Dechert was founded in Philadelphia in 1875. Today, our lawyers represent clients in various industries on a wide-range of corporate, litigation, real estate, and IP matters.
Our commercial litigation practice has the multi-jurisdictional capabilities, experience, skills, and judgment to successfully guide clients through disputes arising around the world. We represent companies in complex litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings across a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, financial services, insurance, consumer products, and communications. We aggressively represent our clients’ interests in matters relating to the significant domestic and international resolution of disputes arising out of commercial agreements, and in consumer fraud, insurance and banking litigation, false advertising, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions related claims.
Securities Litigation and Enforcement
Dechert’s securities litigation lawyers defend clients in complex, high-risk litigation. We represent clients in securities litigation, securities enforcement matters, corporate governance, fiduciary, mergers and acquisitions, and banking and financial institution litigation. Our clients include public and private corporations, private equity funds, officers and directors, special committees, and professional service firms. Dechert is one of a handful of national law firms with a long-standing practice in securities enforcement. Many of our lawyers have held senior positions at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and other relevant agencies. Hence, when we advocate on behalf of our clients, we do so with the perspective and credibility that comes from having been in the shoes of the government decision-makers.
White Collar Defense and Investigations
Dechert’s white collar lawyers are powerful advocates for clients confronting allegations of financial and business crimes and related civil and class action litigation. We work closely with boards of directors, special committees, and senior executives in various industries, guiding them through critical decisions surrounding white collar and related matters. We handle all phases of an investigation and, when litigation is unavoidable, we implement the strategy necessary to litigate powerfully, aggressively, and successfully. Dechert attorneys have worked as Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Criminal Division, Major Frauds Section, Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit, and various United States Attorneys’ Offices and task forces of the Department of Justice. Hence, when we advocate on behalf of our clients, we do so with the perspective and credibility that comes from having been in the shoes of the government decision makers.
Dechert advises clients around the world in a wide range of leveraged finance transactions and debt restructurings. We have significant experience advising borrowers, lenders, issuers, equity investors, sponsors, financial advisors, and agents in all layers of the capital structure, including senior credit facilities, first lien/second lien financings, subordinated/mezzanine debt, structured equity, workouts/restructurings, recapitalizations, and rule 144A and regulation S offerings. We offer clients comprehensive, practical, and business-oriented advice that leverages our tax, restructuring, and private equity experience as well as our knowledge of the full range of debt and equity capital structures.
Mass Torts and Product Liability
A national and international leader in product liability and mass tort defense, Dechert’s practice focuses both on helping clients avoid mass tort exposure and on defending them when litigation hits. Much of Dechert’s work involves prescription drugs and devices, biologics, chemicals, and toxic substances emissions. Our lawyers also have significant experience with consumer products and durable goods. Whatever the origin of the claim, Dechert is experienced in handling cases involving latent injuries and complex issues of medical causation.
Dechert has one of the top antitrust practices in the United States, according to leading referral guides such as Chambers, The Legal 500, and Benchmark Litigation. Our commitment to client service is founded upon bringing a strategic focus to high stakes litigation, structuring and securing timely government agency review of complex business combinations, defending against sensitive criminal investigations, and resolving other government antitrust investigations. We make it a point to know the markets in which our clients operate and pride ourselves on pragmatic business resolutions to what others view as intractable legal problems. With a growing presence in Europe, and an acknowledged reputation for handling multijurisdictional cases, Dechert is the source for the most sophisticated antitrust representation.
Ranked among the “most active law firms” for fund formation and fund investments by Private Equity Analyst, lawyers in our global private equity team advise on all phases of the investment life cycle. With a focus on accomplishing successful exits, we structure funds for cost and tax efficiency and good governance, execute fund investments that maximize value, and handle transactions that enhance portfolio companies. Dechert lawyers in our Philadelphia office represent institutional investors, including private and charitable foundations, pension trusts, and corporate venture funds in connection with their numerous investments in private equity funds. We also represent leading private equity sponsors in their domestic and international investment activities. Our cross-functional team of lawyers understands issues unique to our clients, such as auction strategies, “club” deal arrangements, deal terms, and industry sector knowledge, and is committed to helping fund sponsor clients maximize the yields of their investments wherever they do business. We represent the portfolio companies of our fund sponsor clients, and focus on positioning them for optimum value through add-on acquisitions, joint ventures, and public and private financings.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Our M&A lawyers advise buyers, sellers, and advisers in complex commercial transactions, with a focus on structuring successful deals, ensuring speed-to-market execution, and protecting our clients’ interests in all phases of the transaction. Recognized as a leading adviser among M&A law firms by Mergerstat, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and mergermarket, we handle private and public, domestic and cross-border, and negotiated and hostile transactions worldwide. We leverage our industry knowledge and collaborate with our functional experts in areas such as antitrust, tax, environmental, bankruptcy, and employee benefits.
Ranked among the top law firms for debt and equity offerings by Chambers and The Legal 500, our corporate finance lawyers represent U.S., European, Latin American, and Asian issuers, sponsors, investors, underwriters, and placement agents in all types of public and private issuances of debt and equity securities. Dechert lawyers advise on all types of corporate finance transactions, such as initial and follow-on underwritten public offerings, Rule 144A debt and convertible note offerings, PIPEs, and Regulation S offerings. We advise on private placements of senior and mezzanine debt and equity securities, and venture capital investments. We also handle securities transactions in conjunction with mergers and acquisitions, including tender and exchange offers, spin-offs, recapitalizations, related debt and equity financings, stock splits, and other security holder distributions.
Dechert’s life sciences group is dedicated to providing quality, cost-effective legal services to the life sciences community. We recognize the complex business, legal, and regulatory issues that confront life sciences companies in all stages of growth. We know the challenges posed by the development and commercialization of a new technology in a highly competitive environment. We have dedicated our resources, experience, and knowledge base to serving life sciences companies located nationally and internationally. We have represented companies involved in all aspects of the life sciences industry, including biotechnology, bio-informatics, drug discovery, genomics, biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device companies.
Our private fund lawyers represent private funds and their managers on a variety of transactions, ranging from advising start-up managers operating a limited number of strategies to representing publicly traded global financial institutions and their affiliates, all of which are engaged in a variety of financial services activities and manage a broad range of products and strategies. We also have extensive experience advising managers who wish to develop their strategies within more retail-based vehicles, including exchange traded funds and UCITS.
Labor and Employment Litigation
Dechert represents clients around the world as advisers and advocates in labor and employment matters. Major employers turn to us to defend them against individual claims and class actions, and to represent them before state and federal agencies. Our clients also rely on us to review and develop policies and practices to minimize risk and, most importantly, to prevent employment disputes from arising in the first place.
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Our attorneys advise on employee benefits, executive compensation, and retirement plans. We help clients design cost-efficient 401(k), ESOP, and defined benefit plans; employee stock purchase plans; health, life, and disability insurance plans; and severance plans. We represent clients in all stages of benefits-related disputes, including litigation, with the IRS and the Department of Labor. Our lawyers advise on the tax and golden parachute implications of executive compensation plans, as well as related federal and state securities law, employment law, and accounting considerations. For clients engaged in change-in-control mergers and acquisitions and other transactions which could involve retirement plan assets and liabilities worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Dechert advises on the appropriate treatment of liabilities, replacing welfare plans, evaluating COBRA coverage issues, and establishing new qualified plans and management compensation programs.
Dechert’s international intellectual property practice focuses on litigation, counseling and transactional IP matters. We protect and defend our clients’ rights in patent, trade secret, copyright, trademark, privacy, data protection and IP-antitrust disputes in jurisdictions around the world, including the International Trade Commission. We also provide trademark and copyright counseling and prosecution services, and negotiate licensing, development, joint venture, outsourcing, consulting, and other transactions involving IP issues. In addition, we handle strategic patent counseling and patent cross-licensing to help maximize value at every stage of the life cycle of our clients’ products and patents. Comprised of lawyers who combine decades of IP experience with training in science, technology, engineering, medicine and business, our fluency in sophisticated subject matter affords our clients an advantage in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. We have been hailed as a “go-to law firm” for IP by Corporate Counsel, and our IP partners and specialty groups have received accolades from Chambers USA, Chambers UK, Legal 500, Best Lawyers in America and Benchmark Litigation.
Bankruptcy, Business Restructuring and Reorganization
We represent distressed companies, buyers of distressed assets, investors in debt, equity holders, and creditors and provides guidance to enable clients to obtain maximum value in the context of corporate restructuring and insolvency. Our lawyers help clients with diverse interests in the insolvency process to achieve their specific financial and business goals, including preserving value, capitalizing on investment opportunities, managing complex restructurings, and protecting their rights. We serve as powerful advocates at every phase of the insolvency and corporate recovery lifecycle, from the early stages where preventing bankruptcy is the primary objective, through negotiations among stakeholders with competing interests, to the strategic use of litigation as necessary. We respond to our clients’ needs for expediency while maximizing their recovery during the restructuring.
Our tax practice in Philadelphia covers domestic and international tax areas, as well as employee benefits and executive compensation, private client, and tax-exempt matters. Dechert’s domestic and international tax lawyers combine in-depth knowledge of their own country’s tax regimes with an understanding of the business tax systems of the major trading nations and how international transactions and structures work. We help clients structure, negotiate, and execute taxable and tax-free transactions, including domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, liquidations, restructurings, bankruptcies and workouts, international financings, and recapitalizations. We also advise on the tax aspects of securitizations, real estate finance, project finance, as well as the formation of and investment in mutual funds and offshore funds. Dechert’s employee benefits and executive compensation attorneys provide advice in connection with benefits consulting, executive compensation consulting, mergers and acquisitions, ERISA fiduciary issues, and retirement planning, among others. Our private client lawyers offer personal estate planning advice and financial and tax planning services to high net worth individuals as well as the corporate and individual trustees, executors, personal representatives, and other fiduciaries who serve them. We advise clients on tax and property issues, family settlement agreements, will contests, charitable contributions, establishment of trusts, and surcharge actions.
The members of our health law practice represent a diverse group of clients in health care systems, hospitals, assisted-living facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment and supply manufacturers. We represent these clients in business transactions and general corporate matters; tax-exemption and fundraising issues; regulatory and fraud and abuse issues; government investigation and compliance matters; and litigation.
Dechert’s environmental law practice group advises corporate clients, industrial facilities, real estate developers, lenders and trade associations, hospitals, universities and nonprofit organizations, and units of local government on issues involving domestic and international corporate transactions, compliance advice, regulatory and government coordination activities, and administrative, civil, and criminal litigation.
Dechert provides comprehensive legal services to companies doing business nationally and internationally in the clean tech, renewable energy and oil and gas sectors and with respect to market integration, We advise on a full range of transactional and regulatory matters, including debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other corporate transactions, energy regulation, trading and marketing, fund formation and investment, tax credits and structuring, environmental compliance, intellectual property protection, real estate and land use matters, permitting and dispute resolution. We also serve as counsel to public and private corporations and institutions that provide capital, equipment, and services to the energy sector, including financial institutions, technology companies, and venture capital firms.