Dechert Launches Innovation Program in Partnership with a World-Leading Design and Innovation Company

May 10, 2021

Global law firm Dechert is launching a new, independently certified Innovation Program in partnership with the global innovation and design company, IDEO. The program is designed to further strengthen the firm’s culture of innovation, drive systemic improvements to the firm’s business model, and help the firm to partner with clients even more effectively to solve their greatest business and legal challenges.

Announced today during the firm’s second annual Innovation Week, the program is part of a broader innovation effort at the firm, which includes the launch of an Innovation Training Curriculum. The Innovation Training Curriculum is designed to give Dechert attorneys and business professionals proven skills and techniques to support innovative thinking and behaviors.

The six-month certified Innovation Program with IDEO will run from June to November 2021 and include four modules of structured innovation training covering: (1) creative problem-solving, (2) client-centric service delivery, (3) effective pricing and matter management techniques, and (4) digital literacy. The Innovation Training Curriculum will form a central plank in the Critical Skills Framework, a key professional development competency model that the firm uses to recruit, train, evaluate, and promote its people.

The four modules of the Innovation Program have been specifically designed to help participants identify and understand challenges from a client’s viewpoint; develop the confidence to analyze problems from new perspectives; encourage individuals and teams to challenge and change ingrained work methods, processes and procedures; and create novel solutions through the use of advanced technologies. Each module involves 12 hours of instructed learning plus approximately 12 hours of further research and investigation. As part of the program, participants will develop a solution to a real-life client or business challenge.

The program will be conducted virtually with IDEO teaching the first two modules and guest lecturers contributing to the other modules. During its inaugural year, the program will be open to 40 lawyers and business services professionals. Thereafter, the program will be conducted annually, with a planned increase in the number of Dechert participants.

Dechert’s CEO, Henry Nassau says, “When we talk about innovation at Dechert, we mean efforts by all members of our community to improve our workplace, support our people, and elevate the value of our service to clients in new and meaningful ways. One of the things we learned over the last year is that, when we need to be, we are all capable of being highly adaptable, creative, and innovative. As we look to the future, we want to capitalize on this momentum and help instill innovative thinking in the work we do for clients and communities we serve every day.”

Dechert partner Ben Barnett, a member of the firm’s Innovation Task Force adds, “With these programs we are making a significant investment in our people to develop the practical tools and techniques to creatively solve our clients’ most significant business and legal challenges. Through the collective effort of individuals who are committed to thinking and doing things differently, we want to change the way we work to continuously improve and enhance our client service.” 

Barnett, who specializes in eDiscovery and strategic data management, has previously been recognized for his innovative client work by the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers Awards and the BTI Client Service All-Stars program.

Rochael Adranly, partner, Chief Legal Officer and the co-creator of the legal design and innovation practice at IDEO, says, “Legal teams today face mounting challenges from the fast pace of change in their organizations, shifts in regulatory landscapes, and pressures toward operational efficiency. Learning to approach these challenges with a creative mindset can provide a huge breakthrough that benefits not only the organization’s capacity for problem-solving, but the experiences of their clients and employees.”

IDEO is a global design company committed to creating positive impact through human-centered design. IDEO works with clients to tackle complex challenges ranging from addressing climate change and building new ventures to helping make organizations more creatively competitive.

About Dechert

Dechert is a leading global law firm with 24 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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