US, Canadian tie-up on Dentons’ radar

Denton Wilde Sapte has rekindled its merger ­ambitions amid growing interest from suitors in North ­America.

According to sources close to the firm there is widespread partner support for a tie-up following ­several years of sluggish growth at the firm.

Managing partner Howard Morris denied that Dentons was in advanced merger negotiations, but he did admit that the firm had been approached.

“People come and talk to us. That’s rather flattering,” he said.

It is understood that US and Canadian firms are the most likely options for a merger.

Morris revealed that he was open to the idea of ­combining with a North American firm if a viable suitor emerged.

“If there was a firm that helped us towards our strategic goal, we would talk,” he stated.

Dentons has been the subject of merger rumours for several years. In 2005 the firm was reported to be investigating a UK tie-up, with former managing ­partner Jonathan Tatten putting together a list of potential partners.

The firm has a history of aborted mergers. Three-way unions with Cameron Markby Hewitt and McKenna & Co, as well as with Richards Butler and Theodore Goddard, both fell through in the 1990s.