The network, the largest legal referral network in the world by geographic coverage and law firm members, was first announced in May and will provide services in 160 countries. According to a statement from Dentons, it utilises a proprietary technology platform that enables member law firms to refer clients to the law firm most appropriate to their needs. It differs from 'pay-to-play' legal referral networks by not charging membership fees or offering territorial exclusivity.
Dentons global chief executive Elliott Portnoy commented: 'Each member firm has been thoroughly vetted for quality and we continue to build a global community of law firms with on objective in mind – to provide our respective clients with the very best service available anywhere.'
Legal Business reports that any firm in the world was able to apply for membership of the network, with applicants evaluated by a panel of Dentons partners, partners of other member firms and general counsel on client feedback, third-party rankings, awards and sector expertise.
But the network has faced criticism from traditional legal network providers, who claim the system will not offer the same level of services or effectively vet members. TerraLex chief executive Harry Trueheart commented that ‘at a time many clients are deeply engaged in reducing the number of law firms they use in recognition of the disadvantages of managing large numbers of relationships, Dentons is advocating the advantages of a massive, apparently minimally managed network.'