Dechert Names New Phila. Office Managing Partner

, The Legal Intelligencer

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"We look for the office managing partner to help set the tone in our offices," O'Donnell said of his expectations for the role. "Obviously, being a woman she brings a somewhat different perspective than her predecessor and we welcome that as well."

Leone said she doesn't anticipate making any major changes to the office makeup or the focus of the 182 attorneys it houses.

"It is a pretty diverse group of lawyers," Leone said. "We are the flagship office and have been here for a very long time. I hope to really work on new ways to strengthen our ties to the Delaware Valley community and the businesses in this community since we're in their backyard and there's a lot we can do locally."

Leone said she wants to develop initiatives for the Philadelphia office to enhance its ties to the local community, introduce local clients to the firm's offices globally and explain to the firm's other offices what the Philadelphia office has to offer.

Leone joined the firm after graduating Temple University School of Law in 1984. Since then she has led teams in the defense of individual and class actions involving products liability, consumer fraud, warranty, negligence and misrepresentation claims.

Leone currently represents Pfizer in its Zoloft multidistrict litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in which plaintiffs allege an increased risk of birth defects from use of antidepressants. She is also involved in the NFL concussion class action, in which a proposed $765 million settlement is currently awaiting judicial approval.

Additionally, Leone has worked on mass tort cases and MDLs involving AstraZeneca's antidepressant medications and Pfizer's medication Neurontin.

While Leone has done work with Dechert's hiring committee, this is her first major leadership position in the firm. Rizzo had served as the firmwide finance partner for a number of years and he will continue working with Dechert's finance department as a consultant.

Gina Passarella can be contacted at 215-557-2494 or at gpassarella@alm.com. Follow her on Twitter @GPassarellaTLI.

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