Three-way Dentons merger to go live in 2013

Salans, SNR Denton and Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) have confirmed their plans for a three-way merger, which will go live early next year under the Dentons name.

A spokesperson for the firms said the combined entity will incorporate the legacy firms’ brands during an intermediate period of unconfirmed length, after which the SNR, Salans and FMC banners will disappear. The firms will recommend the deal to partners next Tuesday (13 November).

The combination, exclusively revealed yesterday by The Lawyer, will be structured as a Swiss Verein, with four separate LLPs replacing European firm Salans, the Canadian outfit and the UK and US arms of SNR Denton (7 November 2012).

The decision to retain the respective legacy names in the short term enables the united entity initially to retain the Salans brand in Paris and Central and Eastern Europe, where the European firm is strongest.

The firms are set to vote on the deal later this month, nearly a year after tie-up talks between Salans and SNR Denton started (14 February 2012). The FMC addition, creating a rare triple merger, was a later move.

SNR Denton said in a statement: “The new firm fully embraces the diversity of its geography, cultures and legal traditions, qualities that make it truly polycentric. It will have no headquarters, no dominant national culture, and will proudly offer clients talent from diverse backgrounds and countries with deep experience in civil law, English common law and US common law.

“Bringing together this depth and array of talent will enable clients to benefit from more than 2,500 lawyers and professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, the UK and the US in key business sectors.

“It will employ an innovative name migration strategy to capture the inherent brand equity of the Salans, FMC and SNR Denton names in their current geographies.

“The partners of each firm will vote on the proposed combination in November. Subject to the vote, the combination will become effective in the first quarter of 2013.”

The firm also confirmed that SNR Denton global CEO Elliott Portnoy will take the same role in the combined firm. It announced other senior appointments including SNR Denton global chaior Joe Andrew as global chair of Dentons, Salans global board chair Francois Chateau as global vice-chair and FMC national partnership board presiding member Bill Jenkins as another global vice-chair.

It also confirmed that the words “Salans FMC SNR Denton” will be incorporated into the name of the firm alongside the Dentons brand.

Dentons global board and leadership team:

Elliott Portnoy, global CEO, currently SNR Denton global CEO

Joe Andrew, global chair, currently SNR Denton global chair

Francois Chateau, global vice-chair, currently Salans global board chair

Bill Jenkins, global vice-chair, currently FMC national partnership board presiding member

Matthew Jones, UK, Middle East and Africa CEO, currently SNR Denton Emea CEO

Dariusz Oleszczuk, Europe CEO, currently Salans global managing partner

Chris Pinnington, Canada CEO, currently FMC CEO

Peter Wolfson, US CEO, currently SNR Denton US CEO

Jana Cohen Barbe, currently SNR Denton financial institutions and funds sector co-chair

Michael Barr, currently SNR Denton US senior partner

Neil Cuthbert, currently SNR Denton Middle East senior partner

Mike Kaplan, currently managing partner of FMC’s Toronto office

Martin Kitchen, currently SNR Denton UK senior partner

Evan Lazar, currently Salans global real estate co-chair