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Dentons has agreed a merger with Dutch firm Boekel de Nerée, based in Amsterdam.
The acquisition gives Dentons its 26th office in Europe and its first base in the Netherlands. It has also opened two offices in Italy and one in Luxembourg in the last 18 months, and opened its third German office in Munich last year.
Boekel is a full-service firm with 70 lawyers including 16 partners, focusing on real estate, corporate and litigation.
The firm dropped off The Lawyer’s European 100 rankings last year due to a drop in turnover. This followed a reorganisation of its business structure in 2015, making it a prime target for an international merger.
Dentons Europe CEO Tomasz Dabrowski told The Lawyer he “identified the Netherlands some time ago as a key part of Dentons’ growth strategy in Europe” adding it was the “remaining priority” after the Italy and Luxembourg openings.
“The Dutch economy and legal system is important for existing clients in the banking, insurance and transportation sectors and being present in the Netherlands will allow us to expand those existing relationships and enter new ones,” he added.
The combined firm will operate as Dentons Boekel in the Netherlands when the merger goes live in April.
Boekel managing partner Wendela Raas said the tie-up would allow the local firm to grow its M&A and banking and finance teams, and would add to Dentons’ global real estate practice.
In 2014 Boekel’s revenue was €29m. The firm opened an office in London – its first venture outside the Netherlands – in 2010, with then board member and head of M&A Ferdinand Mason leading the office, which practices solely Dutch law.
Mason left the firm just two years later to launch Jones Day’s first Amsterdam office, working out of both Amsterdam and London.
Dentons UKMEA posted a 7.7 per cent increase in turnover to £169m in 2015/16, up from £157m the year before, while the member with highest entitlement to profits rose to £1.3m.
The financial results, which cover Dentons’ operations in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, London, Milton Keynes, Muscat, Riyadh, Tashkent and Watford, show that net profit also increased by 12.2 per cent from £41.6m to £46.7m in 2015/16.
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