Northern California Record

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Dentons disqualified from National Law Journal's top 500 list due to global expansion

By Michelle de Leon | Nov 27, 2016

General court 08

LOS ANGELES -- The brisk expansion of Dentons across the globe has prompted the National Law Journal to remove the law firm from its NLJ 500 and the American Lawyer 200 list. However, Dentons came out in sixth place in The American Lawyer’s Global 100 ranking this year, rising from No. 19 in 2015.  

While Dentons’ global merger with Dacheng in China provided the U.S. company with substantial leverage for expansion worldwide, the same move also cost them their slot in the NLJ 500 and AM 200 lists. Due to this merger, the American law firm now has more lawyers under its name who are practicing in China compared to the number registered in the United States. In accordance with the regulations covering the NLJ 500 and AM 200 reports, this situation disqualifies Dentons to be part of their rankings. That is, law firms with more attorneys in foreign countries than in the United States could no longer be part of the reports. 

Dentons registered $2.12 billion in total revenue for 2016. The company’s merger with Dacheng helped the company establish a presence in five regions across the globe. Currently, the law firm now has offices in Asia, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. With this arrangement, Dentons is the sole law firm able to offer an all-in-one service across areas in Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States, the United Kingdom and the Caucasus. In addition to these areas, the law firm also offers its clients seamless service in the 34 regional administrative divisions in China. To ensure the quality of service and workflow, every region has a regional chief executive officer.

According to The American Lawyer’s Global 100, the top firm in terms of revenue is the Latham & Watkins, which registered $2.65 billion. In second place is Baker & McKenzie at $$2.62 billion. The third spot was taken by DLA Piper with $2.543 billion, while Skadden Arps took fourth with $2.41 billion. Kirkland & Ellis ranked fifth with $2.305 billion. In seventh place, Clifford Chance recorded roughly $2.118 billion; while Freshfields earned $2.028 billion. This year saw a tie between Allen & Overy and Linklater, which both registered approximately $2 billion in revenue.

"With more lawyers in more places where our clients do business, this combination is not about being the largest law firm in the world, it is about understanding what our clients need and delivering it. As the only big 10 firm not headquartered in the U.S. or U.K., our polycentric approach reflects how the global economy has fundamentally changed and the legal profession must change with it,” said Joe Andrew, global chairman of Dentons, in a press release.

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Organizations in this Story

DLA PiperKirkland & Ellis LLPLatham and Watkins LLPAllen &OveryBaker & McKenzie LLPDentons - ChicagoSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLPClifford ChanceThe National Law Journal