Dechert Recognized Among Financial Times’ Top 25 U.S. Innovative Law Firms for 2012
November 29, 2012
Dechert News Release
Dechert LLP has been named among the Financial Times’ Top 25 U.S. Innovative Law Firms for the second consecutive year, ranking 20th in results released today. The annual report recognizes firms based on “originality of the legal work,” “rationale” behind strategy and “the impact of the work on the client’s business.”
In addition to the firm’s overall ranking, Dechert’s antitrust/competition practice achieved the highest ranking in the survey’s Corporate Law category for its “standout” work on behalf of Medco Health Solutions in its merger with Express Scripts. The firm’s innovative approach to project management was also “commended” in the Business of Law category.
“Dechert lawyers thrive on opportunities to do interesting and challenging legal work,” said Andrew J. Levander, chair of the firm’s Policy Committee. “This recognition is proof of our commitment to creativity and innovation in meeting our clients’ needs.”
In the Corporate Law category, Dechert was honored for securing unconditional clearance for Medco Health Solutions in its $29.1 billion merger with Express Scripts Inc., the largest and most closely scrutinized deal of the year. Medco and Express Scripts, both Fortune 100 companies, were two of the three largest U.S. pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Led by partners Mike Cowie and Paul Denis, Dechert crafted a strategy to complete the deal without exposing Medco to substantial antitrust risk and while preserving shareholder value. Taking advantage of U.S. Horizontal Merger Guidelines changes designed to favor the government in merger challenges, Dechert was able to use those changes to demonstrate that no challenge was appropriate, notwithstanding high market share numbers. Drawing on their prior government experience and knowledge of healthcare and PBM markets, the Dechert team also eschewed the more conventional “reverse breakup fee,” which would have dissipated shareholder value, and instead secured deal certainty with more narrowly crafted merger agreement covenants. Finally, working with Medco’s communications teams, they devised an “air cover” strategy to enable the FTC and state attorneys general to conduct their investigations without outside political pressure and ultimately to approve the deal.
In the Business of Law category, the firm was recognized for its collaborative project management effort with client GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which was designed to manage data more effectively and to predict matter value. Before joining forces, both Dechert and GSK were separately exploring how to better manage their businesses by employing LPM techniques to their respective legal matters. The two came together after GSK’s Litigation Department invited Dechert to explain its LPM capabilities and how it might help GSK’s day-to-day legal matter management, resulting in an active exchange of ideas and an acknowledgement that Dechert and GSK were working to achieve very similar goals: improved real-time metrics that would help to develop fair and reasonable pricing terms and manage matters effectively. GSK and Dechert have met regularly during 2012 to explore processes and systems which could assist both parties in better understanding their legal fees in relation to the value of the representation while providing up-to-date matter reporting.