Dentons Leads Way For Megafirms
September 1, 2015
With a series of unions and acquisitions throughout 2015, international law firm Dentons has grown into a nearly 7,000-lawyer behemoth that has some asking: how big is too big for law firms? Dentons is 60 percent larger than the next-largest firms, Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper, each with between 4,000 and 4,500 lawyers. Dentons has side-stepped some of the economic integration issues that plagued traditionally merged firms like Dewey & LeBoeuf and Bingham McCutchen by creating vereins, allowing for multiple partnerships, which remain legally and financially distinct. But some criticize that method as creating Frankenstein’s monster organizations that cannot truly be considered law firms. “Wereins are a shortcut for law firm leaders who weren’t prepared to do the heavy lifting of a real law firm merger,” Peter Kalis, chairman of 2,000-lawyer K&L Gates, told ABA journal.
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