Dentons has announced plans for its sixth and seventh mergers of 2015, expanding into Latin America through tie-ups with Colombia’s Cárdenas & Cárdenas and Mexico’s López Velarde Heftye y Soria (LVHS).
The mergers are subject to partner votes at all three firms, but are expected to be confirmed by mid-December. The acquisitions would see Dentons add around 55 lawyers in Colombia and another 35 in Mexico.
Colombia and Mexico mark Dentons’ first entry in to Latin America, although the firm signalled its intention for a physical presence in the region by appointing Jorge Alers as its regional CEO last year.
Alers was previously general counsel and general manager of the legal department of the Inter-American Development Bank and was tasked with helping Dentons fulfil its strategic aim of merging with firms in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
The news follows last week’s announcement that Dentons was merging with Luxembourg firm OPF Partners. At the start of November Dentons confirmed it was combining with Australia’s Gadens and Singapore’s Rodyk & Davidson in a move described by management as a “pivot” to the Pacific Rim.
Earlier this year Dentons merged with Chinese firm Dacheng and US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, turning it into the world’s largest law firm by headcount. During 2015 Dentons also launched offices in Johannesburg and Milan and took on White & Case’s 50-lawyer Budapest office as well as making lateral hires in jurisdictions including Germany, Russia and the UK.
The management teams of both Cárdenas & Cárdenas and LVHS said they were convinced that the globalisation of legal services was here to stay and that their clients would benefit from them being part of Dentons.
Both Latin American firms are full-service with a focus on energy and telecoms at LVHS and litigation and intellectual property at Cárdenas & Cárdenas.