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Power Law Firms: Dentons Kensington Swan. The world’s largest law firm arrives in New Zealand

David Campbell, Chair, Dentons Kensington Swan

Kensington Swan has now officially combined with Dentons, bringing the law firm of the future to New Zealand.  The combination further enhances Dentons’ strategy to become the dominant global law firm in Australasia. 

February 10, 2020

David Campbell, Chair, Dentons Kensington Swan

Powered by LawFuel – Leading New Zealand law firm Kensington Swan has launched its combination with Dentons, and will now be known as Dentons Kensington Swan. This combination provides Dentons Kensington Swan’s clients with the ability to access a pool of 10,000+ lawyers across the globe, wherever they do business. Likewise Dentons’ clients who want to do business in New Zealand will now have access to the experience and talent of Dentons Kensington Swan. 

Whilst the name of the firm has changed to reflect being part of the world’s largest law firm, the local ownership of Dentons Kensington Swan remains unchanged. The firm retains its existing partnership and remains locally owned, run and managed. Being ‘in and of’ the community in which you operate and do business is one of the core values and differentiators of Dentons. 

David Campbell, Board Chair of Dentons Kensington Swan said, “We are thrilled to launch our combination with Dentons as we can now provide clients with the greatest access to top-tier legal talent in the most locations worldwide.” He added that, “Our existing and future clients who are operating across Australasia and beyond will now only need to deal with one firm globally and we can offer them exceptional service.”

Dentons Kensington Swan was attracted to becoming part of Dentons for many reasons, including being able to serve clients across the world and also being able to bring global expertise to the benefit of New Zealand based organisations. Additionally, Dentons Kensington Swan was attracted to Nextlaw Enterprise, Dentons’ wholly owned subsidiary of innovation, advisory and technology operating units. 

Charles Spillane, Dentons Kensington Swan’s CEO explains, “As part of Dentons, we can now offer our clients access to the best in class innovative legal and business technology. Previously, this technology was prohibitively expensive and therefore not accessible to our domestic market. This is a real revolution for our firm and for our clients as it will help us provide an even more tailored and seamless delivery to our clients aligned to their strategic and commercial goals.” 

Following on from previous combinations in Australia and Papua New Guinea, the launch strengthens the foundation for Dentons to become the dominant global law firm in Australasia and positions Dentons as the largest global law firm in New Zealand.

With new offices in Auckland and Wellington, Dentons can now connect clients to a team of 113 lawyers in New Zealand who can meet the needs of clients across a wide range of industries.

“Clients identified the New Zealand market as a priority and our launch in New Zealand means that we can now connect clients in New Zealand to 10,000+ lawyers in 182 locations and 74 countries around the globe,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global CEO of Dentons. 

“Our combination with leading law firm Kensington Swan in New Zealand will continue Dentons’ momentum in Australasia, enabling us to attract even more talent in this important region for Dentons and our clients globally,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chair of Dentons.

“Dentons has seen significant growth in the region since 2016 and with new offices in Auckland and Wellington Dentons is now a regional powerhouse who can provide clients with access to legal talent in all of the major Australasian markets,” said Doug Stipanicev, CEO of Dentons’ Australasia Region. 

Dentons Kensington Swan, will continue to deliver commercially-focused advice to its clients, as Hayden Wilson, partner and Board member, neatly summarises. “The point of the combination is that it will provide a one-firm experience for all our clients. It will also provide our employees with access to a global hot bed of talent and innovative thinking, which will allow us to challenge the traditional thinking of law, for the benefit of our clients.”

Dentons’ partners approved more whole-firm combinations in 2019 than any other law firm. So far in 2020, Dentons has launched Dentons Bingham Greenebaum and Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, the first step in forming a truly national law firm in the United States as part of Dentons’ “Project Golden Spike.”


About Dentons Kensington Swan

Dentons Kensington Swan is one of New Zealand’s leading national commercial law firms, with more than 30 partners and 100 other lawyers in the Auckland and Wellington offices. As a full-service commercial law firm, our specialist teams collaborate across practice areas to provide complete legal solutions that are tailored to each client. We are committed to providing an unbeatable client experience. In February 2020, we launched our combination with Dentons (, the world’s largest law firm, meaning we can support you and your organisation wherever you operate.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Enterprise, Dentons’ wholly owned subsidiary of innovation, advisory and technology operating units. Dentons’ polycentric approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.

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