Dentons has announced its first major restructure for its UKMEA LLP after one year of its merger with Salans and Fraser Milner Casgrain in March, 2013. The unconventional merger based on the Swiss Verein structure was an experiment that, so far, has been able to prove itself successfully. Following the massive tripartite merger, the firm was divided into four separate LLPs for Canada, the US, UKMEA (UK, Middle East, and Africa) and Europe. Each of the four LLPs runs on a different financial calendar. The global board and management committee of the merged firm is made up of regional boards and regional CEOs.
With the first stage of consolidation over, Dentons is now moving into the next phase of organizational restructure bringing its practice and sector groups in the UKMEA LLP under five new divisions. The restructuring will align several previously independent practice groups under bigger departments.
The five new overarching divisions in Dentons are banking; corporate; energy; infrastructure, projects and real estate; litigation; and the Middle East. The restructuring will push all practice groups and areas of the firm under the new vertically aligned structure streamlining management lines.
Under the new structure, Jeremy Cohen the firm's new corporate chief will continue on the board, as will litigator Michael Kerr, who is the Middle East head. Cohen used to lead the corporate group for SNR Denton and is one of the three corporate board members added to the board following the tripartite merger with Fraser Milner Casgrain and Salans. Kerr came on the board following the 2010 merger between Denton Wilde Sapte and US firm S;onneschein Nath & Rosenthal.
The corporate division under the new structure will oversee the UK corporate, TMT, pensions, employment, tax and competition practice groups. The current corporate practice head Richard Barham, who previously managed the tax and competition practice groups as independent practice groups, will now report to Cohen.
Current litigation head Liz Tout will remain the head of the litigation practice group and will also head the litigation division. She will also assume charge of the UK arbitration, commercial and financial litigation and insolvency litigation practice groups.
Former SNR Denton partner Paul Holland will remain head of the banking group, which will report to the banking division. Holland, currently does not have a seat on the merged firm's board. The energy and infrastructure division will be headed by Matthew Hanslip-Ward, former co-head of the London energy, infrastructure and project finance groups.