World's largest law firm ‘forces out’ 20+ partners

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More than 20 partners have been “forced out” of Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, since the start of the year.

According to The American Lawyer, the firm “informed lawyers of their terminations after the new year,” during individual compensation meetings with management. Two law firm recruiters and three former Dentons lawyers say that at least three partners who are still listed on the firm’s site are part of the ousted group, it said.

The partner ousters come after Dentons cut about 65 jobs in the US and the UK last month after a review of its merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge.

People inside the firm may also not know the full extent of the departure, the publication said, as Dentons, which is structured as a Swiss verein, is so large and decentralised. It’s also hard to glean who among those who left since the start of the year did so voluntarily, since the firm has a 90-day departure period during which lawyers are given time to find employment elsewhere while still appearing as part of the organisation.

Joseph Andrew, Dentons chair, told Bloomberg Law that the firm is continuously improving its offerings and ranks.

“We are going to continue to tailor our offerings. We want to be bespoke here. We want to lead, not just to be the largest. We will have people join and people will inevitably ask to move on,” he said.

He said that the profession has seen a fundamental change in the rate of change and that the firm is making change part of its routine.

“That is very much part of the strategy: from largest to leading. I have never met a client who cares that we have 8,000 lawyers. They need just one. But it’s more likely we can find one that they need,” he said.

He added that Dentons and its culture will not be right for every lawyer.

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