In a Record 2021, Dechert Grows Revenue by 25% and Profits by 50%

2021 was a banner year for Dechert. Revenue exceeded $1.3 billion for the first time and the profits per equity partner leaped nearly 50%. 

“2021 was one for the history books,” says Dechert CEO Henry Nassau. “We are incredibly proud of the firm, our partners and associates, and the rest of our business community. This was an extraordinary year with extraordinary demand in the backdrop of another challenging year of COVID-19. Everyone provided our clients with innovative, insightful service, as well as finding the time to step in, from pro bono projects to diversity initiatives. That’s what it’s all about at Dechert: creating pride and purpose for our community. All these efforts helped us decisively exceed our goals across all our practices.”

Dechert’s Top Matters of 2021

Nassau points to several engagements that illustrate the type of complex work the firm excels in, handling its clients’ most sensitive and challenging situations. “Our focus is on turning legal problems into business solutions,” Nassau explains, “and we do this by recruiting and training the best lawyers and promoting a culture of outstanding service and innovative thinking among all our professionals.” A small snapshot of work in 2021 that showcases this approach includes: 

— Working at the forefront of consolidation and diversification of the asset management sector, the firm assisted T. Rowe Price in its $4.2 billion acquisition of Oak Hill Advisors. Health care private equity (PE) deals were also prominent. Dechert advised GIC in the consortium acquisition of Medline, the second-largest private equity buyout since the financial crisis.

— Helping clients in cutting-edge deal structuring in areas such as de-SPAC-ing, including advising Certares Management Limited on a $5.3 billion de-SPAC merging Apollo Strategic Growth Capital with American Express Global Business Travel.

— Leading in what is shaping up to be the biggest mass torts case in history, advising 3M. 

— A resolution for Marriott International in its lengthy litigation with TravelPass Group. After a five-day trial, the plaintiff withdrew its claim and issued a public apology to Marriott.

— Making waves in the fintech industry, assisting Franklin Templeton’s first-of-kind Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered mutual fund, which could transform the use of blockchain. 

— Advising Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Citi) as a mortgage lender in the $6 billion financing of Blackstone’s take-private acquisition of QTS Realty Trust.

Nassau adds Dechert expanded key client relationships for clients such as Cerberus, Eli Lilly, Moderna, and KKR. The firm’s strategy is to develop its core practices of financial services including advising in asset management, private equity, funds, and financial institutions, as well mastermind high-stakes litigation through its products liability, white-collar, and securities litigation teams. The firm has a destination antitrust practice that advises on some of the most complex matters. Dechert’s industry experience is deep, particularly in life sciences, health care and pharma, Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG), and fintech. 

Dechert Says It Is Deepening a Sense of Community Within Its Ranks

Dechert says its success is because of a continued focus on the things that really matter: clients and the Dechert community. The firm, known for standout client service, says it also maintains a strong sense of community within thanks to its people-first culture and pay-it-forward suite of initiatives.

In 2021, the firm launched a training curriculum that helps people transition to a flexible hybrid working model — from managing up in a hybrid environment to technical proficiency. To maintain a connectedness among its socially distanced employees, Dechert says it implemented four “culture weeks” — Wellbeing Week; Innovation Week; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week; and Dechert’s Birthday Week. In 2021, Dechert says these Weeks attracted hundreds of participants, and the firm is hoping to follow up on that success in 2022.

Additionally, the stress of the pandemic and its effect on employees isn’t lost on Dechert. The firm says it has implemented a holistic approach provided through the Thrive@Dechert framework, in which all employees have access to a meditation app. They can also select step and health challenges through the digital well-being program Virgin Pulse. 

The firm’s pro bono efforts are second to none and Dechert says it maintains a sense of community by giving back to those in need. In 2021, the firm says its pro bono program averaged 1,400 open matters supporting both individuals and organizations hit hard by the pandemic, assisting Afghan refugees seeking asylum or humanitarian parole, and continuing long-standing efforts to protect the right to vote and reproductive rights. Dechert says the program is a main draw for prospective employees.

Dechert Puts Diversity First and Benefits From Growth

Call it the Dechert boomerang effect. In a remarkable development for Dechert, a number of former associates are returning to the firm as partners, including Sonia Gioseffi, Alon Goldberger, and Jon Burke, and the firm says it’s interviewing other former alumni who are thinking of returning, thanks to Dechert’s unique culture.

The firm says it’s continuing to prioritize diversity and equality: Women comprise 25% of partners firmwide. Dechert says 34% of its U.S. associates are also diverse (whether they belong to less-represented ethnic groups or are members of the LGBTQ+ community), up from 27% in 2020. And Dechert says it’s keeping that mindfulness with its new hires. According to the spokesperson, 60% of the hires from 2019 to 2021 are diverse; 46% are women, and 15% are diverse men.

And the firm says there’s lots more growth to continue into 2022. A recent West Coast expansion included the addition of notable partners, adds the spokesperson, as the firm brought in Gioseffi in funds, federal prosecutor Hartley West (who teamed up with product liability and mass torts (PLMT) partner Kimberly Branscome, a lead on the landmark 3M case), and litigator Rick Horvath.


Article Editor

Pamela is a television journalist, humor writer and novelist. Her first novel, Allegedly, was released in 2015 by St. Martin’s Press. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She and her husband, Daniel, have a 3-year-old son, Carter.

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