The Legal Cheek View
Dechert is perhaps best known in the UK for being the workplace of Miriam Gonzalez, the successful 'top lawyer' wife of former deputy PM Nick Clegg. Gonzalez leads the firm’s UK competition law team, which is one of its major London practice areas alongside finance, private equity and litigation. Dechert also has a well-regarded white collar crime practice operating out of the UK, giving the office a more rounded feel than some purely deal-driven US firms in the City.
The firm’s pitch to students is built partially on this, with Dechert’s pay levels more in line with British firms than American ones – although they have recently benefitted from a boost (see below). Another selling point is the very high chance of doing an international secondment that the firm offers to its trainees – nearly 60% of whom have spent time abroad with the firm. The most popular locations include Dublin, Brussels and Singapore.
Dechert’s perks back in London are fairly good, with a newly refurbished office complete with revamped canteen – called 'Cafe Diem' – winning plaudits from insiders. There’s also free fruit every day, subsidised gym membership, health & dental insurance, and pecan pie on Thanksgiving.
Where the firm falls down slightly is on the training and peer and partner support side, scoring a slightly disappointing run of Bs in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. The quality of work is A-grade, though, with one rookie describing it as “at times excellent, most of the time pretty good, some of the time dire”. Meanwhile, the hours are said to get a little crazy sometimes – although the average leave time of 7:56pm isn't too bad for the City.
But did you really expect a firm where profit per equity partner stands at a whopping £1.72 million – higher than any magic circle firm – to be a holiday camp?