Financial Times Names Dechert Among the Most Innovative Law Firms in North America

December 10, 2021

Dechert LLP and its lawyers have been recognized once again by the Financial Times for their creativity and capacity to bring about change in the FT’s Innovative Lawyers Awards for North America 2021.

Dechert was ranked among the top five law firms in North America for innovation in the practice of law. Dechert partners Arif H. Ali, Laura Swihart and Timothy Spangler were also recognized for innovation.

Arif H. Ali, Washington, D.C.-based co-chair of Dechert’s international arbitration group, was named the “Most Innovative Legal Practitioner in North America” for winning a string of international arbitrations against ICANN, the internet’s de facto regulator, including a victory in May 2021 on behalf of a client seeking the rights to .WEB, the internet domain most likely to challenge the monopoly held by .COM. The arbitrations have set important precedents, including that principles of international law must apply to the governance of the internet.

Laura Swihart, New York-based co-chair of Dechert’s global finance and real estate practice group, was also named among the FT’s most innovative legal practitioners for guiding clients through multiple first-of-their-kind commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions and for championing women’s advancement at Dechert and in the wider industry. Ms. Swihart advised Freddie Mac on its K-F95 securitization of US$991.5 million of mortgage loans, a precedential transaction that set a template for the global transition from LIBOR.

California-based financial services partner Timothy Spangler’s work advising Franklin Templeton on development of the world’s first blockchain-based mutual fund was honored in the “Innovation in Creating New Standards” category. Dechert helped Franklin Templeton break new ground by navigating the unique legal and regulatory challenges raised by using money market funds to trade in digitalized securities.

Lawyers and law firms recognized by the FT were honored in an online ceremony on December 9.

About Dechert
Dechert is a leading global law firm with 22 offices around the world. We advise on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.

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