McKenna Partner Says Merger Vote Scheduled for Tuesday

, Daily Report

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McKenna Long & Aldridge's partnership will vote Tuesday on a potential combination with global megafirm Dentons. The vote will be by confidential ballot, according to a McKenna partner in Washington, who said the goal seems to be to obtain a decision before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The two firms jointly announced on Oct. 29 that their respective boards had approved a combination and that they were putting it before the firms' partnerships for a vote, after confirming a month earlier that they were in discussions.

The Oct. 29 announcement said voting would be completed by Nov. 14, but the voting at McKenna was postponed on Nov. 8 because some partners wanted more information, the Daily Report has previously reported.

"People are ready to vote," the partner said. "It was a little bit contentious for a bit, but that has died down."

"We've been in information overload," the partner added, saying that McKenna's management has been providing the partnership information on a daily basis about the potential combination with Dentons. "Anybody with a question or who didn't know something has probably gotten more information than they could imagine by now."

When contacted for comment, a McKenna spokeswoman referred to the firm's previous statement, which said its partners "continue to proceed in our analysis of the opportunity to combine with Dentons US" and that "it is premature to share information just yet." A Dentons spokeswoman also referred to the firm's previous comment, which said it would be "premature to share further information until all partnership entities of both firms have concluded their respective processes."

Two-thirds of McKenna's partners must approve the tie-up with Dentons. The firm had 97 equity partners in 2012, according to the Am Law 100 survey.

The combination would create one of the largest firms in the world, with about 3,175 lawyers and professionals. Dentons has about 2,600 lawyers and professionals in more than 50 countries and McKenna has about 575 in 13 U.S. offices plus outposts in Brussels and Seoul.

Dentons is structured as a Swiss ­verein whose regional members are separate legal entities. The megafirm was created in March from a three-way combination between international firms SNR Denton and Salans with Canadian firm Fraser Milner & Casgrain.

SNR Denton was itself the product of a 2010 merger between Chicago's Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and London's Denton Wilde Sapte.

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