US Top 50 Firms in London Rank15

Dechert was founded in Philadelphia in 1875 and now stretches across almost 30 offices with more than 900 lawyers. These days its biggest office is New York although London is closing in on that title. In 2017, in what was a record year for the firm, its City office chipped in some $130m to the firm’s near $1bn ($977.9m) total. Dechert has been in the UK since the early 1970s but entered the market proper via its 2000 merger with

Dechert was founded in Philadelphia in 1875 and now stretches across almost 30 offices with more than 900 lawyers. These days its biggest office is New York although London is closing in on that title. In 2017, in what was a record year for the firm, its City office chipped in some $130m to the firm’s near $1bn ($977.9m) total.

Dechert has been in the UK since the early 1970s but entered the market proper via its 2000 merger with the London mid-market player best known for property Titmuss Sainer, having had an alliance with what was then Dechert Price & Rhoads since 1994. The two firms increasingly converged, extending the arrangement for another three years in 1998 and ultimately going the whole hog a couple of years down the line. Back then the firm’s total City turnover was less than £30m.

Since those days Dechert has effectively transformed its London offering and moved up the value chain primarily off the back of a series of laterals. Recent hires have included a batch from Kirkland & Ellis spread out across a period of months: corporate partner Christopher Field, tax partner Jane Scobie, banking partner Rob Bradshaw and debt finance partner John Markland. Former Kirkland private equity partner Ross Allardice also joined Dechert though from White & Case partner while Ropes & Gray finance partner Monica Gogna also joined towards the end of 2017. Other notable recent hires include litigation partner Stephen Surgeoner who joined last year from Clifford Chance.

The London office’s key areas now include funds and private equity, litigation and white collar investigations, and capital markets, with the latter area having been boosted significantly in by the arrival of former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner Camille Abousleiman in 2012. The latter lawyer also now serves as chair of Dechert’s four-person London office leadership which includes former London managing partner Jason Butwick, financial services partner Gus Black and Miriam Gonzalez, the co-chair of the international trade and government regulation practice.

The new management role doesn’t appear to have slowed down Abousleiman’s fee-earning efforts, with the head of Dechert’s international capital markets group overseeing Egypt’s issuance of a total of $11bn in bonds last year, including the country’s largest bond issuance ever and the first triple-tranche bond to emerge from the African continent. The deals helped Egypt’s foreign currency reserves (which had stood at $36bn) bounce back from just $14.9bn to $36.7bn. Abousleiman also advised Barclays, Byblos Bank, JPMorgan and Société Générale de Banque au Liban on the Lebanese Republic’s issuance of a $3bn triple-tranche bond in March 2017.

In other major deals a team led by London corporate partner Jonathan Angell represented UK-based oil and gas independent Chrysaor on its $3bn acquisition of Shell’s interests in 15 oilfields and in various pipeline assets in the North Sea.