Morning Briefing: World’s largest law firm one step closer

The merger which will create the largest global law firm has been voted for by the partners of both firms… Corrs partner becomes an AO for services to business and more… DLA Piper creates cybersecurity off-shoot… Foreign law firms report pressure in China…

Dentons merger with Dacheng gets partners’ approval
The merger of Dentons and Dacheng has been voted for by the partners of both firms and will now only need regulatory approval to be completed. The firm will be the largest in the world with more than 6,500 lawyers in 120 offices across more than 50 countries. The new entity will have the legal name 北京大成律师事务所 in Asia but will generally be known as Dentons outside of China. The combined firm will have no single culture and no central head office instead choosing to adopt a polycentric approach.
Corrs partner becomes an AO for services to business and more
John W.H. Denton has been recognised for his work in the legal profession, the wider business and commerce world, the arts and for social welfare and the rights of refugees. The CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day honours.
DLA Piper creates cyber security off-shoot
With cyber security creating one of the greatest risks to business and data privacy and protection creating legal challenges DLA Piper has launched its first non-legal off-shoot, a cyber security firm called Blue Edge Lab. At its heart is a software product called CyberTrak which is designed to assist and assess the risk of cyber laws and regulations in 23 jurisdictions. The aim is to cut the work and cost of compliance across multiple jurisdictions.
Foreign law firms report pressure in China
US law firm Fried Frank recently announced that it is pulling out of China and Hong Kong in the months ahead but it is not the only foreign law firm feeling the pressure there. With 170 international firms and 19,000 domestic ones there is increasing competition for business and one legal consultant told The Wall Street Journal that of all the foreign firms “there might be 10 that have any meaningful practice over there”. The future could see more tie-ups like that of Dentons and Dacheng but that will depend heavily on the Chinese authorities being willing to give approval. 


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