The firm was involved in funding a £310m property deal negotiated by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. At the crucial time for receiving and releasing funds through its client account, the firm was forced to evacuate its Chancery Lane offices, where the accounting department is based.
Joseph Flinton Dowling, charged this week in relation to allegations that he threatened to detonate a bomb outside the Law Society offices on the evening of 10 January, caused Dentons' office to be closed the following Friday morning.
Determined to sort out the final arrangements of the deal by the 1pm deadline, partners Debbie Carslaw and Mark Menhennet attempted to sneak in by the back door. Thwarted, they set up a temporary base at Dentons' Fleet Place office and proceeded to coordinate alternative plans for the deal's completion.
“The advantage of having two offices is that, when something like this happens, we have somewhere to go”
Mark Menhennet, Dentons
Menhennet said: “The advantage of having two offices is that, when something like this happens, we have somewhere to go.” He added that the firm's contingency plans had not previously been tested.
The Dentons partners had to reconstruct all relevant statements, taking account of the forced changes. They had to redo their sums and agree statements with both of the mortgagees – Norwich Union and client Bayerische – the vendors and all the lawyers involved, before rushing to the bank to organise the transfer of funds.
Gibson Dunn partner Alan Samson said: “Dentons sorted the problem out beautifully. They made the deal happen.”