Dentons Merging with Dacheng to Become Largest Firm in the World
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dentons merges with dacheng

Summary: Dentons is merging with China’s Dacheng to become the largest law firm in the world.

Dentons, a law firm spawn from mergers, and bent on merging further, will become the largest firm in the world, pending the approval of the Chinese government. Dentons hopes to merge with China’s Dacheng, a firm of 4,000 lawyers, who, combined with Dentons, internationally will hold 6,500 lawyers in 50 countries, rendering them the world’s largest firm, by head count.


SNR Denton was created in a cross-Atlantic merger in 2010, and Dentons was created by the three way merger of Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP; Salans, a European firm centered in Paris; and SNR Denton. Dentons is a bankruptcy and mergers-and-acquisitions firm, fittingly enough, and they took in $1.3 billion in 2013, representing such companies as Coca-Cola Co., and Total SA.

Dacheng, the Chinese giant, meanwhile, represented China Railway Construction Corp, and China Development bank.

Western markets in China have notoriously been difficult. The Chinese government bars Western lawyers from appearing in court, and those hoping to work in China have found they had to hire “local” Chinese counsel to answer government restrictions.

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This would be less of a problem, since of course Dacheng has 4,000 lawyers stationed in China already.

The companies would meanwhile merge into a verein structure in which both companies share a name but remain financially independent. The firm will be known as Dentons outside of China, as Dacheng within China.

Dacheng’s president, Peng Xuefeng, said “Now is the time for Chinese enterprises to go outbound, to invest in the rest of the world.” It seems the global chair of Dentons, Joseph Andrews, feels something reciprocal about China, noting the explosive growth of the Chinese economy lately, something he wants his firm to play a part in.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Dentons assured his clients that they had a “comprehensive” cybersecurity approach, and that Chinese competitors and the Chinese government would not have access to private information about their clients, but “only lawyers and professionals who need to know the client’s business, will be able to access client information necessary to collaborate in serving the client.”

The Chinese government may approve of the venture as early as next week.

Is this merger frenzy going too far?

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News Source: Bloomberg



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