Legal Business Blogs

Dentons to vote on new union with Australian and Singaporean firms

Dentons announced last night (2 October) it intends to create a tripartite union with Australian firm Gadens and Singaporean firm Rodyk & Davidson, subject to partner approval.

In an attempt to better recognise ‘clients’ needs for seamless, integrated…representation in today’s global economy’, a combination with Gadens would give Dentons Australian capability in across a full range of practice areas, including corporate, tax and disputes.

A Singapore tie-up would further enhance Dentons’ presence in the Pacific region with the City-state’s fourth-largest firm by headcount, Rodyk & Davidson, which specialises in corporate, finance, IP, disputes and real estate.

Geographically, Gadens will provide offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Port Moresby while Rodyk & Davidson gives added resource in Singapore and Shanghai.

Dentons, which created the world’s largest law firm by lawyer headcount through a combination with leading Chinese firm Dacheng in January, followed by a deal with US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge in April, has been seeking further growth in the Asia Pacific region for some months, despite being yet to bed down logistical and operational issues from its other tie-ups this year. A combination with Gadens and Rodyk & Davidson would take lawyer headcount to well in excess of 7,000 lawyers.

Dentons global chairman Joe Andrew said: ‘By any objective standard, Dentons has accomplished more for our clients in one year than any other firm in recent history, and the year is not over yet. Our clients tell us that our commitment to bring them more experience in key markets around the world is significant in helping support their business needs locally, nationally and globally.’

Gadens national chairman Ian Clarke said the firm had been considering opportunities to support Gadens’ ability to ‘meet inbound client needs from Asia Pacific into Australia, as well as supporting our clients with global business interests’, while Rodyk & Davidson managing partner Philip Jeyaretnam added: ‘Rodyk’s own forward-looking approach, international outlook, and the desire to provide a comprehensive suite of legal services to clients with cross-border business needs, has led it to this historic opportunity, to become part of the world’s biggest and leading, law firm.’

If approved, once the combination with Dacheng is effective, the proposed firm’s name will be Dentons in English and all other languages, and 大成 in Chinese.