an international global legal force to be reckoned with. In the United States, the firm is particularly well known for its corporate practice, especially in international M&A and securities. The firm also focuses on litigation and is recognized for this work.
Dechert was originally formed under the name MacVeagh & Bispham (and later was known as Barnes, Myers & Price) by George Tucker Bispham and Wayne MacVeagh. MacVeagh would eventually leave the firm to become US Attorney General and then ambassador to Italy. During World War II, the firm saw many of its attorneys leave to join the war effort. In response, the firm merged with Dechert, Smith and Clark.
In the late 1990s, Barton Winokur became chairman and CEO of the firm and began reshaping the firm’s business model. Winokur focused on becoming more specialized, and like any savvy businessman would, he made sure those specialties were high-revenue practice areas: private equity, intellectual property, and white collar criminal defense. The new business model paid off, with the firm handling such matters as V&S Vin & Sprit’s—producer of Absolut Vodka—sale to French beverage company Pernod for $8.9 billion and New World Resource’s IPO, which listed on three different exchanges in London, Prague, and Warsaw and raised a staggering £1.3 billion—the largest European IPO at the time.
Dechert was also one of the first US firms to expand internationally, opening a European office in Brussels in 1968, followed by a London office four years later. The firm established a Paris office in 1995. In 2000, the firm undertook a major expansion in the UK through a merger with Titmuss Sainer & Webb, a leading London law firm. Since then, Dechert has opened offices in Luxembourg, Germany, Russia, China, Ireland, and most recently, Kazakhstan, Dubai, and Singapore.
A Range of Expertise
Dechert's litigators are consistently rated amongst the best in the country. Firm chairman Andrew Levander is a leading white-collar criminal defense lawyer and is no stranger to defending prominent Wall Street executives including John Thain, the former chief executive at Merrill Lynch, in a government inquiry related to his role in Merrill’s sale to Bank of America; Ezra Merkin, a hedge fund manager who invested with Bernard L. Madoff; and John Corzine, the former chief executive of securities firm MF Global Holdings Ltd.
In addition, Dechert has one of the world’s premier financial services practices. The firm represents 18 of the top 20 global asset managers, drawing on both its far-reaching domestic and international presence and its practice leaders, who are considered some of the biggest players in the market.
A Supportive Culture
Dechert has found a unique way of rewarding mentoring within the ranks through its “Exceptional Teacher Awards” program. Associates and practice groups nominate the most proactive associate and partner teachers who have made exceptional efforts to train and develop the firm’s associates. Nominations are reviewed by a formal committee of partners and associates, and recipients are awarded $10,000 and receive a commemorative plaque. In 2019, $10,000 awards will similarly recognize leadership and innovation in firm diversity & inclusion.
IN THE NEWS
Dechert clients, diversity leaders, partners, and associates from throughout the firm took part in a two-day symposium designed to help associates learn more about Dechert and its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Held at an offsite location in New York on May 31 and June 1, the symposium included various sessions exploring the elements of what it takes to succeed as a diverse lawyer including, career and life strategies for success & development as well as the cultivation of professional and supportive networks. Panellists and speakers included in-house lawyers from a range of sectors, with the final interactive group session dedicated to a team-building community outreach activity.
Dechert advised SK hynix Inc., a Korean memory chip maker, on its role in the acquisition of Japan-based Toshiba Corporation’s NAND flash memory and solid-state drive business, now known as Toshiba Memory Corp. SK hynix was part of a purchasing consortium led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital and also including Apple Inc. and Dell Technologies. According to Thomson Reuters, this is the fourth largest private equity-backed M&A deal since the financial crisis of 2008. Led by Hong-Kong based corporate partner David Cho, the multidisciplinary deal team included more than 50 lawyers in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
Dechert was named ‘Law Firm of the Year’ around the globe by Private Debt Investor in the PDI Awards 2017, which were established to recognize outstanding performance in the private debt and private credit sectors. Dechert was selected by industry vote as the leading law firm in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific—the first time that a single firm has won in all three regions. Dechert has been an active player in the private debt and direct lending space since the inception of the sector and now represents more than 40 of the “PDI Top 50” in some capacity.
The American Lawyer recognized Dechert Chair Andrew J. Levander as one of eight Litigators of the Year, noting his many recent client successes in the process. These include representing Takata in criminal and civil cases globally stemming from its airbags; Robert Diamond, former CEO of Barclays; handling multiple Foreign Corrupt Practice Act cases; Jon Corzine’s resolution of matters stemming from MF Global’s bankruptcy; removal of Park Lane Hotel’s US$1 billion joint venture from the Department of Justice’s forfeiture action over embezzlement from a Malaysian sovereign fund; and Twenty-First Century Fox in multiple sexual harassment claims.
Dechert advised FS Investments, a leading alternative investment manager, on its agreement to partner with KKR, a leading global investment firm, to create the largest business development company (BDC) platform, with US$18 billion in combined assets under management. The platform will offer differentiated origination capabilities and expertise in capital markets that provides sponsors and corporates with broad product solutions and delivers value to investors through enhanced deal flow and expanded proprietary investment opportunities. The Dechert team was led by corporate partner James Lebovitz.
For the third straight year, Law360 named Dechert LLP to its Global 20 list, which profiles the law firms with the biggest international presence based on expansion outside their home countries and the breadth, volume, and sophistication of their cross-border work. This inclusion recognizes Dechert’s strengthened international practice, including an increase in headcount across the firm’s locations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; significant growth in London, Paris, and Hong Kong; and the opening of an office in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, expanding Dechert’s association with the Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni.
Three Bryant Park
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 698-3500
Employer Type: Private
Chairman: Andrew Levander
CEO: Henry N. Nassau
Chair, Hiring Committee: James A. Lebovitz
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 928
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
43 out of 43 (2Ls) (2017)
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Financial Services & Investment Management
International Trade & Government Regulation
Product Liability and Mass Torts