Partners at Dentons and Sonnenschein say yes to merger

Partners at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and Denton Wilde Sapte have voted in favour of the firms’ planned merger.

Howard Morris
Howard Morris

The two firms will join forces on 30 September 2010 to create a £500m business with 1,400 lawyers worldwide.

Management at both firms asked their respective partnerships to vote for the union today. They required a 75 per cent approval rate for the deal to go ahead. The entire partnership at Dentons was consulted, while it was just senior or capital partners that cast their vote at Sonnenschein.

The firm will operate as a Swiss Verein with separate member firms in the UK and US. Sonnenschein chairman Elliott  Portnoy and Dentons CEO Howard Morris will serve as co-CEOs of SNR Denton, while Joseph Andrew of Sonnenschein and Martin Kitchen of Dentons will become co-chairmen. It is anticipated that after a transition period of three years it is anticipated that the firm will move to a single CEO (2 June 2010).

Portnoy commented: “Today’s votes will create a truly international firm that will focus on the needs of our clients and on the quality of our service.

“The response of our clients since we shared our intent to combine the firms has been exceptional, as they’ll enjoy access to 1,400  exceptionally high quality lawyers and professionals who bring deep expertise in their industry sectors, practices and markets to bear on the legal and business challenges and  opportunities most important to our clients,” he said.

Morris added: “We’re delighted that our partners have recognised and embraced the unique opportunity presented by SNR Denton. With a strong client-service culture at both firms, our integration provides us with the opportunity to have lawyers working together seamlessly on shared clients.”