New Zealand’s Kensington Swan has 31 partners and eight senior consultants and special counsel. 

Official announcement:

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, is announcing today a proposed combination with Kensington Swan, a leading law firm in New Zealand. The combination would position Dentons as the largest global law firm in New Zealand on day one.

With Australia, China, North America, the European Union, and ASEAN nations having well-established trading relationships with New Zealand, this combination would optimally position the Firm to connect clients in those markets to its new offices in New Zealand.

Along with previous combinations in Australia and Papua New Guinea, this combination strengthens the foundation for Dentons to become the dominant global law firm in Australasia. Dentons’ clients will have access to the experience and talents of its 10,000+ lawyers working around the globe, enabling Dentons to connect clients to top-tier legal talent in the markets where they do business.

“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.”

“Dentons’ focus on finding combination partners who have the proven ability to offer sophisticated, high quality legal services and business solutions in their home markets creates a virtuous circle for attracting talent both within a new market and future combination partners within the region, said Joe Andrew, Global Chair of Dentons. “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 named the fastest growing law firm in Australia, opening offices in all of the major Australian markets and growing attorney ranks by 25%, 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 with specialist teams collaborating across practice areas to provide complete legal solutions tailored to each client. Like Dentons, Kensington Swan is dedicated to a polycentric approach that values inclusion and diversity and in and of the community roots and has a strong tradition of giving back to the communities it serves through pro bono work, volunteerism and financial support.

Kensington Swan is recognized as a leader in the financial markets, infrastructure and government sectors and has a strong reputation in the Environment, Education, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Energy sectors. The combination would lead to significant synergies in light of Dentons’ strengths in each of these areas.

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.”

“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,” confirmed Charles Spillane, CEO of Kensington Swan.

The combination, following approval by partners and subject to meeting regulatory requirements, is expected to launch in the next several months.