Dentons continues global expansion with Netherlands merger deal

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Dentons has secured its first base in the Netherlands, via a merger with Dutch firm Boekel.

Boekel, which is based in Amsterdam, has around 70 lawyers, including 16 partners. The firm, which focuses on real estate, corporate and litigation, will merge into Dentons’ European limited liability partnership.

The tie-up, which has been approved by both firms’ partners and is expected to go live in April this year, will take Dentons’ European office total to 26.

Boekel also has a small London office, which will close as a result of the merger. The office was launched in 2010 by corporate partner Ferdinand Mason, who left to open an Amsterdam base for Jones Day in 2013. It was subsequently used as a base for Boekel lawyers carrying out work in the UK, but the firm will now use Dentons’ London office instead. The closure will result in no staff losses.

Dentons Europe CEO Tomasz Dabrowski said: “This is a landmark achievement in furthering our strategy for Europe. Two years ago, we set out our vision for growth, with an ambitious goal to enter three new markets: Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.”

The firm opened in Milan in October 2015 and last year launched in Luxembourg and Rome.

Boekel managing partner Wendela Raas said: “Our clients will continue to receive the same personalised and practical advice they have come to expect from Boekel, while at the same time benefiting from Dentons’ unmatched global reach.”

The merger means that Dentons now has more than 7,800 lawyers throughout 60 countries around the world.

Dentons is not only expanding in Europe. In November last year, the firm announced a move into the Central American market via a tie-up with Costa Rica-based firm Munoz Global, a deal that gifted the firm new bases in Panama and Nicaragua.

Corporate partner Dabrowski was re-elected as Europe chief executive last November, with his second three-year term beginning on 1 January 2017. In 2014, he succeeded Dariusz Oleszczuk, who had served three consecutive terms as managing partner of legacy firm Salans, which merged with SNR Denton and Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain in 2013 to form Dentons.

During Dabrowski’s first term in office, Dentons increased its partner headcount in Europe by more than 50%. Last year, he told Legal Week that the firm is considering opening a fourth office in Germany alongside its Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin offices, in either Duesseldorf or Hamburg, and that it plans to double its partner count in Germany – which currently stands at 40 – by 2019.