While losing its appeal of a $32 million Ohio malpractice verdict in April, Dentons’ global chair Joe Andrew has vowed to fight on, no matter the cost. At the heart of this fight, said Andrew, was not just vindication for his firm’s conflicts procedures, but also the fate of the legal services industry itself.

Joseph Andrew, with Dentons.

Andrew insists his existential claim for law firms is no hyperbole. Dentons’ loss, on appeal in an Ohio court, has “dire” ramifications for all “quality” law firms, and firms operating in smaller markets, he said in an interview with The American Lawyer. If the decision stands—a decision Dentons has asked the court to review—how law firms manage conflicts of interest, and client relationships generally, could become extremely difficult and adverse to clients themselves, Andrew claims.