Dentons: the resurrection

The long-running merger discussions between SNR Denton and Salans have taken a dramatic new step, with The Lawyeryesterday exclusively revealing the duo’s three-way tie-up with Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC).

And it’s a deal with more curiosities and surprises than an episode of Surprise Surprise.

Most startling is the name the combined firm is set to take: Dentons. The firms have decided to go back into the past and retrieve a brand that looked as though it might be lost when City outfit Denton Wilde Sapte merged with US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal two years ago. But, as we report, legacy Salans and FMC names are likely to be incorporated in some way.

Then there’s the 11 or so months during which the firms have been talking, with a first vote in September delayed after discussions kicked off in late 2011, first reported by The Lawyer nine months ago.

Then there’s the FMC addition, the main reason for the delay, and the pure fact that triple mergers are about as adventurous as climbing Everest while dialling into a conference call and reading Chitty on Contracts, all at the same time.

The merger is not profit sharing and will see the firms form four separate LLPs under a combined brand, so the lack of financial integration makes a comparison with Scafell Pike slightly more pertinent. But it’s certainly the international curio of the year.

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Also on TheLawyer.com:

  • Slaughter and May has finalised its redundancy round for secretaries with more than 32 full-time equivalent jobs going, while Pinsent Masons is set to axe up to 15 support-staff jobs in its second post-merger spate of headcount reduction
  • Balfour Beatty plans to cut legal spend by a third as part of a review of its panel firms
  • 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square has seen its seventh barrister exit in the past week as a second QC quits
  • And finally: DLA Piper chief Sir Nigel Knowles speaks out following Barack Obama’s election triumph, citing his personal affection for the “clever” President