Dentons and Link Legal Join Forces to Transform India's Legal Landscape
Dentons, a prominent global law firm, has successfully initiated its planned merger with esteemed Indian law firm Link Legal. This collaboration marks another groundbreaking achievement for Dentons, as it becomes the first global law firm to form a partnership with an Indian law firm.
By combining their strengths, the merged firm gains a remarkable advantage in facilitating connections between clients and the numerous opportunities within India's thriving and rapidly expanding economy.
Dentons' distinctive "polycentric" model enables the firm to join forces with top-tier firms across multiple jurisdictions. With the establishment of Dentons Link Legal in India, which commenced operations on May 15, the combined firm is strategically positioned to cater to clients in the world's most populous nation. This expansion reinforces Dentons' commitment to providing comprehensive and exceptional legal services on a global scale, embracing the opportunities presented by India's significant market presence.
Leveraging the exceptional reputation of Link Legal as a top-tier firm in India, in conjunction with Dentons' extensive global presence, the combined firm is uniquely positioned to assist clients in achieving their growth, protection, operational, and financial objectives in India and across its network of 214 offices spanning 83 countries worldwide.
By joining forces with Link Legal, Dentons has solidified its presence in five out of the six largest cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad. The firm currently would not have its presence in the eastern metropolis of Kolkata.
Dentons Link Legal's team of Indian lawyers will provide legal representation to clients within India, while Dentons' lawyers will extend their expertise to represent Link Legal's clients beyond India's borders.
“We are committed to meeting and exceeding the needs of our clients who are increasingly becoming global,” said Atul Sharma, Executive Chairman of Dentons Link Legal.
“With the launch of Dentons Link Legal, we are now both local and global, allowing us to connect our clients to leading legal talent around the world while continuing to be wholly owned, controlled and managed by Indian lawyers in India,” Sharma added.
According to Elliott Portnoy, Global CEO of Dentons, the combination with Link Legal and the establishment of a presence in India is an important moment for the firm and its clients, given India's prominent position on the world stage.
“We have always viewed India as a vibrant and strategically important market and as the first global law firm in India, through our combination with Link Legal, we are now able to connect our clients to leading talent in the world’s most populous country which boasts a thriving economy and immeasurable opportunities for client collaboration,” Portnoy stated.
With the addition of approximately 170 lawyers and professionals from Link Legal in India, Dentons Link Legal enhances Dentons' platform of over 20,000 professionals across 83 countries, solidifying its position as the largest law firm globally in terms of lawyer headcount.
Link Legal is a comprehensive law firm comprising over 40 partners and 130 lawyers who specialise in various practice areas such as infrastructure, corporate, litigation, finance, and technology. The firm prides itself on achieving a notable ranking in the Chambers and Legal 500 listings in India, with one of the highest per-lawyer percentages. Among its esteemed clientele are Air India, the State Bank of India, and Rolls-Royce.
“Our longstanding and trusted relationship with the leadership at Dentons Link Legal made them an obvious combination partner for Dentons in this most important market,” said Noor Kapdi, CEO of Dentons’ Africa Region. “This will truly be a combination that accelerates Dentons’ journey from Largest to Leading.”
India's legal sector has long been regarded as one of the most closed-off among major market economies due to a law enacted in 1961, which restricted non-Indian law firms from operating within the country. However, in a significant development, the Bar Council of India (BCI) recently decided to permit international law firms to practice foreign law in India. This landmark resolution has opened doors for Dentons to establish a partnership with Link Legal, thereby allowing Dentons to venture into India's thriving legal market.