At a signing ceremony today, in an historic first, ?? (pronounced "da CHUNG"), a leading law firm in China, and Dentons, a top 10 global law firm, announced a combination that will be unique in the marketplace. The result will be the only firm to offer seamless service across Africa; Asia Pacific; Canada; Central Asia; Europe; the Middle East; Russia, CIS and the Caucasus; the United Kingdom (UK); the United States (US); and all 34 of China's regional administrative divisions.
Challenging the status quo through an historic combination
The new firm will have more than 6,500 lawyers and professionals in 120 locations in more than 50 countries. It is the first combination of a leading Chinese firm and a top 10 global firm. The new firm will provide clients with more advantages, including:
* A polycentric approach. With no one global headquarters and no dominant national culture, the firm will proudly offer clients talent from diverse backgrounds and countries, with deep experience across many geographies and every tradition of law. The new firm offers the local cultural understanding required to get a deal done or dispute resolved in communities around the world.
* Broader and deeper offerings around the globe. The combination of a polycentric, global firm with a leading Chinese firm will offer clients seamless service, global presence and local knowledge.
* Reinvented client service. The new firm will reinvent client service, harnessing new technologies to enhance client support and deliver higher quality services while prioritizing client confidentiality and data security.
The new firm brand unites the names of both firms in an elegant logo, which symbolizes a combination of Eastern and Western cultures.
In spoken references, the new firm would be called "?????????" in Chinese, and "Dentons" in other languages. Further information about the new firm’s naming convention may be found here www.dentonscombination.com.
Leadership and structure
The new firm will be led by:
* Peng Xuefeng, the present Director and Founding Partner of ??, and Chairman of the standing committee of ??, will be the Chairman of the Global Board and the Chairman of the Global Advisory Committee of the new firm.
* Joe Andrew, currently the Global Chairman of Dentons, will be the Global Chairman of the new firm.
* Elliott Portnoy, currently the Global Chief Executive Officer of Dentons, will be the Global Chief Executive Officer of the new firm.
"This combination between the premier law firms of China and the West is truly the first of its kind. Our new firm will serve as a highly integrated platform for efficient legal services, and build bridges that facilitate cooperation and exchange for Chinese and Western clients alike. We will help our clients navigate the most complex legal and business environments worldwide, providing unique professional legal services. Together, we are taking an unprecedented step forward in our profession--a ground-breaking milestone in the history of international law firms," Peng said.
Andrew commented, "With more lawyers in more places where our clients do business, this combination is not about being the largest law firm in the world it is about understanding what our clients need and delivering it. As the only big 10 firm not headquartered in the US or UK, our polycentric approach reflects how the global economy has fundamentally changed and the legal profession must change with it." Andrew will be the Global Chairman of the new firm.
"With the largest and fastest growing economy in the world, the attraction of China to our clients is strong. All of our competitors are looking East," said Portnoy. "By uniting East and West in one firm—not merely through a few offices in large cities, but with a deep presence across China—we can provide Chinese businesses with global ambitions and international clients with interests inside China a reach and depth that simply can't be found elsewhere." Portnoy will be the Global Chief Executive Officer of the new firm.
The new firm will have five regions—Asia, Canada, Europe, the UK and the Middle East (UKMEA), and the US—each led by a regional chief executive officer. A 19-member Global Board—comprised of 14 members from Dentons, and five from ??—will include representation from each region, and a Global Advisory Committee will be comprised of all members of each region's board. The new firm would be structured as a Verein, a structure common among the world's top global law firms.