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23 January 2015

Dentons-Dacheng mega-merger due for decision next week

The 120-office, 50-country Dentons-Dacheng deal is expected to be given regulatory approval (or not) next week by the Chinese authorities as a Swiss Verein.

By Neasa MacErlean

Regulatory approval for the biggest Chinese law firm merger is due next week testing

If it goes ahead, the combination will be known as Dacheng within the People's Republic and as Dentons elsewhere. The use of a Swiss verein structure will enable it to satisfy Chinese regulatory requirements which would forbid a full merger within Chinese borders. The verein will allow the use of one brand but separate financial structures for the different parts. 

M&A pressures

Some western firms working in China have struggled to make profits. For instance, Fried Frank is expected to close its offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong in June. Dan Roules of Squire Patton Boggs in Shanghai said: 'Some international law firms in China are struggling because of the economic downturn and the drop in inbound M&A. Though outbound M&A has risen, it is very price sensitive.' Source: Financial Times

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