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Dec 02, 2015: Dentons Enters Latin America

The World’s Largest Law Firm Considers Combinations
with Colombia's Cárdenas & Cárdenas, and Mexico's López Velarde, Heftye Y Soria

2 December, 2015: The global law firm Dentons today announced that it will be establishing its first physical presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the news that it is considering combining with Colombia’s Cárdenas & Cárdenas, and Mexico’s López Velarde, Heftye y Soria (LVHS). The announcement follows Dentons' recent high-profile pivot to the Pacific Rim, in which the Firm announced a combination with both Australia's Gadens and Singapore's Rodyk, and the formalization of its historic combination in China, which made Dentons the largest law firm in the world. 

"Comprised of vibrant, opportunity-filled economies, the Latin American and Caribbean region is of significant import to our clients," said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman, Dentons. "Entering the region with a presence in two of its top four economies, and with firms that are aligned with the high level of service and quality that our clients expect, is key to delivering on our strategy to have seasoned, local talent, wherever our clients need it."

"In addition to the leading position that each of these elite firms hold in their respective markets, they add substantial experience across our practices and sectors," said Elliott Portnoy, Global Chief Executive Officer, Dentons. "Many of our clients are already doing business in Mexico, Colombia and throughout the region, and a combination with Cárdenas & Cárdenas and LVHS will bring more than a century of experience in the community along with valuable knowledge in key areas." 

Bernardo Cárdenas, Managing Partner of Cárdenas & Cárdenas, said, "Having been a leading law firm in Colombia for the past 100 years, and as one of the first firms to work with foreign investors in the country, we are ready to take the next step. We firmly believe that the globalization of legal services is a reality and that joining such a prominent and large firm as Dentons is the right decision. This combination will provide us with a global reach and expertise that will benefit all of our current and future clients, while maintaining our tradition of high quality service."

Rogelio Lopez-Velarde, Chairman and founding partner of LVHS, said, “After almost 20 years of being the leaders in legal services in Mexico in the energy, infrastructure, telecommunications and other industries, we are convinced that joining with the world’s largest law firm, which so quickly has taken such a prominent position in the legal market worldwide, will significantly enhance our capabilities and allow us to continue providing excellent service in Mexico for international clients, and for Mexican companies wherever the Dentons global footprint reaches."

By combining, Cárdenas & Cárdenas, LVHS and Dentons will be able to capitalize on their reinforcing and complementary strengths in key business sectors and practices including:

  • Arbitration and Litigation. Cárdenas & Cárdenas has an important and experienced Litigation team that advises clients in many domestic arbitrations and claims, as well as in international arbitrations.
  • Banking and Finance. Each firm has well-regarded Banking and Finance practices, serving some of the world’s largest banks as well as the most prominent local financial institutions in each region.
  • Corporate. The Corporate practices at each firm are grounded in the same in and of the community roots in the locations they serve. For Dentons, that includes leading regional and international clients in energy, real estate, banking and finance, infrastructure, health care and manufacturing. Cárdenas & Cárdenas clients include prominent local and international companies in the same areas, while LVHS’s clients include numerous upstream and downstream oil and gas, and power companies, manufacturers of various industries (including automotive), international financial institutions, and prominent telecommunications and media companies.
  • Energy. The proposed combination promises strong synergies, large and small, among the respective and respected Energy practices at each firm, boosting, in the case of Mexico, LVHS’ prominent role as the most recognized practice in a moment of critical and strong growth resulting from Mexico’s energy industry opening to private investment. Cárdenas & Cárdenas' longstanding presence in the energy sector is also widely recognized.
  • Intellectual Property. Cárdenas & Cárdenas is a leader in IP and habeas data, providing a comprehensive suite of services to national and foreign entities, and complementing Dentons' established global practice.
  • Infrastructure. Each firm has substantial experience in Infrastructure and Project Development, creating the potential for a beneficial cross-region flow of skill and knowledge.
  • Mining and Natural Resources. Similar to the energy sector, international mining companies have brought their expertise in metals extraction to every continent and the proposed combination would create a firm that can serve them in every region.
  • Telecommunications. The strengths offered by the Dentons and LVHS teams in the area of telecommunications are truly unmatched, bringing together a global leader with the leader in Mexico, with the ability to assist clients on everything from highly specialized regulatory issues to transactional work.    

Dentons first signaled its serious commitment to the region last year, when the Firm appointed Jorge Alers as its Chief Executive Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean. Alers, who came to Dentons after serving as the General Counsel and General Manager of the Legal Department of the Inter-American Development Bank, has been focused on helping the Firm meet its goal for whole firm combinations in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

The news builds on 10 other significant transformative initiatives announced by Dentons in 2015 including: combinations in China, the United States, Australia, Singapore and Luxembourg; the Firm's establishment of its Johannesburg office in Africa, where it is the first global law firm to achieve Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment status; the hire of 50 lawyers in Budapest; the launch of a Milan office last month; and the creation of its innovation platform, NextLaw Labs, which is focused on developing, deploying, and investing in new technologies and processes to transform the practice of law around the world.

For further information and details regarding the combination, visit

About Dentons

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.  

About Cárdenas & Cárdenas

Cárdenas & Cárdenas Abogados has worked with domestic and international clients, under schemes of high ethical commitment, seriousness and professionalism. We have a prominent group of lawyers and advisors focused on responding efficiently to requests from our clients and providing peak performance and quality in the legal professional services market.

The firm has assisted a large number of local and international companies doing business in Colombia, and has successfully participated in several international transactions representing Colombian clients, helping its clients in achieving their goals in Colombia.

About López Velarde, Heftye y Soria (LVHS)

López Velarde, Heftye y Soria (LVHS) is focused on ensuring the highest quality legal representation for its clients. Our Firm has a number of attorneys focused on highly specialized areas able to adequately address the complexity of major infrastructure projects, financing, strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions from the regulatory and business point of view. The firm´s strong recognition in the Mexican market includes representation of a broad array of international clients and domestic companies in key, highly specialized sectors where the firm is recognized as the market leader, including energy, infrastructure, and telecommunications.