Founded in Philadelphia in 1875, Dechert has grown to become not only the premier law firm in Pennsylvania — no firm has more Chambers-rated lawyers in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania — but a leading advisor and advocate worldwide.
Our Philadelphia lawyers provide practical commercial judgment and deep legal expertise to corporations and industries across the country and around the world on complex, high-stakes matters.
Areas of Focus
Complex Commercial Litigation
We represent a range of industries in commercial agreements, consumer fraud, insurance and banking, false advertising, corporate governance and M&A-related claims. Recognized for our multi-jurisdictional capabilities and deep expertise, we devise litigation strategy, manage virtual law firms, facilitate pre-trial resolutions to commercial disputes, defeat class certification, manage e-discovery, obtain summary judgments or voluntary dismissal of claims, negotiate favorable settlements and prevail at trial.
Securities Litigation and Enforcement
One of the few firms with a longstanding securities practice, Dechert is recognized as one of the foremost defenders against complex, high-stakes litigation in the country. Our experienced lawyers, many of whom have held senior positions at the SEC, DOJ and other agencies, bring an invaluable perspective and credibility that comes from being in the shoes of government decision makers.
We represent public and private corporations, private equity funds, officers and directors, special committees and professional service firms in securities litigation, securities enforcement matters, corporate governance, fiduciary, mergers and acquisitions, and banking and financial institution litigation.
White Collar and Investigations
Dechert’s acclaimed white collar lawyers defend clients facing allegations of financial and business crimes and related civil and class action litigation. We handle all phases of an investigation, and when litigation is unavoidable, implement a comprehensive strategy of relentless advocacy to secure the interests and well-being of our clients. Our internal investigations team has an impressive track record of resolving these difficult and sensitive matters discreetly and favorably without prosecution.
We advise boards of directors, special committees and senior executives on critical decisions involving white collar and related matters. Our experienced team includes former Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Criminal Division, Major Frauds Section, Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit, and various U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and task forces of the Department of Justice.
Financial Services and Investment Management Litigation and Enforcement
Dechert’s litigation and enforcement team has the multi-jurisdictional capabilities, experience, legal expertise and commercial judgment to assist clients with regulatory and litigation disputes anywhere in the world. Our fund litigators are involved in all of the strategic legal issues currently affecting the industry, representing many leading fund complexes and boards, hedge funds and banking institutions as well as working closely with industry organizations.
Our experienced team provides comprehensive, practical commercial guidance to clients around the world on leveraged finance transactions and debt restructurings.
We advise borrowers, lenders, issuers, equity investors, sponsors, financial advisors and agents in all layers of the capital structure. Our extensive experience includes senior credit facilities, first lien/second lien financings, subordinated/mezzanine debt, structured equity, workouts/restructurings, recapitalizations, and rule 144A and regulation S offerings.
Product Liability and Mass Torts
Dechert’s well-established product liability and mass torts group helps clients avoid exposure and defends them when litigation occurs. Our work is particularly focused on prescription drugs and devices, biologics, chemicals, toxic substances emissions, consumer products and durable goods. We also handle cases involving latent injuries and complex issues of medical causation.
Our antitrust lawyers bring a strategic focus to high-stakes litigation, securing timely government agency review of complex business combinations, defending against sensitive criminal investigations and resolving government antitrust investigations. We provide pragmatic business solutions by our deep understanding of the markets in which our clients operate.
Dechert is consistently ranked one of the top antitrust practices in the nation by Chambers, The Legal 500 and Benchmark Litigation. Our reputation for handling multi-jurisdictional cases is enhanced by the firm’s growing antitrust/competition practice in Europe.
Cybersecurity and Data Protection
Dechert helps clients comply with the many, often inconsistent, rules and regulations established to protect the privacy of customer and employee information while minimizing the cost and time for compliance. We have particular expertise advising clients on cybersecurity and data protection in the financial services, consumer marketing, healthcare and life sciences sectors.
eDiscovery and Data Management
We guide clients through every aspect and phase of electronic discovery. We help design and implement cost-effective and efficient records management and litigation readiness programs to reduce the burden, cost and risk of future eDiscovery. Our legal and strategic experience, combined with our technical expertise, makes us effective client advocates and advisers in both the courtroom and the boardroom.
Our global private equity group advises on all phases of the investment life cycle. Ranked among the “most active law firms” for fund formation and fund investments by Private Equity Analyst, Dechert focuses on accomplishing successful exits, structuring funds for efficiency and good governance, executing fund investments that maximize value and handling transactions that enhance portfolio companies.
In Philadelphia, we represent institutional investors, including private and charitable foundations, pension trusts, and corporate venture funds in connection with their numerous investments in private equity funds. Our cross-functional team understands issues unique to our clients, such as auction strategies, “club” deal arrangements and deal terms, and is committed to helping fund sponsor clients maximize their investments. We also assist portfolio companies with add-on acquisitions, joint ventures and public and private financings.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Our M&A team advises buyers, sellers and advisers in complex commercial transactions. We focus on structuring successful deals, ensuring speed-to-market execution and protecting our clients’ interests in all phases of a transaction.
Consistently recognized as a leading adviser among M&A law firms by Mergerstat, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and mergermarket, Dechert combines extensive industry knowledge with the deep expertise of the firm’s antitrust, tax, environmental, bankruptcy and employee benefits lawyers. We also handle private and public, domestic and cross-border, negotiated and hostile transactions worldwide.
Corporate Finance and Capital Markets
We structure and implement complex financial transactions worldwide, including in the United States, Europe, the CIS region, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Asia. We represent corporate and sovereign issuers, underwriters, financial sponsors, investors and selling shareholders in all types of public and private debt, equity, equity-linked and other securities offerings, and advise a wide range of industries.
Finance and Real Estate
Our finance lawyers represent major industry players in structuring, securitizing, managing and servicing complex and highly structured and securitized commercial real estate debt assets. We advise bankers and other capital sources on the acquisition, structuring, financing, sale and syndication or securitization of large complex loans and loan pools. We advise on CLOs and in offerings of both traditional and esoteric asset-backed securities.
Our real estate lawyers advise funds and other institutional investors on the acquisition, disposition and financing of major real estate projects and work closely with our finance lawyers on all aspects of their work.
We provide comprehensive, cost-effective legal services to clients involved in all aspects of the life sciences industry, including biotechnology, bio-informatics, drug discovery, genomics, biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device companies. We advise on the complex commercial, legal and regulatory issues facing life sciences companies at all stages of growth, as well as on the development and commercialization of new technologies.
We represent private funds and their managers on a variety of transactions, from advising start-up managers operating a limited number of strategies to publicly traded global financial institutions and their affiliates. We also help managers develop strategies within more retail-based vehicles, including exchange-traded funds and UCITS.
Financial Services and Investment Management
Dechert is a leading advisor to asset managers, investment funds and other financial services firms, representing most of the world’s largest asset managers as well as smaller and emerging managers. We are the only firm with lawyers in all of the EU’s leading investment fund jurisdictions as well as numerous others throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Our lawyers advise on fund formation across the full range of asset classes, management company issues, regulatory and compliance matters, fund and management company transactional matters, commodities and derivatives law, and financial institutions regulation.
Labor and Employment
Dechert represents clients around the world in labor and employment matters. We defend major employers against individual claims and class actions, and represent them before state and federal agencies. Our labor lawyers also review and develop policies to minimize risk and prevent employment disputes from arising in the first place.
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Dechert advises on employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans. We handle every stage of benefits-related disputes, including litigation, with the IRS and Department of Labor.
Our Philadelphia lawyers help design cost-efficient 401(k), ESOP and defined benefit plans; employee stock purchase plans; health, life and disability insurance plans; and severance plans. We advise on the implications of executive compensation plans, and assist with the handling of liabilities, welfare plans, COBRA coverage and other issues for clients engaged in change-in-control mergers and acquisitions.
Hailed as a “go-to law firm” for intellectual property by Corporate Counsel, Dechert focuses on litigation, counseling and transactional IP matters. Decades of IP experience, combined with training in science, technology, engineering, medicine and business, gives our lawyers a level of fluency on sophisticated matters that is vital in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
We defend our clients’ rights around the world in patent, trade secret, copyright, trademark, privacy, data protection and IP-antitrust disputes, and provide trademark and copyright counseling and prosecution services. We also negotiate licensing, development, joint venture, outsourcing, consulting and other transactions, and handle strategic patent counseling and patent cross-licensing to help maximize the value of our clients’ products and patents.
Bankruptcy, Business Restructuring and Reorganization
Dechert represents distressed companies, buyers of distressed assets, investors in debt, equity holders and creditors in every phase of the insolvency and corporate recovery lifecycle. We focus on achieving our clients’ financial and business goals in the most expedient manner possible, including advocating relentlessly on their behalf when necessary.
We routinely represent clients before the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts.
Our experienced team includes a former Assistant Solicitor General of the United States, a former Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, and a former Chief of the Appellate Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office the Southern District of New York. Many of our lawyers have clerked for federal and state appellate judges, including the Supreme Court.
Dechert’s Philadelphia tax team combines in-depth knowledge of our 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 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, mutual funds and offshore funds.
We advise on personal estate, financial and tax planning to high net worth individuals as well as the corporate and individual trustees, executors, personal representatives and others who serve them. Our lawyers handle tax and property issues, family settlement agreements, will contests, charitable contributions, establishment of trusts and surcharge actions.
Our health law team handles business transactions and general corporate matters, tax-exemption and fundraising issues, regulatory and fraud and abuse issues, government investigation and compliance matters, and litigation. Our clients includes health care systems, hospitals, assisted-living facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment and supply manufacturers.
Dechert’s environmental law group advises corporate clients, industrial facilities, real estate developers, lenders and trade associations, hospitals, universities and nonprofit organizations, and units of local government on 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.
We handle a full range of transactional and regulatory matters, including debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, energy regulation, investment, tax credits and structuring, environmental compliance, intellectual property, real estate and dispute resolution. Our lawyers also advise public and private corporations and institutions that provide capital, equipment and services to the energy sector.