Global law firm Dechert has today announced that, effective July 1, 2023, partners David W. Forti and Mark E. Thierfelder will become Co-Chairs and that partners Sabina Comis and Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. will become the firm’s first Global Managing Partners.
The incoming leadership team will succeed Andy J. Levander, the firm’s Chair since 2011, and Henry N. Nassau, the firm’s CEO since 2016, when their leadership terms end on June 30, 2023.
The incoming leadership team will evolve the firm’s global strategy, ensuring its continued dedication to exceptional client service, driving growth, and further strengthening its commitments to diversity, innovation and pro bono work. They will also continue to maintain their practices to serve their clients and stay close to the market.
As leaders of two of the firm’s biggest transactional practices, Mr. Forti and Mr. Thierfelder are recognized as leading lawyers for their respective practice areas by multiple independent industry guides. They have served a combined 18 years on the firm’s Policy Committee, which sets the firm’s direction.
Mr. Thierfelder (New York) is currently Chair of the firm’s corporate and securities group and Chair of the global private equity practice. He represents leading funds and their portfolio companies – as well as strategic buyers and sellers – in mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, leveraged financings and restructurings. In 2022, he was named a “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer, Private Equity MVP by Law360, and Market Leader for Private Equity for M&A by IFLR1000.
Mr. Forti (Philadelphia) is currently Co-Chair of the firm’s global finance and real estate practices where he advises on some of the largest real estate financing transactions in the world. In 2022, Mr. Forti was recognized for the second time as a Real Estate MVP by Law360 for advising on many of the largest commercial real estate loans originated in the past year and he is recognized as a highly regarded banking lawyer by IFLR1000.
Rounding out the new leadership team, and in addition to continuing in their current leadership and Policy Committee positions, Mr. Cohen (Washington D.C.), Regional Chair of Dechert’s U.S. white collar practice, and Ms. Comis (Paris), tax partner and co-managing partner of the Paris office, will work with U.S. and EMEA managing partners, and the firm as a whole, to help drive the firm’s global strategy and manage operations.
Mr. Cohen represents individuals and corporations in sensitive government and internal investigations, government enforcement matters, and complex civil and criminal litigation. He is recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and Lawdragon as a leading attorney in white collar and government investigations. He has also been consistently named as one of Washington, D.C.’s Best Lawyers by Washingtonian and as one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers. Ms. Comis represents French and international institutions on complex tax structurings. She has been ranked over many years as a “Leading Individual” in legal directories such as Chambers Europe and The Legal 500 EMEA for her expertise in tax and in fund formation, and recognized in 2021 as a Tax MVP by Law360.
Under Mr. Levander and Mr. Nassau’s leadership, Dechert has grown to become one of the world’s largest law firms with over 1,000 lawyers in 21 offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia, advising leading private equity firms, financial institutions, asset management firms and corporate clients on their most complex and challenging transactions and disputes. During their tenure, the firm has developed a strong pro bono practice supporting communities globally, for which the firm is independently recognized. Mr. Levander and Mr. Nassau will continue to advise Dechert’s clients.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Levander said: “This new leadership team encapsulates Dechert’s core strengths in transactions, litigation and sophisticated tax work across key global markets. The team offers continuity for our clients and people, bringing a broad set of perspectives and a team-based approach to drive our business strategy and our culture.”
Mr. Nassau added: “It is an honor to be transitioning the leadership of our firm to Dave, Mark, Sabina and Vince. They are exceptional leaders and mentors, and they exemplify the very best of Dechert.”
In response, Mr. Thierfelder said: “Dechert has achieved tremendous success under Andy and Henry’s leadership, delivering strong and sustained strategic growth across our core practices and markets. They have also created a culture of innovation and inclusion that has made Dechert a great place to work.”
Mr. Forti added: “Mark, Vince, Sabina and I are excited to work with our colleagues across the firm to build on Andy and Henry’s achievements. We are grateful to have the opportunity to continue Dechert’s tradition of serving our clients at the highest level.”
Ms. Comis said: “Dechert is relentlessly focused on helping clients navigate their most complex business challenges. Cross-border collaboration has never been more important.”
Mr. Cohen concluded: “At Dechert, our people have a sense of community and purpose, and are recognized for their efforts. Our continued success as a firm depends on fostering the collaborative and supportive culture that our people have embraced, while delivering strong industry experience and client service.”
The new leadership team will come into effect on July 1, 2023, following a seven-month planned transition period.
Dechert is a leading global law firm with 21 offices around the world. We advise on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity, and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.