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|No. of offices||28 total (15 international)|
|No. of attorneys||approximately 1000 (2017)|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
CEO Henry Nassau, |
Chairman Andrew J. Levander
|Founder||Wayne MacVeagh and George Tucker Bispham|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Dechert LLP is an international law firm of more than 900 lawyers with practices in corporate and securities, complex litigation, finance and real estate, and financial services and asset management. Dechert has offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It was founded in Philadelphia and is registered as a limited liability partnership under Pennsylvania law.
The firm's first predecessor was formed in 1875 by Wayne MacVeagh and George Tucker Bispham. MacVeagh had previously served as United States Ambassador to Turkey, and went on to become United States Attorney General under President James Garfield and also United States Ambassador to Italy during the 1890s. Bispham was made a professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1884. Another future U.S. Attorney General, Francis Biddle, also a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, joined the firm in 1916. In its early years, the firm represented a number of banks, railroads, and coal companies.
During World War II, the firm lost many of its attorneys to the war effort, and combined with another Philadelphia-based law firm, Dechert, Smith & Clark, which had been founded in 1930. The firm began creating specialized practice groups shortly after the war. After a series of name changes in the early 1960s, the firm remained Dechert, Price & Rhoads for several decades thereafter.
Dechert opened its first European office in Brussels in 1968. Four years later, Dechert opened a London office. The firm established a presence in Paris in 1995 and undertook a major expansion in the United Kingdom through a merger with Titmuss Sainer Dechert, a leading London law firm, in 2000. Since then, Dechert has opened offices in Luxembourg (2001), Munich (2004), Hong Kong (2007), Beijing (2008), Moscow (2009), Dublin (2010), Los Angeles (2011), Frankfurt/Bonn (2012), Almaty (2012), Dubai (2012), Tbilisi (2012), Chicago (2012) and Singapore (2014). Through an association with the Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni, Dechert also has a presence in Jeddah (2015) and Riyadh (2016).
The firm's core practices are corporate and securities, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and corporate finance; litigation, emphasizing antitrust, product liability, and white collar and securities defense; finance and real estate, with a focus on mortgage finance, structured finance, securitization, and investment; financial services, focusing on mutual funds, hedge funds, variable products, broker-dealer, commodities, derivatives, and investment advisers; and intellectual property, emphasizing patent litigation, IP prosecution and licensing, off-shoring and outsourcing, and privacy and data protection.
Notable lawyers and alumni
- Harvey Bartle III, chief judge of the United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Joseph S. Clark, mayor of Philadelphia (1952–56) and United States senator for Pennsylvania (1957–69)
- Q. Todd Dickinson, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property
- Glenn Fine, former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Justice
- Miriam González Durántez, head of international trade practice
- Paul G. Haaga, Jr., vice chairman of Capital Research and Management Company, a constituent company of the Capital Group Companies
- David N. Kelley, former United States Attorney and Deputy U.S. Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Edward A. McDonald, portrayed himself as a federal prosecutor in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas"
- Mary A. McLaughlin, judge for the United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Lisa Scottoline, best selling New York Times author
- Norma Levy Shapiro, first woman partner and retired judge for the United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Arlen Specter, United States senator for Pennsylvania
- Scooter Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (2001-2005)
- Cheryl Ann Krause, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Steven Engel, deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel under George W. Bush and United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Donald Trump administration
Pro bono activities
Dechert has been recognized among the top 10 U.S. law firms for pro bono work in The American Lawyer's Pro Bono Survey, an annual report which rates the nation's 200 highest grossing law firms based on their level of pro bono activity. The report measures the average number of pro bono hours per lawyer as well as the percentage of lawyers who performed more than 20 hours of pro bono work. In August 2014, Dechert received the American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award.
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