Who says you can’t go home again?
Dechert announced Thursday that partner Timothy Clark has rejoined its New York office, bringing with him an international private equity practice. Clark had been away from the firm for just over a decade. He comes from O’Melveny & Myers, which he joined in 2011. He was a partner at Proskauer Rose before that.
The move back to Dechert was largely client-driven, he said, describing the firm as ”more focused on private equity” than it was when he previously practiced there.
“All of our clients keep getting bigger and more sophisticated,” Clark said. “Dechert is really uniquely positioned, I think, for my clients to benefit from. They’re global, they cover all the different kinds of products.”
While many firms do traditional private equity work, he said, Dechert can advise clients on a wider variety of funds. Clark’s practice includes representing clients on infrastructure, buyouts, real estate, mezzanine funds, global macro funds, distressed funds, long/short equity funds, risk and convertible arbitrage funds, emerging market funds, pension funds, relative value funds and endowment funds, the firm said.
Clark is the second partner departure this week from O’Melveny & Myers’ New York office, after George Davis made a move to Latham & Watkins to serve as the new global co-chair of Latham’s restructuring, insolvency and workouts practice. O’Melveny & Myers said earlier this month that its gross revenue had remained mostly flat in 2017, at $738 million, while profits per equity partner rose slightly to nearly $2.1 million.
Clark said he expects all of his clients, more than half of whom are based outside the United States, to follow him to Dechert.
Since he left Dechert, Clark said, the firm has expanded its private equity practice, while regulations have become a much bigger consideration in private equity law since the Dodd-Frank Act went into effect.
“Regulatory abilities are more of a priority,” he said. “I need colleagues who are really knowledgeable and do these things day in and day out.”
Clark brings his own knowledge of financial regulatory issues to the firm as well, said Mark Thierfelder, global chair of Dechert’s corporate and securities practice and global head of its private equity practice. Thierfelder said he was heavily involved in recruiting Clark, who is the firm’s 15th corporate lateral partner in the last 18 months. More than half of those recruits have private equity practices.
Clark’s book of business represents “the perfect scenario,” Thierfelder said, as he has some shared clients with Dechert, and brings some new clients to the firm.
“Before we add on Tim’s clients we represent over 200 private equity funds,” Thierfelder said. “Adding Tim’s list of clients, that’s just going to continue to grow.”
Dechert has been working toward building out a global team, Thierfelder said, as global demand increases in the corporate practices. Of the 15 recent corporate hires, six were in London, two in Hong Kong, one in Singapore and one in Beijing. The other five, including Clark, are based in New York.
“You see law firms interested in developing private equity practices as private equity becomes increasingly substantial and a mainstay portion of the deal economy on a global basis,” Thierfelder said. “We’ve been in the private equity business long before it was private equity.”
The law firm has more than 250 lawyers in its financial services and corporate practices, he said.
A spokesman for O’Melveny & Myers said the firm wishes Clark well.