The ongoing expansion of the world’s largest law firm, Dentons, continued this week with its fifth merger in a year. However unlike the firm’s previous 2015 tie-ups in the US and Asia-Pacific, the latest bolt-on adds just 34 lawyers to Dentons’ global empire.

Nevertheless the news that Luxembourg firm OPF Partners is merging with Dentons on 1 January is pretty significant from the perspective of the Grand Duchy. Although a series of international firms have moved into the country in the past three years – among them Hogan Lovells and Simmons & Simmons – they have all done so through lateral hires. Dentons is the first firm since the magic circle to take over, wholesale, an independent player.

Luxembourg is just the latest in a series of moves in Europe this year for Dentons. The firm also opened in Milan with the hire of 21 lawyers from DLA Piper and employment boutique hELP, and took on 50 lawyers from White & Case in Budapest. On top of that, the firm has hired lawyers in countries including Germany and Russia.

Of course legacy firm Salans, which merged with SNR Denton and Fraser Milner Casgrain less than three years ago, brought a long heritage and substantial presence in Europe to the party. But Dentons’ latest moves indicate that it is not just focusing on growth in the East – its strategy is firmly on growth, full stop.

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