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‘A transition year’: Dechert chief executive confident despite 10% drop in City turnover

The highest take-home pay at Dechert‘s City office rose by nearly 9% last year to £2.9m, while income at the firm’s City office slid by 10%.

London income at Dechert dropped by 10% from £49m in 2014 to £44.1m for the year ended 31 December 2015, according to filings at Companies House. The fall in revenue aligns with a decrease in partners by 9%, as partner numbers dropped from 43 to 39 partners in 2015, according to the Global 100.

Overall, the fees generated within Dechert’s UK LLP, which includes some income from overseas offices, dropped nearly 9% to £61.2m. Profit available for distribution also dropped to £24.5m from £28.4m.

Dechert’s newly-appointed chief executive officer Henry Nassau (pictured) said while performance was down, since the reporting period the financial fortunes of the firm had changed. He added: ‘There has been an active and dramatic turnaround and I’m feeling quite good about London this year.’

‘It’s all down to time and transition, a number of lawyers have departed, litigation hasn’t picked up and we view 2015 as a transition year. We are now focusing on the new managers in the office and turning it around, combine that with strong recent laterals we think 2016 will be a very good year.’

In July 2016 Dechert announced its London office will be led by a committee with corporate partner Camille Abousleiman serving as chair alongside partners Gus Black and Miriam Gonzalez alongside existing managing partner Jason Butwick.

According to the accounts, there was an increase in the number of lawyers working across the network to 226. The number of associates and counsel dipped further by just over 10%, from 76 lawyers in 2014 to 69 lawyers last year. Despite this, the amount of administration staff rose from 60 to 66 and staff costs remained fairly steady, increasing by just under 2%, amounting to £18.4m.

While, in 2015 Dechert’s London office saw several high-profile departures including exits to Jenner & Block and White & Case, last week it hired White & Case’s Ross Allardice and Kirkland & Ellis partner John Markland in private equity and finance to boost its presence in the City, while in August it bolstered its finance team with the hire of two DLA Piper partners Philip Butler and David Miles.