2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The flexibility with working hours and locations.”
“High-level, global work.”
“Lack of transparency in promotion and raises.”
“While work is substantive, demands are high.”
Borne of a history of combinations, Dentons is the Pac-Man of law firms. The rapid growth began in 2010, when Chicago’s Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal—known for its real estate prowess—and UK-based Denton Wilde Sapte joined forces to create SNR Dentons. Soon after launching, SNR Denton set its sights on Europe and Canada, courting Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn and Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC). The March 2013 mega-combination of these three firms—SNR Denton, Salans and FMC—created Dentons. The new law firm was immediately one of the world’s largest with locations in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., continental Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. But the firm wasn’t done. In January 2015, the partners of Dentons and 大成 (pronounced Da-CHUNG)—the largest law firm in China—announced the approval of an historic combination between the two firms to create the largest firm in world, with more than 120 offices globally. A few months later, Dentons’ merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP bolstered the firm’s presence in the Southeastern U.S., California, and DC. The years since have seen Dentons combining with law firms in Australia, Latin America, the Netherlands, and Singapore—among other locations.
The Best of the Biggest
Lawyers at Dentons work in a grand total of 40 practice areas across 24 different sectors, such as energy, financial institutions, government, life sciences and health care, manufacturing, private equity, real estate, technology, and transportation.
Dentons has capitalized on the strengths of its parent firms. Energy, insurance, real estate, banking and finance, and litigation having emerged as the firm’s primary calling cards. Dentons is now home to the largest energy, mining, and resources practice of any law firm, with its long-established Washington team handling transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters for energy sector clients. Dentons also boasts the world’s largest integrated global real estate practice. Its international client base encompasses foreign governments, global banks, multinational media outlets, and more of the world’s most influential organizations.
Better, Stronger, Faster … and Healthier
While it may be a behemoth, Dentons is nimble when it comes to its associates’ quality of life. In March of 2019, the Associated Press detailed the firm’s Wellness for Life program, which includes webinars on work/life balance and stress management and a pilot program in which an onsite wellness coach can provide counseling and referrals for professional or personal concerns. Dentons also created a consulting agency, NextLaw Labs, focused on providing legal technologies to attorneys and staff to increase efficiency.
News & Awards
Through Project Golden Spike, a groundbreaking partnership model, Dentons simultaneously combined with Cohen & Grigsby and Bingham Greenebaum, and announced its ambition to become the first truly national law firm. The announcement was covered by more than 200 legal publications globally, including American Lawyer, Law360, LegalWeek, Canadian Lawyer, Bloomberg Big Law and Reuters, and mainstream press including Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch and Benzinga. In 2020, Dentons announced plans to combine with Durham Jones & Pinegar, earning widespread coverage as the only firm to announce a combination during the COVID pandemic.
Dentons partnered with client Verity Health and California Governor Gavin Newsom to pull two hospitals from bankruptcy to repurpose and house more than 350 COVID-19 patients. The action was covered by the Associated Press; NPR; Los Angeles Magazine, California affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox; Univision; CNN; and many others.
Dentons represented FaZe Clan in first-of-its-kind lawsuits between the e-sports company and celebrity streamer TFue, which were ultimately settled. The novelty and public nature of the dispute, including social media traction, earned coverage by Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, The Verge, The Esports Observer, Game Rant, Dextero, Essentially Sports, Law360 and others.
2019 – 2020
Lawyers from Dentons’ Cannabis practice were quoted in numerous legal and industry publications, including Business Insider, Cheddar, Politico, Benzinga and Reuters. They spoke on the FDA’s proposed regulation of CBD products, federal banking laws and growing M&A activity.
- Best Places to Work, 2020—Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index
- Mansfield Rule Certification Plus, 2020—Diversity Lab
- Best Law Firm for Minority Attorneys, 2019—Law360
- Shortlisted for Diversity and Inclusion Awards for Outstanding Firm, 2020—Chambers USA
- Shortlisted for Diversity and Inclusion Awards for Pro Bono Program, 2020—Chambers USA
Phone: (202) 496-7500
Global Chief Executive Officer: Elliott Portnoy
Chairman: Jeff Haidet
Chief Executive Officer: Mike McNamara
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
Salary not disclosed.
Legal Recruitment Project Manager
No. of U.S. Offices: 24
No. of International Offices: 152
Kansas City, MO
Los Angeles, CA
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco/Oakland, CA
Short Hills, NJ
Silicon Valley, CA
St. Louis, MO
+152 global offices
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Employment & Labor
Environmental, Federal Regulatory & Compliance
Hotels & Leisure
Intellectual Property & Technology
International Dispute Resolution
Product Liability & Complex Torts
Restructuring Insolvency & Bankruptcy Litigation
Trusts, Estates & Wealth Preservation
White Collar & Government Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.