Dentons, the world's largest law firm, today announced that in early 2017 it will launch Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network, a worldwide network of public affairs firms. Dentons will begin inviting firms to join the network this week.
The new network will draw its membership from companies and organizations of all sizes that help clients shape government policy or public opinion through lobbying, public relations, advertising, grassroots organizing, grass-tops outreach, survey research and digital and social media.
“Dentons serves our clients in the court of public opinion as well as the court of law,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman of Dentons. “In today’s media-centric, cable and digital world, this can often mean integrating cross-functional services such as legal representation and public affairs capabilities. By building a public affairs network we expand our already strong public affairs offering to serve our clients in a one-stop-shop way across the globe.”
“In today’s changing and complex global environment, quantity is a tool for quality,” Andrew added. “No matter how large a law firm or a public affairs firm is, no single firm can provide the best expertise everywhere in the world. For us to serve our clients, we need knowledgeable professionals who understand the regulatory, business and economic cultures of their respective regions. This is why we have created both Nextlaw Global Referral Network and, now, Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network. Our goal is to connect clients to the highest quality lawyers and public affairs talent around the world.”
“This network will not only help our clients on a worldwide basis, it also represents an enormous business opportunity for member firms by connecting them to one another and to new clients in ways that were not possible before,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global Chief Executive Officer of Dentons. “The public affairs profession contains about 20 large global and regional firms, which exert tremendous influence in the industry. There are also thousands of smaller firms that are truly in and of their communities. Now, we can connect these firms easily and efficiently for the benefit of clients. Our network represents the best of both worlds. We’re creating an environment in which clients are ensured they’ll receive the best service available everywhere in the world.”
The network will leverage the technology designed and built in support of Dentons’ Nextlaw Global Referral Network, which debuted on October 5 and now counts more than 300 law firms as members. Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network’s technology platform will enable members to research the capabilities of other members easily, as well as featuring peer reviews. The network will charge no fees for public affairs firms that become members. It will allow for multiple members in a single market, with the intention of becoming the largest, most versatile network of its kind in the world.
“For many businesses, public affairs is a multi-faceted function critical to their success,” said Paul Hatch, Chief Executive Officer of Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network. “Whether it's regulatory planning for a post-Brexit Europe, understanding the new administration's policy proposals in the United States or preparing for trade initiatives from Canada or China, Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network will help clients navigate any complex public policy issue.”
Hatch added, “We are in the process of inviting the best public affairs firms in the world to join the network, and the response has been very positive.”
The quality of members will be evaluated based on a number of criteria, including client feedback, independent third-party quality rankings, awards and accolades, recommendations by other members and unique practice or sector expertise. The network exists to ensure that its members are able to better serve their clients through trusted relationships with other network members.
Dentons plans to launch Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network in the first half of 2017.