Nextlaw Global Referral Network to connect clients with the top talent in the world, and connect members with client opportunities everywhere. Goal is to be largest referral network in the world.

May 9, 2016—Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, today announced that it has created the only free law firm referral network. Named "Nextlaw Global Referral Network," it is based on a new technology platform that will allow member law firms to easily connect and track referrals.

Nextlaw Global Referral Network avoids the problems of existing referral networks by not charging a fee for membership and by not being territorially exclusive. With free membership, the ability to have multiple firms with differing strengths in any city, and a technology platform that promotes reciprocal repeat referrals, Nextlaw Network is committed to connecting clients with the top talent around the world, and connecting high-quality firms with opportunities everywhere.

Free vs. pay-to-play

“The challenge for clients with today’s referral networks is that they are ‘pay-to-play’—you do not get the right firm for the client’s particular need, just the firm willing to pay to be part of the referral network,” explained Joe Andrew, Dentons Global Chairman. “Nextlaw Global Referral Network is different because it is free, so clients will get the best lawyers for their need, without exception.”

Andrew continued, "The advantages to member firms are equally clear. Globalization has presented many firms with a false choice: expand or die, leading some to fall into the generalist trap, exaggerating their capabilities and what they can deliver for their clients. While growth is part of our strategy, it may not be for all. Nextlaw Global Referral Network allows firms to continue to focus on what they do best, get new business because of that expertise, and grow existing business through a direct line to the largest pool of legal talent in the world—all without paying anything."  

Connecting high-quality talent to client challenges everywhere

“Even as the largest law firm in the world, with more than 7,400 lawyers, we cannot always have the exact lawyer with the specific expertise in every conceivable geographic location a client may need him or her,” said Dentons Global Chief Executive Officer Elliott Portnoy.

“Through this quality-based network," said Portnoy, "clients—and referring firms, including Dentons—have the assurance that member firms have been vetted by practicing lawyers and former general counsel.”

Nextlaw Global Referral Network leadership and facts

Dentons named Jeff Modisett to be the Chief Executive Officer of Nextlaw Global Referral Network.

Modisett, a lawyer and technology entrepreneur, said, “Through this network, we offer clients something that no one else in the world can provide: the ability to stay with their trusted law firm while accessing expertise and experience in any geographic area, any legal practice area, and any industrial or professional sector, all for free.”


“Firms that are members of Nextlaw Global Referral Network are more likely to receive reciprocal referrals than from any other referral network,” Modisett explained, “because the technology allows all members to easily and transparently keep track of referrals and uses an algorithm that promotes reciprocal repeat referrals.”

While Nextlaw Global Referral Network is open to any law firm that meets its quality standards, it focuses its membership primarily on small to mid-sized law firms, and firms of any size that are in one location, country or region, or that specialize in one practice area or industry sector. In other words, Nextlaw Global Referral Network focuses on approximately 90 percent of the legal market.

Nextlaw Global Referral Network's goal is to quickly grow the network into the largest offering of quality legal talent in the world. Last year alone, Dentons referred work to just under 1,000 law firms that its partners have vetted and believe have the talent to best meet client needs in their region or their specialty. The Firm also received more than 500 inbound referrals. Including these firms alone would make Nextlaw the world's largest referral network. In addition, any firm in the world may apply to be considered for membership. Applicants are vetted by a panel consisting of partners of Dentons, partners of other member firms, and other general counsel, who evaluate each applicant based on a number of criteria, including client feedback, independent third-party quality rankings, awards and accolades, and unique practice and/or sector expertise.

The network is expected to launch in mid-2016, with Dentons lawyers using the platform immediately. Invitations to those firms with which Dentons already has an existing relationship go out today, and the website is up and operating for any law firms to review and apply to be part of this unique global referral network.

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 Nextlaw Global Referral Network

Nextlaw Global Referral Network is a legal referral network unlike any other, created in partnership with Dentons, the world's largest law firm. Developed to connect clients with the top legal talent in the world, it provides unprecedented business opportunities to its members—with no pay-to-play entry—allowing quality law firms, regardless of size, to be recognized as such at no cost.