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Our Culture

Our Culture

 

Dechert is a firm packed with “driven,” “sophisticated,” “determined” and “highly motivated” individuals. Read more in Chambers Associate's The Inside View »

We are proud to be a firm that is filled with talented lawyers and extraordinary people who respect each other and enjoy working together. We value openness and communication, and have a tradition of building consensus as we make important decisions. Integrity and honesty are at the heart of our practice, both in our work for clients and in how we treat each other.

We seek work that is challenging, complex and of distinctive value to our clients. Our team thrives on individual and collaborative efforts, which are essential to producing high-quality professional work and the exceptional results our clients deserve.  

One of our core values is to strive constantly to build a firm that is stronger than it was when we joined, and that will be stronger tomorrow than it is today. We are committed to attracting a diverse group of highly talented law students and lawyers with sharp minds, a passion for learning and a strong desire to develop as professionals. We want every lawyer at the firm to feel welcome and included, and to be given an equal opportunity to excel.  

We hope that all of our lawyers take advantage of the opportunities we offer, and that they will establish careers here that are both professionally and personally rewarding. We are dedicated to mentoring, developing and advancing our lawyers.

We believe that community service - through pro bono, board leadership and other volunteer work - is at the heart of a rewarding career. We encourage, recognize and honor the dedication that our lawyers demonstrate to protect those less fortunate, secure justice for people without hope, and to help families stay together amidst untold challenges. We are extraordinarily proud of our firm's demonstrated commitment to bettering the communities in which we live and work.

Every day, our teams collaborate across jurisdictions, continents and oceans, operating as one firm worldwide. This allows us to leverage the most talented lawyers and best ideas to solve our clients’ most challenging, complex issues, regardless of where they do business. 

Learn about our Diversity and Inclusion and Pro Bono initiatives. 

A Workplace that Inspires

Former Dechert Chair, Bart Winokur, discusses Dechert's commitment to displaying modern art as a way to inspire team members' creativity by bringing a sense of dynamism and energy to the workplace every day. 

 

Big Law Art Collections: Dechert

For Dechert, art is about more than filling wall space—it is the heart and soul of the firm’s real estate. Art provokes sensation and demands reaction, creating a synergy between creator and viewer. In Dechert’s 27 offices around the world, these forces collude to create stimulating spaces that surprise and provoke. In refining its cultural take, the firm has itself pushed into fertile new terrain. Today, Dechert collects, adding steadily to its 765-work patrimony. Dechert commissions, giving voice to artists across the world. Dechert selects, choosing dynamic, individual pieces in sync with the firm’s entrepreneurial culture. And Dechert cultivates, using art to reflect the identity of location and maintaining it at the center of the firm’s very being.

Former Dechert chairman Bart Winokur knows the New York office like the back of his hand. Winokur, who turned a regional U.S. law firm into a global presence, also transformed its cultural viewpoint. Art in the workplace should engage and inspire, he believes—more, it should energize all those who come into contact with it.

Over 130 curated pieces now line the walls of the firm’s Sixth Avenue offices. Turn down one corridor and Joan Mitchell’s Trees— immense, lurid “scribble prints”—give way to the monochrome starkness of Kiki Smith’s lunar photography, I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me, Tidal Moon. “The contrast engages the mind,” says Winokur. “Even if you don’t know why, you say ‘wow’.”

James Surls’ Falling Flowers, a wood-and-steel colossus finished in 2008, dominates the center. Surls sculpted his mesmerizing masterwork specifically for the space, seeking first to draw the viewer forward, then descend through clouds of hand-hewn petals cascading freely down a shimmering, three-floor staircase. “I had written poems about flowers on garden walls, falling over the walls and hanging down,” says Surls. “I wanted to create something that covered the whole space and yet somehow also fell through it.”

Ten years on, Dechert went back to Surls, asking him to create something new. The result? We Speak Through the Prism, a drawing depicting truth that, he says, is personally oriented towards Dechert, “a very particular law firm.”

Singapore managing partner Dean Collins was visiting an art fair with his daughter when he met Alberto Sanchez, a Spanish emigre. Collins was stunned how Sanchez enhanced his black-and-white photography with a multi-hued resin overlay and felt an instant affinity.

Tasked with opening Dechert’s new office in Singapore and keen to commission fresh works that would reflect the firm’s unique character, Collins proposed a collaboration.

After discussion with Collins and colleagues, Sanchez headed to Indonesia, a locus for much of the firm’s work in Asia. In Bali, he found inspiration, capturing black-and-white images of a rural, traditional scene over which he set about applying his vibrant signature treatment.

The dichotomy inherent in Sanchez’s work has much in common with the way Dechert people—“a forward-thinking group,” says Collins— practice the law. “We take some traditional approaches that are worthy but apply modern technique to take them to the next level.”

Sanchez’s piece—striking, contemporary—has done much to cement the firm’s image in a new market. Younger clients, in particular, are inclined to comment, notes Collins. “‘Wow’, they say, ‘this doesn’t look like a law firm at all’.” 

Leora Armstrong’s Green Field, created for the firm in 2017, greets visitors to Dechert in London. Inspired by the Scottish west coast, the dramatic landscape of her childhood, Armstrong plays with a palette she sees in all our surroundings. “I want to understand the energy of color and the lines that edge it,” she explains.

EMEA facilities director Steve House chose Christopher Hauser’s modern edifices and moody skies as a sharp contrast, the German photographer’s panoramic cityscapes placing the firm’s riverside London offices in an appropriately urban context. 

Celebrated Chinese graffiti artist Zhang Dali is one of the latest additions to Dechert’s global art family. Dali, the first artist to make the cover of Time magazine since Jackson Pollock, created Bamboo as an examination of nature’s dwindling lifespan in a rapidly urbanizing environment. The work, picked out by corporate partner Xiao Yong, now enjoys pride of place in Dechert’s Hong Kong office.