Dentons, the world’s largest global law firm, has announced a combination with leading Indian law firm, Link Legal. Dentons would become the first global law firm to combine with a law firm in India giving the combined firm first-mover advantage and a competitive edge in international panel competitions. This is not a joint venture, not a best-friends relationship or a liaison license, nor a merger or an acquisition, but a combination like Dentons has done around the world, building one, integrated global firm.
Dentons’ unique “polycentric” structure, which is based on a Swiss verein strives to identify the positive attributes of a partnership, allowing Dentons to combine with high quality firms in many jurisdictions respecting the legal and regulatory requirements of each jurisdiction. This has allowed Dentons to grow in what will be 215 offices across 83 countries.
Link Legal is one of the premier Indian firms that is going out into the world, opening an office in New York and examining multiple other locations. As a first-mover, Link Legal represents the many large, fast-growing Indian companies that are globalizing, as India becomes the most populous nation in the world in 2023.
It was natural that Link Legal would reach out to Dentons—the world’s largest global law firm and a first-mover in more countries than any other law firm in the history of the legal profession, with its unique, polycentric business model—to combine with to better represent its clients outside of India.
The combination with Link Legal would offer an established, physical presence in five of the six largest cities in India: Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. Dentons Link Legal Indian lawyers would represent clients inside India and Dentons lawyers would represent Link Legal’s clients outside of India, becoming one firm consistent with the rules and regulations of India.
“In the current geopolitical and economic landscape, India enjoys an important and enviable position. We approached Dentons because we recognized that a combination between our firms would help us meet and exceed the needs of our clients who are increasingly becoming global,” said Atul Sharma, Managing Partner of Link Legal. “Importantly, the combination allows us to be both global and local, helping us to connect our clients to leading legal talent around the world while continuing to be wholly owned, controlled and managed by Indian lawyers at Link Legal in India.”
“This is history in the making in India because this is not a joint venture, not a “best friends” relationship, not a “referral agreement,” but a combination as Dentons has done around the world,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman of Dentons. “The combination in India again makes Dentons not only a first-mover but a first-mover in a market that matters to our clients.”
“India will be the most populous country in the world next year with a fast-growing economy making it an increasingly important market for our clients around the world,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global CEO of Dentons. “This historic combination will allow Dentons to connect clients to leading talent in India and provide a seamless one firm experience in more than 200 locations around the globe.”
“Like Dentons, clients are at the center of everything we do,” said Nusrat Hassan, Co-Managing Partner of Link Legal. “The combination with Dentons will provide access to sophisticated new technology as well as leading talent, allowing us to provide seamless, integrated services to clients across more than 200 locations.”
“The combination between Link Legal and Dentons not only allows us to be the trusted advisors to our clients across the many markets in which they operate but will also create global opportunities for our Indian lawyers,” said Anand Srivastava, Senior Partner of Link Legal.
Link Legal is a leading mid-sized, full service law firm with more than 19 practice areas, 42 partners and 134 lawyers. Link Legal is pre-eminent in infrastructure, corporate, litigation, finance and technology, providing end-to-end support for its clients across transactional and contentious matters. Link Legal is a high-quality firm which has the third highest per capita percentage of Chambers and Legal 500 rankings in India. The partners of the firm are widely recognized and highly regarded for their experience and expertise and their hands-on approach to transactions.
“Dentons’ strategy is focused on finding combination firm partners who have the proven ability to offer sophisticated, high-quality legal services and business solutions in their home markets and that can continue Dentons’ momentum in building the leading firm,” said Noor Kapdi, CEO of Dentons’ Africa Region. “By combining with the talented individuals at Link Legal, this will truly be a combination that takes Dentons from the largest to the leading firm.”
The announcement coincides with the tenth anniversary of the announcement of the creation of Dentons. Following more than fifty whole firm combinations since Dentons’ launch in 2013, scaling the Firm in priority markets continues to be a core part of Dentons’ strategy to help clients face the challenges and meet the opportunities of the next ten years. Dentons’ Global Chairman Joe Andrew and Global CEO Elliott Portnoy recently shared their vision for how Dentons is “Leading the Next Ten” in a Letter to Clients.
This is a combination like all the other combinations that Dentons has done around the world. Following approval by the partners, the combination with Link Legal is expected to launch in the coming months.