"We want to provide career paths for people who grow up in the firm," O'Donnell said. "The period from 2008 through certainly 2010 was pretty tough. It was hard to do that."
O'Donnell said the firm had a bit of a "logjam" and cleared that up in 2012 through putting more people into the partnership ranks. He said the firm had that many people who were deserving of partnership and had confidence in the future that it could afford to grow those ranks.
For 2013, Dechert will focus on gaining a larger presence in some of its newer markets, such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Frankfurt. There are no plans to open in new markets at this time, though O'Donnell said everyone is looking at certain locations, such as Singapore. But he said the plan now is to grow within the firm's existing framework.