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SNR Denton to merge with Salans and FMC

Proposed merger to be presented to the partners on Tuesday

9 November 2012

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

SNR Denton, Salans and Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) have announced plans to merge under the name ‘Dentons’.

Their partners will be presented on Tuesday 13 November with the proposal to combine the three firms. They will have just over two weeks to consider the combination before voting on it.

If approved by the three partnerships, the combined firm will be launched in the first quarter of 2013.

The firms say Dentons will be “truly polycentric” and will have no headquarters or dominant national culture.

It is expected to be the seventh-largest law firm in the world, as measured by number of lawyers and professionals. The firm will be structured as a Swiss verein.

The move follows the September 2010 merger of the US-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (SNR) and UK-based Denton Wilde Sapte (Denton) into SNR Denton, which is also a Swiss verein.

Elliott Portnoy, who led SNR into the merger with Denton, will continue in his current role as global chief executive officer of the newly-combined firm.

Joe Andrews will also continue in his role at SNR Denton as global chair of the new firm, as will Peter Wolfson as US chief executive officer.

Matthew Jones, who as CEO led a 48 per cent year-on-year jump in SNR Denton’s profits per equity partner in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2011/12, will shrink his role to cover the UK, Middle East and Africa at Dentons. CEO responsibility for Europe will be given to Dariusz Oleszczuk, the global managing partner of Salans.

The current global board chair of Salans, Francois Chateau, will become the global vice-chair of Dentons.

Among the leaders of the Canada-based FMC, Bill Jenkins, the national partnership board presiding member, will become global vice-chair, while CEO Chris Pinnington will become the CEO for Canada at Dentons.

The combined firm is expected to have 2,500 lawyers and professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Canada.

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