World’s Largest Law Firm, Dentons, Getting Bigger
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how large will they get

Summary: The world’s largest law firm is set to get even bigger—with over 7,000 lawyers worldwide.

Dentons , the world’s largest law firm, is getting bigger!


Earlier this year, Dentons aggressively grew with back-to-back mergers with firms in the United States and China, and it has released plans to combine with two other firms, Australia’s Gadens and Singapore’s Rodyk & Davidson LLP, according to The Wall Street Journal.

See the following articles for more information:

“We’ve known Dentons as a firm for some time,” Ian Clarke, national chairman of Gadens, said in the ABA Journal. “We’ve had partners working in their London office. We’re very comfortable with the firm.”

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When the deals go through, Dentons will have over 7,000 lawyers on its payroll. It will have over 80 offices in the Pacific Rim, and it will have acquired 500 Australian lawyers and 200 Singaporean lawyers.

Is Dentons getting too big, is it just right, or is there still room for growth?

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The firm’s goal is to become a one-stop shop for companies, big and small, and they want to resemble a “Big Four” accounting firm. Dentons also wants to position itself to do routine, low-margin work in addition to larger scale matters.

“What your clients want is not just excellent legal service, they want to be able to deal with practitioners in other jurisdictions that are business savvy and well-connected and know how things work in that jurisdiction,” Clarke said.

Dentons became the largest international law firm this year when it merged with China’s largest firm, Dacheng. It took the “largest firm” title away from U.S.-based Baker & McKenzie, which is also seeking to expand abroad but at a slower, more traditional pace.

“When we came together with Dacheng, we thought it was important not to just to look at China or Asia, but the entire Pacific Rim,” Joseph Andrew, Dentons global chairman said in ABA Journal. “The recent [Trans-Pacific Partnership] has eliminated more than 18,000 barriers to trade. We think the time is particularly right to expand our capabilities in the Pacific Rim and allow us to provide a higher level of service to our clients.”

Critics of Dentons says that its growth strategy would make it difficult to juggle numerous jurisdictions, cultures, and legal systems while maintaining high quality. However, others have noted that the splashy growth has improved its name recognition.

Denton’s global CEO Elliott Portnoy spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the firm’s fast growth. “There is no logical end to Dentons’s expansion. We’re going to be driven by our strategy.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal and ABA Journal


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