Dentons poised to enter Central America through local merger

Dentons is set to merge with Pan-Central American law firm Muñoz Global, in a deal that would make it the second international firm in Central America.

Arias & Muñoz founders José Antonio Muñoz and Pedro Muñoz today confirmed their plans to break away from their firm to launch Muñoz Global and merge with Dentons, subject to a partner vote.

The new firm would have the Costa Rican offices of Arias & Muñoz, alongside additional offices in Panama and Nicaragua.

The combination with the newly established law firm Muñoz Global would give Dentons offices in three out of seven Central American countries –  Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua. 

The only other global firm with an international presence in Central America is Littler Mendelson, which has offices in Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Honduras.

The proposed combination follows the launch of Dentons López Velarde in Mexico and Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas in Colombia earlier this year.

It marks the next step in Dentons’ strategy to grow its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Elliott Portnoy, Dentons global CEO said: “Since our launch in Mexico and Colombia earlier this year, cross-border work into and out of the region has grown rapidly, demonstrating that clients see a great advantage to being served by a global firm that can offer the best locally informed legal counsel and business advice anywhere they operate.

“Given the interconnectedness of the economies of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, we see real opportunities to serve clients further through more intra-region work as well.”

In Europe, Dentons opened its third German office in Munich with the hire of three partners from Norton Rose Fulbright, and two offices in Italy, first in Milan and then in Rome following a two-year strategic plan to build a full-service firm in the country.

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