01 Aug 2019

Dentons powers up with NZ combo

Firm to combine with a leading firm in New Zealand to create Australasia powerhouse, and biggest global firm in NZ “on day one.”


Along with previous combinations in Australia and Papua New Guinea, Dentons says its combination with Kensington Swan in New Zealand, a leading law firm in New Zealand, strengthens the foundation for their ambition to become the global dominant law firm in Australasia.

From day one

The combination, says 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 Elliott Portnoy, global ceo of Dentons.  “Clients have explicitly identified the New Zealand market as a priority and this combination would see the firms able to meet client needs in New Zealand and around the globe." Joe Andrew, global chair of Dentons, added  "Combining with a leading law firm like Kensington Swan in New Zealand will continue Dentons’ momentum in Australasia, enabling Dentons to, once again, maintain and improve its quality even as it grows." Since entering the region in 2016, Dentons has been fast-growing, opening offices in all of the major Australian markets and growing attorney ranks by 25 percent, just in the last 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. “With Australia and New Zealand being such close economies, the combination with a leading law firm like Kensington Swan would enable greater coordination across the region for the benefit of clients,” said Doug Stipanicev, ceo of Dentons Australia region. Kensington Swan is a national, full-service commercial law firm.

Matching ethos

David Campbell, board chair of Kensington Swan, said “The combination with Dentons will mean that Kensington Swan is the New Zealand law firm with the greatest access to top-tier legal talent, and in the most locations, worldwide, and With Kensington Swan's clients increasingly operating across Australasia and beyond, Dentons' global platform will enable us to deliver seamless service to existing clients operating in the region and globally." Charles Spillane, ceo of Kensington Swan, added  “Kensington Swan is attracted to Dentons’ willingness to challenge the status quo and deliver innovative solutions to clients, while never compromising on quality or professionalism. This ethos matches Kensington Swan's pragmatic approach to legal advice, which supports our clients' strategic and commercial goals.” The combination, following approval by partners and subject to meeting regulatory requirements, is expected to launch in the next several months.