Dentons busy in Asia-Pacific, Australasia tie-ups


Dentons has been busy in the region, announcing a proposed combination with South Korean law firm Lee International, while also establishing a tie-up with Kensington Swan in New Zealand and flagging its contention for dominance in the Australasian market.

The firm said the combination with Lee International builds on its strategy to become the first international law firm in South Korea to combine with a Korean law firm, enhancing its ability to provide legal services to Korean companies globally.

Dentons will be the only global law firm with a Korean legal practice, with South Korean operations 100% owned and controlled by Korean partners from the local community. This, the firm highlights, is not a traditional merger.

“We are excited to augment our client offering further by building a presence in this critical region,” said Elliott Portnoy, global CEO of Dentons.

The combination in South Korea builds on Dentons’ regional presence already established with combinations in China, Australia and ASEAN, including another new combination with Kensington Swan in New Zealand that also strengthens the firm’s ambition to become a dominant law firm in Australasia.

The combination, said Dentons, would position the firm as the largest global law firm in New Zealand on day one. “As is the case with all of its strategic growth initiatives, Dentons’ desire to expand its presence in Australasia is client-driven,” said Portnoy.

Since entering the region in 2016, Dentons has opened offices in all major Australian markets and has increased its lawyer numbers by 25% in the past 12 months.

With offices in Auckland and Wellington, the combination with Kensington Swan will give Dentons’ clients access to an additional team of 113 lawyers who can meet the needs of clients across a wide range of industries.