22 December 2020

Dentons adds Alabama firm to growing US network

Sirote & Permutt is fifth firm to sign up to project to achieve comprehensive US coverage

By John Malpas

By Sean Pavone; Shutterstock

Dentons has continued to gather regional US firms into its growing national network with the announcement of a combination with Alabama law firm Sirote & Permutt.

The five-office Birmingham-based firm is the fifth regional practice to join Dentons as part of its Project Golden Spike strategy to build a patchwork of Dentons-branded regional offices covering the entire US.

The deal comes hard on the heels of an agreement earlier this month to combine with Des Moines practice Davis Brown and holds the promise of a succession of similar arrangements with well-regarded regional firms in parts of the US where few, if any, national, let alone global firms have a presence.

With a population of just under five million, Alabama is the 23rd most populous US state and is home to just one Fortune 500 company, Regions Financial, which is ranked at 446.

However, global chief executive Elliott Portnoy said the state was “a key and growing market for our clients” whose “legal spend exceeds the entire country of India”.

Under the terms of the deal, Sirote, which has 86 lawyers, will rebrand as Sirote Dentons at which point the global giant will have 44 offices in the US. When Dentons unveiled its new US strategy last year, it noted that ‘no full-service law firm has offices in all 20 of the largest US legal markets, much less the top 100 – a surprising fact, given the distribution of the country’s largest publicly held companies from coast to coast’. 

Under Dentons’ US deals, local partners become partners of Dentons US, which is in turn part of Dentons’ global network under its ‘polycentric’ model.

‘Building on Dentons' global polycentric model, Project Golden Spike increases the quality and breadth of service to clients on a national and global scale, while also enabling US legal practices like Sirote to retain their defining characteristics and provide in and of the community insight wherever clients need it,’ the firm’s statement announcing the combination explained.

The first two deals under Project Golden Spike led to the unveiling in January of Dentons Bingham Greenebaum and Dentons Cohen & Grigsby.

In November, the third combination, with Salt Lake City based Durham Jones & Pinega, went live.

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