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Responding to demand: Dentons hires 75-strong Matthew Arnold & Baldwin banking litigation team

Dentons has (7 January) confirmed the hire of Matthew Arnold & Baldwin‘s (MAB) 75-strong banking and finance litigation team, including 11 partners and 64 fee earners.

The move is led by partners MAB Steven Mills and Clare Stothard who bring nine other partners, 34 associates and 30 paralegals to the firm. A spokesperson for the firm said the MAB team join Dentons on 1 February but will continue to reside in MAB’s headquarters in Watford for the time being.

The banking team at MAB counts Barclays as a longtime client, and also acts for Santander UK, Capital and the Royal Bank of Scotland. 

Dentons financial and commercial litigation group will comprise 18 partners and over 100 fee-earners aiming to hone in on advising clients on complex financial disputes and regulatory investigations. The firm said in response to client demand it is ‘significantly enhancing its flexible resourcing model including the use of paralegals’.

UK managing partner Brandon Ransley said: ‘The market for financial litigation legal advice is becoming more competitive, with clients increasingly looking for innovative service delivery models from their law firms. We have responded to this demand whilst simultaneously enhancing our existing capability to advise at the premium end of the market.’

Dentons and MAB had been in merger talks in August, which would have added around 80 lawyers to its headcount across offices in Watford, Milton Keynes and London and nearly £17m to its top line.

MAB is in now in talks with another firm for a potential team move and is expected to make an announcement in the coming days.

The firm’s head of corporate Richard Phillips said: ‘We can confirm that we are actively exploring other opportunities which we believe will significantly enhance our business and the ways in which we operate. Our priority will be to make sure that any future arrangements will build on our strengths and enhance the services we can offer to our highly valued clients.’

In late November Dentons did however announce it was merging with Colombia’s Cárdenas & Cárdenas and Mexico’s López Velarde Heftye y Soria, a move which was approved by partners in December. That same month the firm announced a merger with Luxembourg firm OPF Partners.