Dentons sets sights on Australia

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Rapidly growing international firm Dentons is reportedly laying the groundwork for its Australian legal market debut.
Reports emerged earlier this month that the international giant is in merger talks with a local player, however Dentons’ global CEO Elliott Portnoy would not be drawn on whether they are currently in talks with any Australian firms.

“Australia is a strategically important market, and we have made no secret of our ambitions there. Like most major law firms, we are constantly evaluating the market for opportunities to further enhance our business. At any given time we are in discussions with many groups of individuals and firms across the world,” Portnoy said of the firm’s local aspirations.
“While we can't speak for other international firms, for Dentons, growth has been a tool to get to the quality that most businesses need in today's marketplace. Our clients don't care whether we have seven lawyers or 7,000 lawyers, as long as we have the one lawyer they need, in the location they need him or her, with the specific understanding of that clients' business concerns and objectives. To get there, growth was and is an imperative,” Dentons global chairman Joe Andrew said of the firm’s strategy.
The revelation continues what has already been an active year for the firm. In January, it combined with China’s largest firm, Dacheng, adding 4,000 lawyers to its ranks in the process. Then in April, Dentons unveiled a merger deal with McKenna Long & Aldridge in the US, adding an extra 430 lawyers to the fold.

The firm’s current global footprint comprises of 125 locations across more than 50 countries. The practice employs more than 6,600 lawyers, making it the biggest firm in the world by headcount.

Dentons’ growth spurt looks set to continue, with additional reports that it is in talks with more than 20 firms across Latin America, Europe and Japan.