Dechert Hires James Leary, Former Executive Director of Akin Gump, as COO
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Summary: Dechert LLP has announced that James N. Leary, the former Executive Director of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, has joined the law firm as its Chief Operating Officer.

Dechert LLP announced on Monday that James Leary has joined the firm as its Chief Operating Officer. He will oversee all business aspects of the law firm including human resources, finance, marketing, technology and operations.


Leary is an acclaimed expert in law firm management and spent 14 years as the Executive Director of Akin Gump, and was responsible for managing the business aspects of all of the firm’s 19 offices. Before joining Akin Gump in 2000, Leary worked at Covington & Burling, and then for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP.

Leary fills the gap created after Dechert’s former COO, Anthony Licata, joined Morgan, Lewis & Brockius, earlier this year.

Speaking on Leary joining Dechert, Daniel O’Donnell, the CEO said, “Jim is a perfect fit … He has extensive experience in operations and will be a good leader for our administrative team. His international experience truly reflects our character here at Dechert as well.”

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On his part, Leary expressed his enthusiasm and said he was excited to join a firm with such a strong reputation. “This is a business savvy firm that stands as a leader in key areas like project management … I look forward to working with the lawyers and staff of Dechert in what remains a very challenging and changing time for law firms.”

Leary is a graduate of State University of New York at Geneseo. He is currently the Vice President of the Foundation Board of the university. He also holds a Masters Degree in Personnel Administration from Lynchburg College.

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