Kensington Swan to Combine With Major Global Firm

Kensington Swan to Combine With Major Global Firm 2
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Kensington Swan has announced that it is to join with Dentons, the largest law firm in the world by partner numbers and the sixth largest in revenue terms.

The move will provide a significant shakeup to the New Zealand legal scene, following DLA Piper’s link to the global network.

In a press release today, the firm said “The combined firm will have the largest global reach of any firm in the New Zealand market. It provides Kensington Swan with access to the extensive experience and talent of Dentons lawyers across the globe.” 

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The proposed combination enables Kensington Swan to connect its clients to top-tier legal talent in the markets wherever they want to do business.

Since entering the Australasian region in 2016 with offices in Australia and Papua New Guinea, Dentons has been named the fastest growing law firm in Australia, opening offices in all of the major Australian markets and growing lawyer ranks by 25%, in the last 12 months. 

‘As is the case with all of its strategic growth initiatives, Dentons’ desire to expand its presence in Australasia is client-driven,’ Global CEO of Dentons, Elliott Portnoy said today, ‘Clients have explicitly identified the New Zealand market as a priority and this combination would see the firms able to meet client needs both in New Zealand and around the globe.’

‘With Australia and New Zealand being such close economies, the combination with a leading law firm like Kensington Swan will enable greater coordination across the region for the benefit of clients,’ said Doug Stipanicev, CEO of Dentons Australia region. 

Kensington Swan is recognised as a leader in the financial markets, infrastructure and government sectors and has a strong reputation in the environment, education, FMCG, manufacturing, healthcare and energy sectors. The combination would lead to significant synergies in light of Dentons’ strengths in each of these areas. 

David Campbell, Board Chair of Kensington Swan said, ‘The combination with Dentons will mean that Kensington Swan is the New Zealand law firm that can provide clients with the greatest access to top-tier legal talent, and in the most locations, worldwide’. He added, ‘With our clients increasingly operating across Australasia and beyond, Dentons’ global platform will enable us to deliver seamless service to existing clients operating in the region and globally.’

‘Kensington Swan is attracted to Dentons’ willingness to challenge the status quo and to deliver innovative solutions to clients, while never compromising on quality or professionalism. This ethos matches Kensington Swan’s pragmatic approach to legal advice, which supports our clients’ strategic and commercial goals,’ confirmed Charles Spillane, CEO of Kensington Swan.  

‘Dentons’ focus on finding combination partners who have the proven ability to offer sophisticated, high quality legal services and business solutions in their home markets creates a virtuous circle for attracting talent both within a new market and future combination partners within the region, said Joe Andrew, Global Chair of Dentons. ‘Combining with a leading law firm like Kensington Swan in New Zealand will continue Dentons’ momentum in Australasia, enabling Dentons to once again maintain and improve its quality, even as it grows.’

The combination, following approval by partners and subject to meeting regulatory requirements, is expected to launch early next year. 


Kensington Swan is one of New Zealand’s leading commercial law firms with offices in Auckland and Wellington. Our specialist teams collaborate to provide complete legal solutions that are tailored to each client. We are committed to providing a responsive, professional and service-centred approach.


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 Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons’ polycentric approach 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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