Make It a Double: Dentons to create first “truly national American law firm” with dual partnership

October 21, 2019

2 min read

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What's going on here?

The world’s largest law firm will partner with American outfits Bingham Greenebaum and Cohen & Grigsby, to create a national firm comprised of nearly 1,100 lawyers, capable of serving clients across 33 US markets.

What does this mean?

Bingham Greenebaum has 6 offices across Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The firm covers transactional, litigation, estate planning, tax and employee benefits. Meanwhile, Cohen & Grigsby has offices in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Naples, Florida. It focuses on mid-market mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and private equity, but also covers employment, intellectual property, real estate, public finance, litigation and bankruptcy.

The merger, nicknamed the “Golden Spike” will create the 10th largest law firm in the US. The partnership is unique because presently, no full-service law firm operates in all 20 of the largest US legal markets. Once launched, the national firm’s clients will access the experience and talents of more than 10,000 lawyers in 73 countries worldwide.

The combination will also give members of Bingham and Cohen dual-partnership status. This means members will be partners in both the newly formed Dentons US and their existing regional firms.

What's the big picture effect?

The dual partnership is designed to combat the problem of traditional mergers, where law firms lose the cultural attributes that gave them prominence in their respective markets. Under this model, the regional firms will still maintain their autonomy and client relationships, while being part of a global firm.  

The merger will also respond to pressure from clients for a firm of sufficient scale, to support the entire range of demands they have across multiple practice areas. This explains why Dentons has conducted 9 other mergers over the last 2 months, beginning with New Zealand in July, Honduras, South Korea, Latin America (see our article on that here) and 5 African countries.

The US partnership, following approval by partners and regulators is set to launch in January 2020.

Report written by Evania D’souza

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