Bingham Greenebaum Doll to merge with Dentons, world’s largest firm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bingham Greenebaum Doll announced the Louisville and Indianapolis firm is combining with Dentons, the world’s largest law firm.

“This is an incredible opportunity to connect our clients to a national and global platform, with partners we trust to provide the best possible service to our clients in a variety of practice areas and markets,” said Toby McClamroch, managing partner of BGD. “We are excited to join the Dentons platform, and to take part in a combination that allows us to retain local autonomy of rates and relationships.”

A growing trend among BGD’s clients is a need for cross-jurisdictional work – both within the U.S. and around the world. As an example, prior to the combination, if a client needed a lawyer in China to help with an export matter, then BGD had to rely on a loosely affiliated network of attorneys to source local talent. Making hiring decisions in those situations was time consuming and risky. Through the combination, BGD will eliminate the time and risk involved in sourcing talent by collaborating with their Dentons partners around the world.

“The combination will allow us to connect our clients to the very best talent across the country and around the world,” said Jeff McKenzie, Partnership Board chair of BGD. “The combined firm will have coverage in 33 U.S. markets, including nine of the 10 largest markets in the country, and 181 offices throughout the globe.”

Importantly, the rate structure for BGD clients will remain intact, as BGD will have local autonomy of client rates and relationships. Through the combination, clients will continue to benefit from Midwest cost structures. When clients need work done in New York, Paris, Shanghai or elsewhere, the combined firm can perform that work at a price point that’s competitive for the market and practice area. This reduces the number of firms and contract attorneys that clients must manage and streamlines legal services through Dentons.

“Our full-service law firm has a long history of helping clients across a variety of business sectors with transactional, litigation, estate planning, tax and employee benefits, and economic development counsel,” said Branden Gross, managing partner of BGD’s Lexington office. “We are eager to bring the talent and resources of Dentons to our clients, so we can continue to help them reach their goals.”

The combination is part of a broader deal that includes Pittsburgh-based law firm Cohen & Grigsby and employs a model that will enable the firms to build the first national U.S. law firm. This announcement is the first step in forming the first national law firm in the U.S. The model is called “Golden Spike” in honor of the celebratory railroad spike that completed the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S.

The combined firm will have a headcount of nearly 1,100 lawyers, making it the sixth largest law firm in the U.S. Globally, Dentons has more than 10,000 attorneys in 70 countries around the world.

“The Golden Spike model is an innovation that will allow its combining firms to do what no one has done before: create the first truly national U.S. law firm,” said Elliott Portnoy, global CEO of Dentons. “Right now, no law firm has offices in all 20 of the largest U.S. legal markets, much less the top 100. The Golden Spike model is the first step in meeting this demand. These combinations will better position us to attract and retain top talent across the U.S. and beyond, which in turn will allow us to better serve our clients’ needs.”

The management structure provides for local autonomy to preserve local culture, relationships and rates. The global firm of Dentons is led by Portnoy and by Joe Andrew, the global chair. McClamroch will serve as managing partner of Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, which includes the six offices of BGD.

“Our Golden Spike model enables each of the combining firms to objectively serve clients better,” said Andrew. “By joining together we can support the myriad of specialties that clients demand and we are better positioned to capitalize on the economies of scale to invest in technology and processes that our clients tell us they want. And because we preserve the existing organizational and operational structure of the combining firms, clients will continue to be served by lawyers they know, who can now connect them to colleagues across the country and around the world.”

“Our primary goal is to meet our clients’ demands for a nationwide firm with an extensive offering of legal counsel and business solutions, top-tier practice experience, and locations,” said Mike McNamara, CEO of Dentons US. “Clients of each combining firm will enjoy the benefits of the additional depth and breadth of the other two firms and the convenience of one-firm service across the US and throughout the world.”

Bingham Greenebaum Doll is a regional business and tax law firm, based in the Midwest. The firm has helped its client’s close deals, manage risks, and open doors to new opportunities for more than 100 years. BGD provides transactional, litigation, estate planning, tax and employee benefits, and economic development advice to clients across a variety of industries and business sectors. The firm’s client base is diverse and contains regional, national, and international engagements. The attorneys at BGD serve clients in the communities where they live and work, with locations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering qlegal services 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 talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests.

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