Private Equity


Private equity investors around the world rely on our global team of more than 250 lawyers to provide creative solutions to the most complex issues in evaluating, structuring, negotiating, and consummating private equity transactions.

Dechert has been ranked among the top law firms for total number and value of private equity buyouts by The American Lawyer Corporate Scorecard and for number of North American buyouts and value of European exits by Mergermarket. We are also recognized as one of the “most active law firms” for both fund formation and fund investments by Private Equity Analyst, and among the top firms for private equity by Chambers, The Legal 500 and JUVE.

Dechert’s private equity lawyers advise clients at every phase of the investment lifecycle. We form funds for private equity sponsors and institutional investors and help raise capital; structure investments for private equity funds; and represent the portfolio companies of our private equity clients in a variety of transactions.

Fund Formation

Our fund formation clients benefit from our up-to-the-minute knowledge of deal terms, conditions and other innovations; our advice on regulatory and governance issues and tax-efficient structures; and our counsel on capital raising techniques.

Advice for Sponsors

We have extensive experience with domestic and offshore funds in various asset classes, including leveraged buy-out, venture capital, mezzanine securities, distressed debt, real estate, collateralized debt and loan obligations, and with U.S. and international market investments.

Dechert lawyers help clients consider the merits of a variety of fund structures, including limited partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, offshore vehicles, and Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), and are also experienced in devising innovative structures that give clients the flexibility to access assets that might otherwise be unavailable to them.

Advice for Institutional Investors

Dechert advises institutional and corporate investors in reviewing their proposed investments in private equity funds, including negotiating investment terms and documentation. Our institutional clients include the large private retirement trusts of several Fortune 500 companies, and several of the country’s largest charitable foundations with several billion dollars in assets.

Fund Investment Activities

Dechert’s private equity lawyers represent fund sponsors in a wide range of investment transactions, including venture capital financings, leveraged buyouts, minority investments (such as PIPE transactions), and recapitalizations of public and private companies. We also advise clients on all aspects of financings for private equity investments, including public and private placements of common and preferred stock, senior and mezzanine debt placements, 144A offerings, Eurobond offerings, securitizations, and publicly underwritten high-yield debt offerings.

Comprehensive Advice

Our fund sponsor clients engage in complex domestic and international transactions and depend on Dechert’s deep understanding of the tax and regulatory issues that arise. Our practice draws lawyers from several areas within the firm, including tax, intellectual property, corporate finance, real estate, bankruptcy/reorganization, antitrust, environmental, employee benefits and international trade, to proactively serve our clients.

Integrated International Service

With private equity lawyers in offices in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Dechert is well positioned to advise private equity sponsors around the world.

Portfolio Company Transactions

From start-ups to “large cap” public companies, our private equity fund clients often retain Dechert to represent their portfolio companies in all stages of their lifecycles. Many of these companies are working toward a public offering, sale, or alternative transaction offering liquidity to their investors. As a recognized leader in capital markets and M&A/private equity, Dechert is experienced in representing portfolio companies that are preparing for such transactions.

Troubled or Distressed Investments

We also regularly advise on restructurings and refinancings of troubled or distressed businesses. Our experience ranges from negotiated workouts with lenders to Chapter 11 proceedings, and often means assisting clients in getting their equity without running afoul of the bankruptcy code and creditors’ rights.