Nearly five years have passed since Dentons and the Chinese firm Dacheng Law Offices announced they planned to merge — a move that would pave the way for Dentons to spread its brand across the globe and result in the world’s largest law firm.

But in the past five years, the integration of the two firms in China has been challenging, if not daunting. This was not unexpected: After the combination of Dentons and Dacheng went live in late 2015, the two firms agreed to a three-year transition period to work on integrating Dacheng’s then-43 mainland China offices with the rest of the firm’s offices, which at the time were mostly in the West and operated on different rate and compensation systems.

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