Merger Cold Feet with McKenna and Dentons
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The merger of Atlanta’s McKenna Long & Aldridge and big firm Dentons would be epic in proportion – if it ever happens. Though there has been enough talk about it, McKenna hasn’t voted, and must secure a 2/3 majority vote to make the move happen.

Well why wouldn’t they?


“Lawyers are the most change-resistant people in the world and this is a major change,” said law firm adviser Ed Wesemann, as reported by The Daily Report.  “Some people are going to be grieved by any change. Some people will get hurt by conflicts. Some are not going to like the new systems that go into place.”

McKenna does after all have some things to lose, including autonomy. Though Denton will make them a global firm, something that is hard to do without mergers, McKenna is the smaller firm, and must give up their name and some of their autonomy. Though Dentons is a Swiss verein firm, meaning it is more a coalition than an empire, “Dentons has the philosophy and intention of building a true one firm” said Wesemann. “They are a Swiss verein for regulatory purposes but for management and strategic proposes, it is one firm.”

What this means is that to gain prominence, McKenna has to give up power of two kinds: tradition and autonomy. No wonder, then, that they are dragging their feet on the vote. The mostly U.S. firm is expected to make its decision sometime soon.

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