Dacheng, one of the biggest law firms in the People’s Republic of China, is set to merge with two major American law firms, Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge, making it the largest law firm in the world.
The merger will reportedly give Chinese companies that Dacheng represents — including major Chinese state-owned firms — access to advice from attorneys and policy professionals in the United States employed by Dentons and McKenna Long — and vice versa.
McKenna Long and Dentons also engage in lobbying, giving Dacheng’s clients a new avenue for understanding and influencing the American system.
The arrangement will bring together a unique arrangement of policy professionals all under the same roof. The new mega-firm will employ, via Dentons: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Democratic National Committee Chair Joe Andrew, and former Rep. Van Hilleary, R-Tenn., among others. McKenna Long’s political roster includes: former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, former Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., and former Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo. Many of the individuals, like Hart, do not have a law degree or practice law, but work in the “government affairs” departments of the two firms, a catch-all phrase to describe lobbying-related business.
McKenna Long, already touting the size of “what its merged government affairs team looks like,” emailed the Atlanta Constitution-Journal to boast that the new team will not only include Howard Dean, but also four former U.S. congressmen, four former state attorneys general, and an array of other high-level former government officials.
“The personal relationships they have with the C.E.O.s of private companies and big, state-owned enterprises is obviously something that creates a tremendous opportunity for us, with all that work that is now coming out into the West,” Joe Andrew told The New York Times, celebrating the merger with Dacheng.
Gingrich announced his intention to join the new firm, which will be known as Dacheng Dentons, in a press release posted on Wednesday. “The Firm is committed to doing something unique, challenging the traditional and innovating in the legal profession with an emphasis on knowing and understanding communities around the world for the benefit of clients,” said Gingrich, who is joining the firm under its lobbying division.
(This post is from our new blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty