This merger was big news in Canada this week. Another Tier 2 firm merging with a global giant. Which begs the question, which large Canadian law firm will be merging next? Momentum is building for global matchups, since Tier 2 firms are now able to compete with Tier 1 “Seven Sisters” firms such as McCarthy’s, Blakes, etc. with a simple flick of the “Verein switch”. Which of the “Seven Sisters” will finally succumb to the lure of a global merger in response?
Stay tuned for more merger action in the next couple of years, as competition heats up for Canada’s lucrative resources and financial industry legal work.
News of the Dentons – Dacheng deal was announced this week and I was asked to provide my comments in the attached Globe & Mail article. This merger creates the largest law firm in the world by head count at over 6,500 lawyers and will have major ramifications for all global and Canadian law firms operating in China on inbound or outbound deals. In my opinion Dentons has scored a tremendous coup here. The Verein structure has been used by other global law firms before but this deal takes it to another level. In one fell swoop, Dentons has beaten other global law firms and accounting firms such as PwC to the punch for China-related legal work using the same verein structure the accounting firms used to such potent effect in building their own global entities. Here’s another article on the deal in the American Lawyer that provides further background.
Here’s a round-up of predictions for the legal industry in 2015 from some of the top thought leaders in the business: