Dentons has the largest real estate team in the world, new data from The Lawyer has revealed, but the firm faces stiff competition in the global rankings thanks to accelerating consolidation.
The global firm, which just last week merged with another seven firms across Africa, the Caribbean and South East Asia, has 375 partners who spend 50 per cent of their time or more on real estate-related matters and a total of 1,300 lawyers. The firm’s core real estate practice group contains around 250 partners.
It is also one of 17 firms that appear in all four of The Lawyer’s primary geographic regions. It heads the ranking in Asia Pacific with 212 partners but also ranks highly in Europe (joint third with Taylor Wessing with 51 partners), the US (seventh with 44 partners) and the UK (tenth place with 34 partners).
The most obvious shift in the rankings is the rise of CMS. Last year’s three-way merger between CMS Cameron McKenna, Nabarro and Olswang has resulted in CMS moving from sixth to second in the main ranking, with the total number of partners worldwide doubling from 129 to 256.
Eversheds Sutherland, the product of another major transatlantic merger last February, rises two places from 15th to 13th in the main table while next month will see another deal that will shake up the real estate market, the merger of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Bryan Cave.
Both the CMS and BLP/Bryan Cave mergers in particular underscore a key theme in this year’s Global Real Estate 50 2018 report, that of the marriage of real estate and technology (or as one client put it, “old and new money”).
Most firms and numerous clients interviewed for the report say they are already seeing the impact of new technology from a range of new products, including several marketed as artificial intelligence, being offered to them by the biggest firms and a growing roster of technology vendors.
The Lawyer’s report includes the results of surveys of and interviews with both camps as well as insights direct from the vendors of real estate technology including iManage (which now owns RAVN), Leverton and eBrevia.