Dentons bolsters Asean footprint with Philippines tie-up

Combination with local ally PJS Law will hand global giant seventh office in the region

Elliott Portnoy(l) and Regina Jacinto-Barrientos Images courtesy of Dentons and PJS Law

Dentons has announced it will combine with its ally in the Philippines, as the global giant moves to become a leading law firm in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region. 

Nineteen-partner PJS Law will join Dentons in the coming months, the firm said, handing it its seventh location in the region across six countries. 

Dentons said the combination would cement the longstanding cooperation between the two firms and enable it to better serve clients in one of the world’s fastest-growing emerging economies. 

“PJS Law's excellent standing in the marketplace made them a compelling partner for Dentons in this critical market for our clients,” said Elliott Portnoy, global CEO of Dentons. “Founding partners Regina Jacinto-Barrientos and Roy Santos, with their leadership team, have built a firm that is known for outstanding client service. The combination will allow us to provide clients with local knowledge and global insights across Asean.” 

Dentons already has more than 250 lawyers across the region in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam, where it gained a footprint in 2021 following a tie-up with local ally LuatViet

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For its part Manila-based PJS Law houses around 60 professionals and is ranked by Chambers Asia-Pacific for its banking and finance, corporate/M&A and projects, energy and infrastructure services. Within Dentons’ ‘polycentric’ model the firm will retain local control of its operations, finances and office leadership, Dentons said. 

Jacinto-Barrientos, CEO of PJS Law, commented: “Our future combination with Dentons means that we continue to deliver first-rate performance and client care, while our clients also benefit from having access to more than 21,000 professionals around the globe."

Dentons’s tie-up with PJS Law follows the firm announcing a combination with India’s Link Legal last October, in a move it said marked the first time an international law firm has combined with a law firm in India. 

Over the past few years Dentons has also expanded its footprint across the globe through combinations, including across Africa, Latin America and in the US.

On Monday, however, a 30-strong West Coast team of patent lawyers left for DLA Piper and in January a seven-partner corporate and private equity team left its Pittsburgh arm for K&L Gates.

In December, meanwhile, in a landmark deal KPMG added more than 275 lawyers including around 80 partners in Southeast Asia after absorbing the bulk of the ZICO Law network.

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