Wealth of Experience
Our London office first opened its doors in 1972, though Dechert’s roots here stretch back to the 1930s. Based in the heart of the City, London is one of Dechert’s largest offices and is an important global hub for our clients’ cross-border work around Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Our lawyers advise asset managers, financial institutions and corporations on issues critical to managing their business and their capital – from high-stakes litigation to complex transactions and regulatory matters. We assist with raising and deploying pools of capital - from fund formation through the entire investment lifecycle to realisation or restructuring, and we offer market-leading expertise in areas such as antitrust, finance and real estate, white collar crime, tax, IP, partnership and employment.
International Legal Expertise
Reflecting London’s role as a global business centre, our lawyers are qualified to practise in a wide array of jurisdictions. Alongside our English qualified lawyers, we have specialist U.S. and Luxembourg financial services and regulatory experts, a U.S. corporate practice, and a U.S.-qualified white collar crime practice which acts for both corporates and individuals, all operating from our London office to provide clients with integrated, real-time advice.We are also one of the few law firms equipped with a full-service U.S. corporate practice in London, with the capability to advise domestic and international clients on a broad spectrum of U.S. regulatory and transactional issues.
From funds and financial institutions to high net worth individuals, privately owned companies and multinationals, our clients value Dechert’s creative approach to planning and executing complex transactions. We provide timely, best-in-class advice on M&A and private equity deals, capital markets and financing transactions and on commercial and regulatory matters.
Purchasers, sellers and advisers understand that we consistently earn a top-tier ranking for M&A deals by being one of the most active law firms in the field. Issuers, investment banks and financial sponsors routinely come to us when planning a UK or cross-border offering or listing. In the emerging markets, sovereigns, banks and multinationals trust us with their highest-value transactions.
Moreover, our London-based team constitutes an invaluable cross-border resource for U.S. companies operating in an international sphere and for international companies looking to invest or raise capital in the United States
Employers from a wide variety of sectors rely on us for assistance with all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. Working closely with our clients’ in-house legal and human resources teams, our lawyers:
- Represent clients in relation to all forms of employment litigation before the Employment Tribunals and the High Court.
- Advise on drafting and enforcing confidentiality and restrictive covenant obligations.
- Advise on new legislation and case law.
- Assist in handling disciplinary and grievance investigations and in negotiating severance arrangements.
- Devise and draft comprehensive, up–to-date employment contracts and human resources policies.
- Advise on the employment aspects of corporate transactions.
- Assist in managing redundancy exercises, restructurings and TUPE transfers.
- Advise on remuneration and incentive arrangements.
Dechert operates one of the largest financial services practices in London. Our top-ranked team forms a critical part of the firm’s global Financial Services Group, which spans the leading financial hubs of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.
Investment management boutiques and financial-services giants benefit from our “jurisdiction-neutral” advice that blends local experience with know-how on a global scale. Our advice covers retail and institutional products for all asset classes, strategies and structures, from equity and fixed income to credit, commodities and derivatives.
At the forefront of regulatory changes, our advice on global legislative initiatives is always forward-looking and results-focused. Our “one-stop shop” for investment funds is consistently top-tiered in the hedge funds space.
Moreover, while our English and U.S.-qualified lawyers provide on-the-spot advice on English and U.S. matters from a single platform, we are the only law firm able to source in-house advice in every leading investment fund jurisdiction in Europe.
Market sources regularly endorse Dechert’s proactive approach to all types of financing transactions and restructurings. Our lawyers in London know how to get deals done in both the U.S. and European markets.
Lenders and investors, agents and borrowers, servicers and special servicers come to us for help with out-of-court loan restructurings, workouts and recapitalisations, focused particularly on resolving stressed and distressed structured finance vehicles and products.
In real estate finance and real estate capital markets, we excel at developing innovative structures based on our deep experience with ABS, CMBS and CDOs. With a proven ability to master complex deals, we have the resources required to manage the crucial areas that can affect the creditworthiness and attractiveness of our clients’ offerings.
Clients in IP-heavy industries call on our London intellectual property team when facing complex litigation, counselling and transactional IP matters.
With years of experience in managing high-profile matters related to the complete range of intellectual property, we aim to solve, settle and assert our clients’ IP rights in the UK and around the world in order to maximise their business objectives.
Our lawyers devise strategies to assert, protect and defend clients’ rights in relation to IP-related matters such as:
- Trade marks
- Database rights
- Trade secrets
- Distribution and license agreements
- Passing off
- Unfair competition
- Breach of confidence and covenant
Our team also advises providers and users of technology, often of a cutting-edge nature.
Clients of Dechert’s London office are routinely served by experienced tax lawyers at the heart of our integrated, multi-disciplinary teams. Our primary focus on all transactions is to achieve a tax-efficient structure that generates optimum returns for our clients and limits tax risk on audits.
Our leading market position in the funds industry has enabled us to build particular expertise in advising investment funds and their managers on tax and VAT issues. We also have a proven track record in relation to financial services taxation.
The tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity, and finance and real estate transactions figure highly among the client concerns we regularly solve, along with general assistance on all aspects of corporate tax, both in the UK and internationally.
We have a proven record of developing effective global strategies to help clients resolve the most complex, highest-profile disputes in global commerce—and for achieving spectacular results on our clients’ behalf.
Governments, global corporations, corporate and sovereign debt holders, hedge funds and other financial institutions regularly engage us to help resolve their most intractable commercial disputes, many of which span multiple jurisdictions, cultures and legal systems.
Our team of litigation, commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration lawyers advocates client interests in a powerful manner. The team works seamlessly across jurisdictions and datelines and has particular experience in Europe, Russia and the CIS, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Latin America.
A complex network of regulation, legislation and standards governs global policy making. Our lawyers blend legal, strategic and public affairs expertise to advocate your interests effectively, assisting with solutions to your regulatory and trade challenges even before regulations have been conceived and adopted.
Unlike other law firms, Dechert’s team includes international trade and investment lawyers and public affairs experts, many of whom are former EU Commission officials, national regulators or World Trade Organization trade negotiators. With vast on-the-ground experience, we provide invaluable insider insight on trade regulatory requirements to companies operating in Europe or trading with European counterparts.
Working in close cooperation with our counterparts in the United States, our London team also counsels clients on matters concerning financial sanctions, trade embargoes and export controls.
Unlike many other global law firms in London, Dechert has substantial experience in defending companies facing criminal investigation. We pass this knowledge on to our clients. Our first-hand, practical experience of how enforcement is actually carried out by the world’s law enforcement agencies underpins our approach to compliance.
Our team is particularly noted for its expert handling of the most sensitive cross-border corporate investigations. We support companies’ compliance efforts in areas such as anticorruption, accounting restatements and insider trading, money laundering, asset-tracing and recovery, tax and cartel investigations.
In addition, audit committees, boards of directors, companies and senior officers call on us for crucial, timely advice on matters surrounding internal and regulatory investigations.
Buyers, sellers and advisers come to Dechert’s real estate team for useable, commercially-minded advice on planning, negotiating and executing complex real estate transactions.
Major developers rely on us at all stages of the development process, from inception through planning, acquisition, funding and forward funding, construction, pre-letting and letting. Landlords call us to help manage portfolios of all sizes.
We pass our experience on to clients, whether involved in property acquisition, real estate management or realising the value of an asset. At every stage, Dechert’s real estate team works closely with our international tax lawyers to devise a tax-efficient structure that generates optimum returns. It is this close collaboration that brings real estate clients back to Dechert time and time again.
Dechert provides wide-ranging services for complex financings and deal structuring. With a focus on sophisticated and efficient deal structuring and execution, we advise on corporate finance, leveraged finance, real estate finance, structured finance and securitization matters. Our global finance practice gives clients access to a responsive interdisciplinary, multi-jurisdictional team. Working together, we immediately react to the changing international landscape and increasing complexity facing finance transactions.
Dechert’s UK Life Sciences and Healthcare practice integrates multiple disciplines, drawing on the experience of our entire global practice to offer a complete range of transactional, advisory and dispute resolution services to our clients.
Able to draw on significant local resources, together with additional global dedicated resources deployed across the United States, Europe and Asia, our team collaborates seamlessly to help clients establish or expand their international presence. Whether guiding a start-up biotech through its first round of commercially significant funding, executing a strategic acquisition for a large pharmaceutical company, executing a private equity buy-out of a healthcare company, licensing a medical device company’s patents or winning antitrust, securities or patent disputes, our lawyers approach every matter with the resources of a major international firm and the focus and depth of a life sciences and healthcare boutique.
Our extensive experience includes:
- M&A and Strategic Collaborations
- Private Equity
- Venture Capital
- Capital Markets
- Product Liability
- Intellectual Property
- Investment Management and Funds
- Tax Issues and Employee Benefits
Our partnership team in London is drawn from a number of practice areas (including tax, employment, regulation, litigation, corporate and financial services) and is deeply experienced in all aspects of partnership law, particularly in the financial services sector. We regularly advise on limited partnership (LP) and limited liability partnership (LLP) structures and prepare LP and LLP agreements. We are also very experienced at handling and resolving LP, LLP and member disputes.
Clients frequently turn to us for help with all aspects of partnership law, from the design of governance arrangements and profit waterfalls through complex spin out exercises to member removals and enforcement of restrictive covenants.
Dechert LLP in the UK (“Dechert LLP UK”) is a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales (Registered No. OC306029) and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA No. 389648). The registered address is 25 Cannon Street, London EC4M 5UB, UK. A list of names of the members of Dechert LLP UK (who are referred to as “partners”) is available for inspection at the above address. The partners are solicitors or registered foreign lawyers. The use of the term “partners” should not be construed as indicating that the members of Dechert LLP UK are carrying on business in partnership for the purpose of the Partnership Act 1890.
This is a statement setting out our costs information for bringing and defending claims in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal. Due to the nature of our client base at Dechert we tend to work on cases involving claims of unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal which are high value and complex, rarely follow a typical pattern, and often include additional claims such as unlawful discrimination and whistleblowing. Accordingly, the figures below represent a range or (in some circumstances) an aspect of the costs incurred in previous cases. We would be able to give a more precise estimate in any particular case. Please note that this statement does not cover Employment Tribunal cases which involve claims of discrimination or whistleblowing in addition to unfair/wrongful dismissal.
We charge on the basis of the number of hours worked on the case. Our charges are based on hourly rates for each lawyer working on the matter. The level of hourly rates depends on each person’s seniority and experience and rates are reviewed annually. Our current hourly rates from paralegal to partner range from £280 - £1200 (excluding VAT).
Subject to the particular circumstances of the matter, our range of costs for bringing and defending claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal are:
- Simple one day case: £40,000-£60,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements).
- Medium complexity two to four day case: £60,000- £150,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements).
- High complexity multi-day case (assuming a 10 day hearing): £200,000-£400,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements).
Factors that could make a case more complex and/or increase costs:
- Where interlocutory applications are made – whether to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim or seek specific directions.
- Where there are multiple parties to the litigation, for example in a case which relates to a business transfer governed by the transfer of undertakings legislation, or in circumstances where the unfair dismissal claim is brought in conjunction with a discrimination claim in relation to which there are individual co-respondents.
- Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person.
- Making or defending a costs application.
- The resolution of preliminary issues such as whether a claim has been brought in time, whether a claim should be struck out by reason of having no reasonable prospects of success, a deposit order should be made, or whether a claimant’s dismissal is argued to be linked to the transfer of a business.
- Where there are cross border issues, for example, where the employer or witnesses are based outside the United Kingdom. Additional costs may include instructing overseas lawyers for relevant local advice, travel, translation etc.
- Where there are other additional non-employment law issues involved in the matter, such as where the employer is in a regulated industry such as financial services.
- The number of witnesses and volume of documents.
- If the claimant’s claim is for automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the employee’s dismissal is argued to be linked to trade union activities.
- If additional costs are incurred by adjournments and/or settlement discussions.
The number and seniority of the fee earners attending any Tribunal hearings will affect the costs of our representation and will depend on the complexity of the matter. In complex cases more than one fee earner may need to attend the Employment Tribunal along with counsel.
- Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as travel and counsel’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. VAT is charged on disbursements where applicable at the current rate of 20%.
- A simple one day unfair dismissal case in or close to London may incur few disbursements, such as travel to and from the Employment Tribunal. However more complex cases may incur very significant disbursements, for example if clients or witnesses are based abroad and we have to travel to take instructions or witness statements. In complex cases with high volumes of documents we sometimes recommend using e-discovery software tools or platforms provided by specialist third party providers.
- Counsel's fees for attending an Employment Tribunal Hearing (including preparation), can vary very significantly depending on the seniority and experience of the advocate. In our experience a junior barrister working on a straightforward one day unfair dismissal case may charge in the range of £1,500-£7,500 (excluding VAT).
While our actual charges will depend on the work required during the course of a matter, the fees set out above cover the work we may typically do in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers, and advising on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change).
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation via ACAS.
- Preparing an individual’s claim or the employer’s response.
- Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from the other party.
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement as appropriate during the process.
- Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing.
- Conducting a search and/or advising on the client’s obligations to carry out a full search, for potentially relevant documents and other information for the purposes of the client’s disclosure obligations in the case. This will include paper documents and information held on all IT systems and electronic devices.
- Reviewing documents to determine the client’s disclosure obligations and collating a bundle of documents for disclosure to the other party.
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing bundles of documents for preliminary and or full hearings.
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements.
- Drafting and agreeing a list of issues, a chronology, and/or cast list.
- Preparation for and attendance at the final hearing, including instructions to Counsel, as well as any preliminary hearings.
An alternative route to settlement of a case may be mediation. If this were appropriate – and agreeable to the parties - in a particular case, we would provide a separate costs estimate to cover the fees and disbursements relating to the mediation. This would include hourly rates for Dechert lawyers, and may also include Counsel’s fees, and travel expenses.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking initial instructions to the final resolution of the matter varies widely and depends on the stage at which a case is resolved. Many unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal cases settle before they reach a final hearing. The duration of a matter also depends largely on the available resources of the Employment Tribunal at the time. It is likely to take longer for the Tribunal to list a complex case which requires a long hearing.
If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, concluding the matter is likely to take 4-6 weeks. If the claim proceeds to a final hearing, the case could take 6-12 months or more depending on the Tribunal’s listing of the case. These are estimates and we would be able to give a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
The Dechert London Employment Team
The Dechert London Employment Team will work on claims for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. By using the “Lawyer Search” section of our website you will be able to search for our London based Employment Team members to view their individual website profiles which include details of their experience and qualifications.
We are committed to giving you the best possible service, however, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about our service, including our charges, then please do not hesitate to contact the partner supervising your matter and we will do our best to resolve any concerns at this stage.
If this does not resolve the matter to your satisfaction or you wish to raise a formal complaint, then please feel free to contact any of the following:
(i) the partner supervising your matter,
(ii) the partner responsible for your relationship with us, or
(iii) the London complaints team on Complaints2@dechert.com.
Details of our London Office Client Complaints Procedure are also available on request from the partner supervising your matter or from our London complaints team.
We will try to resolve any concern or complaint quickly and to your satisfaction. Raising a concern or complaint will not affect how we handle your matter; we will always respond in a clear and professional manner.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint
The Solicitors Regulation Authority ("SRA")
We are authorised and regulated by the SRA. If your concern relates to regulatory matters such as a failure to comply with the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors or the SRA Principles, you can raise your concerns with the SRA.
The SRA’s contact details and its website, which sets out further details as to the applicable procedures, are as follows:
The Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman may be able to help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves within 8 weeks. The Legal Ombudsman will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your matter.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first and that you are eligible to benefit from its services. The Legal Ombudsman service can only be used by:
(ii) trusts and charities provided they have an annual net income of less than £1 million, and
(iii) small businesses provided they meet the criteria for being considered a micro-enterprise.
For further details please refer to the Legal Ombudsman’s assessment tool.
If you have tried to resolve your complaint with us and are eligible to benefit from the Legal Ombudsman’s services, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
(i) within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint, and
(ii) no more than one year from the date of act/omission, or
(iii) no more than one year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details and its website, which sets out further details as to the applicable procedures, are as follows: