2021 Year in Review
How we cultivate relationships with clients is a Dechert hallmark. Our mutual success is built on these relationships – ones that grow when you solve complex problems together.
2021 produced its own set of challenges for our clients, requiring solutions that combined a full grasp of complex laws with a deep understanding of commercial and business considerations.
Dechert’s position as one of the world’s leading firms for complex financial services and asset management matters, private equity and high-stakes disputes was reinforced by the trust clients continued to place in us.
Our lawyers advised on the second-largest private equity buyout globally in 2021 – advising GIC in the acquisition of a US$34 billion stake in Medline. Within our funds practice, the fintech and ESG markets are becoming increasingly important to our clients. In 2021, our global funds practice advised on:
- Cutting-edge fintech funds for Franklin Templeton and ARK Invest.
- Two pioneering ESG-driven deals for J.P. Morgan.
- The world’s largest private credit secondaries transaction for Ping An.
- The year’s largest European hedge fund launch for FIFTHDELTA.
- Southeast Asia’s first independent debt venture business launching its maiden fund for Genesis.
One market we know better than anyone is global finance. Dechert has been an industry leader for decades, and 2021 saw more firsts across more asset classes than ever before. Just one example: we were the most active issuer’s counsel – yet again – for commercial real estate collateralized loan obligations (CRE CLOs) with values over US$1 billion.
The past 18 months also brought unprecedented levels of data breaches, and our global privacy and cybersecurity practice was busy advising clients on their most sensitive privacy issues and handling some of the year’s highest-profile cyberattacks. Other headline disputes include:
- Advising boards, such as Apollo’s, on reputation-critical investigations.
- Defending 3M in what is shaping up to be the largest mass torts case in history.
As a community, Dechert is stronger than it’s ever been. Every day we strive to make Dechert a better place – a place where every voice is heard and respected. Our diverse and driven community is proud to provide exceptional service and transformative problem-solving qualities, whether our clients are paying fees or are being represented pro bono.
The same ambition that drives a Dechert person to blaze new trails in crafting innovative legal solutions also compels that Dechert person to go out on a snowy day and put on a legal clinic, take on a tenant-landlord case, or advocate for the most vulnerable among us.
Pro bono and our inextricable ties to social responsibility is who we are. In 2021, we undertook more than 100,000 hours of pro bono work across our global offices. We won appeals for asylum seekers in immigration cases, and persevered in tackling infringements of women’s reproductive rights around the world.
In Paris, we helped food charities supporting people who lost their jobs and accommodations due to lockdowns. And in London, we teamed up with arts charities to create virtual exhibition spaces to offset income losses for artists from the pandemic. In recognition of these and many other examples, The American Lawyer ranked Dechert yet again as the number one firm for international pro bono work.
We hope you enjoy reading this review of some of our highlight matters, and we give thanks to all of our clients around the world, and to our people who have persevered every day to deliver exceptional service.
Andrew J. Levander, Chair and Henry N. Nassau, Chief Executive Officer
CVC-led consortium combines WorldWide Express and GlobalTranz
CVC saw the potential in logistics, but wanted more than a simple investment.
When CVC Capital Partners wanted to make a significant investment in the logistics sector, it thought big. WorldWide Express and GlobalTranz were leading non-asset providers of technology-driven logistics solutions in the United States. CVC saw the complementary strengths of each business, and led a consortium that simultaneously acquired and combined both companies.
Even for one of the world’s largest and most innovative private equity investors, a deal with this much complexity, completed in a short timeframe, required extraordinary focus and prowess.
“Only a handful of sponsors in the world can pull together these types of transactions,” says partner Gareth Clark. “On legal strategy, CVC needed an around-the-clock team that possessed execution know-how and a creative and pragmatic approach to the multitude of complex issues raised by the deal.” Leading a consortium that successfully completed a two-in-one acquisition and combination required flawless implementation on the part of CVC.
As partner Jon Kim explains, “in addition to negotiating multiple investments and consortium arrangements, the combination had to be seamless, and those structuring and equity arrangements needed to be optimal – not just at closing, but also for all possible exit scenarios.”
Ping An on the world’s largest private credit secondaries transaction
Dechert advises on innovative financing in Hong Kong.
Dechert closed the world’s largest-ever private credit secondaries transaction (US$680 million) for a diversified private credit portfolio, acting for Ping An Overseas Holdings, a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance Group – the sixth-largest public company in the world and China’s largest insurer.
The portfolio comprises four flagship credit funds managed by U.S. and European managers. It is highly diversified, covering 400 positions in over 250 companies and spread across a range of industries, including professional services, healthcare and telecoms.
“Investors are finding attractive opportunities despite market turbulence, and large-scale transactions in Asia continue if the deal looks right,” says Hong Kong partner Michael Wong. “In this case, Ping An needed a firm with experience in large-scale private credit deals and knowledge of the Asia markets, and Dechert is an acknowledged leader in complex global private credit matters.”
Dechert has been recognized as a top-ranked law firm globally in Private Debt Investor’s Hall of Fame after winning its sixth “Law Firm of the Year” title in the publication’s PDI Awards 2020, awarded in 2021. No other law firm has been named winner more times in the contest’s eight-year history.