2021 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#10
At a Glance
“The quality of work is outstanding.”
“The flexible hours and partner/associate relationships are both great.”
“Commitment to pro bono.”
“Opacity with respect to promotion prospects.”
“Because we staff leanly, sometimes it can feel like you've got more work than you can handle.”
About Dechert LLP
Since its founding in 1875, Dechert has become a force in the global legal market. In the United States, the firm is known for its work in antitrust, international arbitration, financial services, life sciences, strategic transactions and private equity, litigation, white collar, product liability, real estate, and securities.
George Tucker Bispham and Wayne MacVeagh partnered together to form MacVeagh & Bispham in 1875. MacVeagh would eventually leave the firm to become U.S. 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, Dechert began reshaping its business model to become more specialized. The firm began focusing on private equity, intellectual property, and white collar criminal defense. The firm also underwent significant expansion overseas beginning in the late ’90s and through the early 21st century, adding offices everywhere from Russia and China to Dubai and Singapore.
A Range of Expertise
With offices around the globe, Dechert handles cross-border work, has a bustling corporate practice, and is known for its litigation savvy. The firm advises across multiple industries, including banking and financial institutions, energy, financial services, fintech, health care, insurance, life sciences, private equity, real estate, and more.
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.
Its litigation team has more than 350 attorneys with deep experiences in a wide range of areas, including complex commercial litigation, ranging from product liability to appellate litigation, to private equity industry litigation. Meanwhile, its highly regarded real estate lawyers approach their matters from a cross-practice standpoint, bringing in knowledge of construction, environmental, regulatory compliance, litigation, and tax to address client needs.
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 associates and partners who have made exceptional efforts to train and develop the firms’ attorneys. Nominations are reviewed by a formal committee of partners and associates, and recipients are awarded $10,000 plus a commemorative plaque. The firm offers similar awards for Diversity Champions and Legal Innovators.
Support comes in many forms, and another way that the firm stands by its lawyers is through wellness initiatives. THRIVE@Dechert is a work-life and wellness program that offers resources for healthy living, including Meditation Mondays—30 minutes of guided meditation led by a certified meditation teacher—and Mental Health Advocates, who are employees trained to both recognize and support colleagues struggling with mental health issues.
From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dechert prioritized the safety and well-being of its employees. We rapidly reshaped ourselves to continue delivering exceptional client service while working remotely. Leadership has been visible and accessible, providing regular communications and proactive policies to keep the firm’s sense of community strong.
This approach informed every aspect of our recruiting in 2020. We developed a virtual Summer Series to introduce summer associates to the Dechert community, allowing for a deeper examination of the firm’s culture, noteworthy cases and transactions – and the talented professionals leading them. We extended 100% offers to our class, and (in keeping with our fierce commitment to giving back) we encouraged them to make a meaningful impact in their local communities in light of additional need now with COVID-19. In one example, a group of 2020 summers volunteered as a team to work with Sanctuary for Families, an organization dedicated to helping survivors of domestic and gender violence, which is unfortunately on the rise with the pandemic.
We look forward to participating in virtual OCI and building our 2021 summer associate class.
News & Awards
From the firm: Dechert affirms, without exception, that Black lives matter. Dechert instituted several internal programs, including the Stand Against Racism Town Hall and Speaker Series, to address recent events related to racism and social justice, as well as how to deal with it from a mental health perspective. We recognized Juneteenth, closing our U.S. operations early and encouraging all employees to reflect and learn. We created an extensive Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit to deepen our understanding of racism, anti-racist practices, and ally-ship. Poignant op-eds on the topic written by Dechert lawyers were published by The Wall Street Journal, Legal Week, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Dechert’s enhanced employee benefits to support the physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being of people especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, were profiled in June 2020 by Employee Benefits magazine. Initiatives including Gratitude Week were referenced as new and creative ways to recognize and acknowledge employees within the Dechert community.
Dechert is leading the charge to protect the rights of all eligible citizens to vote safely and securely despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and increasingly restrictive voting laws adopted by many states. Dechert’s pro bono work on voting rights has been covered by media outlets including Bloomberg Law, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Fox 13 Memphis.
Dechert was profiled in August 2019 by The American Lawyer for its innovative initiatives to attract, support, and promote female talent, including the firm’s Sponsorship and Sustained Support program designed to help associates navigate the path to partner; its Global Women’s Initiative’s award-winning training; enhanced parental leave policies; and using a drama company to teach lessons about unconscious bias. In April 2020, Dechert was highlighted for its pro bono work with Planned Parenthood to challenge an order in Oklahoma effectively banning abortion care in the state during the pandemic. Dechert’s Linda Goldstein was profiled by The American Lawyer as “Litigator of the Week” for protecting women’s rights.
- Dechert helped Airbus end a four-year, multi-jurisdictional investigation via a landmark US$4 billion settlement, the first coordinated agreement among U.K., French and U.S. authorities.
- Dechert secured antitrust clearance for CVS Health’s US$70 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna, the largest healthcare services transaction in history.
- Dechert structured a US$18.7 billion deal for Blackstone’s acquisition of a major industrial warehouse portfolio from Singapore-based GLP making the deal’s financing the largest single-asset, single-borrower commercial mortgage-backed securities transaction since the financial crisis, and the second largest CMBS transaction ever.
- Dechert represented GIC in the US$11 billion take-private acquisition of Nasdaq-listed Ultimate Software by an investor consortium led by Hellman & Friedman, in partnership with GIC, Blackstone, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and other investors, including JMI Equity.
- Dealmakers of the Year, 2020—American Lawyer
- Most Innovative Law Firm for Legal Expertise, North America, 2019—Financial Times
- Competition/Antitrust and Product Liability Groups of the Year, 2020—Law360
- Financial Services Law Firm of the Year, Middle Market Awards 2020—The Deal
- Best Workplaces in New York, 2020—Fortune
3 Bryant Park
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 698-3500
Chairman: Andrew Levander
CEO: Henry N. Nassau
Chair, Hiring Committee: James A. Lebovitz
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2020:
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
Chief Talent and Human Resources Officer
No. of U.S. Offices: 13
No. of International Offices: 13
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Washington, DC I Almaty
Banking & Financial Institutions
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Energy & Natural Resources
Financial Services & Investment Management
International Trade & Government Regulation
Product Liability & Mass Torts
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.