Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

On Firm Footing: How Law Firms Play an Essential Role in the Corporate Landscape with Henry Nassau, Dechert

By ICR | Podcast

Given the legal complexity of just about every aspect of running a company, lawyers are nearly ubiquitous in the corporate world. So, it should come as no surprise that a lifetime in corporate law amounts to an incredible wealth of knowledge and insight that can extend a lawyer’s value far beyond just providing legal advice.

Our guest this week is Henry Nassau, CEO of global law firm, Dechert. First joining Dechert in 1987 and returning in 2003 after a stint as in-house general counsel (and briefly COO) at Internet Capital Group, Henry served as chair of Dechert’s corporate and securities group for a combined 14 years, representing private equity sponsors, venture capital firms, public and private corporations, management teams, boards, and special committees regarding corporate and securities matters and advising clients on mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, investments, securities offerings, proxy contests, corporate governance, and general corporate matters.

CEO since July of 2016, Henry has played an instrumental role in expanding the Philadelphia-based firm’s international platform across Europe, Asia, and the middle east. Today, Dechert has equal representation of lawyers inside and outside of the United States, making them a go-to choice for cross-border matters.

Henry and Tom Ryan spoke about the rise and fall of the dot-com bubble as it compares to current market conditions, trends in economic globalization, and why the transition from private equity law to businessperson can be a relatively seamless one.


  • Henry outlines the history of Dechert, as well as his own history with the firm (03:14)
  • Henry explains his decision to go in-house at ICG in the late 90s (07:46)
  • Henry unpacks how lessons he learned from the burst of the Internet bubble inform his practice today (13:15)
  • What sets Dechert apart from other firms? (17:07)
  • Henry discusses trends he sees in globalization (18:57)
  • How did COVID affect Dechert and what adaptations seem permanent? (21:01)
  • Henry offers insight on recent market trends (24:28)


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