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Dechert LLP Adds 65 Attorneys from Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman.

NEW YORK & WASHINGTON -- Dechert LLP is the new professional home of 57 lawyers from the New York office of Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman and eight lawyers from Swidler's Washington office, today announced Barton J. Winokur, Chair of Dechert.

The New York lawyers will join forces with Dechert's strong white collar and corporate investigations, securities litigation and enforcement, mergers and acquisitions and private equity practices. The Washington lawyers will join Dechert's top-ranked antitrust and white collar practices.

"Dechert is a leading player in the financial services sector and our new colleagues in New York cement that standing," Winokur stated. "The addition of this extraordinary group is a major step in our strategy to expand our portfolio of world class practices, especially in New York. In the antitrust area, we're now joined by one of the leading antitrust merger teams in the United States. We believe that there is now no firm in the country better equipped to handle matters of the utmost importance to clients in these areas of practice."

Most of the lawyers joining Dechert from Swidler's New York office were earlier with Shereff Friedman Hoffman & Goodman, a firm that merged with Washington's Swidler Berlin six years ago.

"If we could have designed a firm that would fit best with our practice, Dechert would be it," said Martin Nussbaum, a new Dechert partner formerly in Swidler's New York office. "Dechert already has a major national and international platform. We share a common strategy of creating top tier core practices in key areas in which Dechert already has great strength." He added, "At a time when there has been a dramatic increase in government scrutiny of businesses and every investigation creates the risk of criminal prosecution, SEC, state and NASD enforcement, securities class actions and collateral litigation, clients want firms that can handle problems from beginning to end. That's the team we've put together by joining Dechert."

Robert Katz, formerly general counsel and now a senior director of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., said that the teaming up of this group of lawyers is a terrific idea: "the sum is greater than the parts, and the parts were already great."

Commenting on the combination, Richard D. Weinberg, First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Merrill Lynch, and a client of the former Swidler attorneys, said "They are wonderful lawyers who are great problem solvers and skilled trial lawyers. Their work for Merrill always has been outstanding. This is a great achievement for Dechert, and I am quite pleased."

With the addition of the former Swidler attorneys, Dechert now has more than 760 lawyers worldwide, including 170 in New York.
New partners joining Dechert are:

in New York:
------------
 - Gerald Adler - corporate, M&A, private equity

 - Richard D. Belford - employee benefits, tax

 - Joseph F. Donley - securities and commercial litigation

 - Adam M. Fox - M&A

 - Robert M. Friedman - corporate, M&A, private equity

 - Richard A. Goldberg - corporate, M&A

 - Jeffry S. Hoffman - private equity, investment management

 - David S. Hoffner - white collar and securities litigation,
 corporate investigations

 - Shalom Jacob - bankruptcy

 - Les Jacobowitz - real estate and structured finance

 - Nicolle L Jacoby - white collar and commercial litigation,
 corporate investigations

 - Robert J. Jossen - white collar, securities and commercial
 litigation, corporate investigations, legal ethics

 - Andrew J. Levander - white collar, securities and commercial
 litigation, corporate investigations

 - Gary J. Mennitt - securities and commercial litigation

 - James H. Nix - tax, ERISA, investment management

 - Martin Nussbaum - corporate, M&A

 - Kevin J. O'Brien - white collar and commercial litigation,
 corporate investigations

 - Guy Petrillo - white collar, securities and commercial
 litigation, corporate investigations

 - Benjamin E. Rosenberg - white collar, securities and commercial
 litigation, corporate investigations

 - David S. Rosenthal - corporate, M&A

 - Louis M Solomon - securities and commercial litigation

 - Shari L. Steinberg - securities and commercial litigation

 - Claude M. Tusk - securities, commercial and employment
 litigation

 - Charles I. Weissman - corporate, M&A

 - Scott M. Zimmerman - corporate, M&A

In Washington, DC
-----------------
 - Paul T. Denis - antitrust/competition

 - Michael D. Farber - antitrust, white collar, corporate
 investigations



Dechert facts

--17 global offices, three new ones in the past 18 months. In June 2003, the firm opened an office in Palo Alto, CA, focused on intellectual property, commercial and securities litigation. In January 2004, the firm opened an office in Charlotte, NC where it focuses on real estate and structured finance. In January 2004, Dechert opened an office in Munich, Germany, where it focuses on private equity and investment companies.

--In 2004, Dechert entered into the ranks of million-dollar profits-per-partner firms.

--Ranked as one of the top 50 law firms in "The Global 50" by Legal Business, 2004.

--Ranked among the top 10 international law firms in London (by UK revenue) by The Lawyer, 2004.

--Finalist for top antitrust practice in the United States, Chambers Global, 2003.

--Consistently ranked among the top M&A law firms in the league tables of Mergerstat, Thomson Financial, and Corporate Control Alert, 2004

--One of the most active law firms in private equity, according to Private Equity Analyst, 2004.

--One of the top three products liability defense practices in the nation, The American Lawyer, 2004.

--Ranked as one of the top national products liability practices, Chambers USA, 2004.

--One the top investment management practices, Chambers USA, 2004.

--Ranked among the top two firms serving the mutual fund industry, Ignites.com, 2004.

--The firm's U.S. mutual fund practice ranked in the top three by The American Lawyer's "Corporate Scorecard," April 2004.

--Ranked as one of the top two firms in London for investment funds by Chambers UK.

--Ranked second among leading counsel to the hedge fund industry by CogentHedge, 2004.

--Ranked among the top ten issuer and manager legal advisors for U.S. Mortgage-backed Securities by Thomson Financial, 2004.

With more than 760 lawyers located in 17 cities around the world, Dechert LLP advises corporations and financial institutions on corporate, transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters. Visit Dechert on the web at www.dechert.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 3, 2005
Words:975
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