There was no slowdown in 2015 for Dentons, as the firm forged ahead in its ambitious international expansion plans. In July, Dentons US merged with McKenna Long & Aldridge to expand the firm’s offering to 21 locations throughout the country to better serve clients developing their business across borders. This was in addition to a combination with Chinese firm Dacheng which brought the firm’s headcount to roughly 6,600 lawyers in 125 offices in 50 countries.
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PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
For the second year running Dentons is awarded our Energy Firm of the Year award. The “internationally renowned” energy practice at Dentons is “unrivalled in geographic scope and expertise” according to clients using its services. A recent project saw the firm work alongside Poyry, an international consulting and engineering company, to develop the rules for a new generation side pool structure for the electricity market on the main interconnected electricity system in Oman. The firm was instructed by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company.
In Canada, clients benefit from Frank Alexander’s over 30 years of experience in the energy sector. His advice is “thorough, well considered, and practical”. Douglas Crowther QC co-leads the energy practice and has “intrinsic knowledge” of pipelines and electricity facilities, and energy regulatory law. In Washington, DC Karl Hopkins advises on security strategies in relation to global operations, and is “much sought after” for his experience on the development-side of international energy and infrastructure projects. In London, Charles Wood focuses his practice on the LNG sector and is “technically excellent”. He is joined by Danielle Beggs who provides “sensible and commercial advice” to clients in the oil and gas, and electricity industries. She also has experience of foreign and domestic regulatory and licensing regimes and is a “font of knowledge” on such matters. The firm also boasts an impressive pool of talent across its Asia and Middle Eastern offices with standouts including the “superb” Marla Valdez, co-chair of the firm’s global mining and natural resources, and global oil and gas groups. Based in Oman, she is lauded for her “insightful analysis” of client issues. Moscow is home to Jane Tarassova head of the Russian energy/natural resources practice and a “stellar transactional lawyer”.
Dentons boasts an impressive team of communications, media and technology practitioners. The firm’s work includes advising a consortium of East-African mobile operators on a major agreement with the Tanzanian government to build, operate and maintain a joint fibre-optic backbone and metropolitan mobile broadband network, as well as advising technology companies on a broad range of matters.
Joby Beretta is a “standout” lawyer in the Middle East. His expertise spans entertainment, sports, franchise and IT law, and he is “incredibly gifted”. Clients appreciate his “industry insight” gained while working in-house, and having been based in Dubai since 2003, he has a “great appreciation for the cultural nuances of the region”. New York-based Marc Friedman is a “seasoned trial lawyer” who represents technology companies in their disputes. He has particular experience in patent, electronic commerce, copyright, trademark, and trade secret disputes. In London, Amanda Lewis’s expertise lies in service integration, cloud computing, disaster recovery, credit card processing, and fund administration, among other strategic projects. Clients appreciate her “ability to foresee potential disputes, and plan accordingly”.
Within the environment practice, Jeffrey Fort in Chicago is a “huge name” in the market. He co-directs the climate change practice at the firm and works extensively in the California carbon market, advising on the creation of carbon offset credits. Washington, DC-based Peter Gray co-chairs the US environment and natural resources practice and specialises in environmental litigation including disputes over responsibility for clean-up of contaminated property under CERCLA, challenges to environmental regulations, enforcement cases and arbitration in data compensation claims. In London Stephen Shergold boasts an “enviable reputation” in the market for his work in relation to environment and health and safety law.
Dentons lawyers throughout its network devote time to conducting meaningful pro bono work, whether that be assisting NGOs or helping domestic violence survivors to lead the fight for marriage equality. Most recently the firm has been partnering with corporations, nonprofits, governments and academic institutions, to tackle the problem of human trafficking. The topic was also a major focus at Dentons’ 2015 Women’s Leadership Event in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dentons has no single headquarters and no dominant national culture. Its diverse mix of geographies, languages and nationalities affords clients greater understanding for the nuances of different cultures and regions. According to the firm it leverages this diversity to “provide more innovative, client-focused solutions to complex business issues”.