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Dentons Australia combination goes through at last after three offices break away

Dentons long-awaited tie up with Australian law firm Gadens has officially gone through, although three of the firm’s offices will split off and not take on the Dentons branding.

First announced in November last year, Dentons combination with 500-lawyer Gadens ran into delays over the Australian firm’s partnership structure, which saw some of the offices organised in a federated partnership system.

The completed deal sees Dentons secure a presence in Sydney, Perth and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. The three offices operated as one partnership, while the other offices maintained some autonomy. Gadens chair Steve Healy will become chief executive of Dentons Australia.

In October Legal Business revealed at least one of the offices was unlikely to join the combined firm. Of Gadens seven original offices, Melbourne will have no formal ties to Dentons, while Brisbane and Adelaide will become associate firms and not take on the branding.

In May the Gadens Singapore office also left the proposed deal when managing partner Marc Rathbone left to join Nabarro.

Dentons global chair Joe Andrew (pictured) said: ‘The launch of Dentons in Australia and Papua New Guinea is another step in our drive to connect clients around the world to lawyers who know the communities, the culture and the business and legal environment of the markets in which clients need a matter addressed or a dispute resolved.’

The deal was announced last November as part of a triple combination with Gadens in Australia and Singaporean firm Rodyk & Davison. The Rodyk combination completed in April, with the 200-lawyer firm joining as Dentons Rodyk. At the time, the deal was said to be to ‘create the Pacific Rim’s leading global law firm’.

Dentons’ growth in the last two years has seen the firm rocket to the largest law firm in the world by lawyer headcount after its combination with Chinese giant Dacheng. If the firm’s latest proposed combination with Central American firm Munöz Global goes through, the firm will have more than 7,600 lawyers worldwide.