Mega law firm Dentons has poached another FTI crisis communications pro as it looks to create a one-stop shop for clients

  • Dentons, one of the largest law firms, has hired two communications professionals to meet clients' broadening needs.
  • Business Insider has confirmed that Adam Cubbage, previously a managing director at FTI Consulting, joined Dentons in September.
  • The hires come as many law firms are providing more holistic business services to clients.
  • Do you have information on how law firms are expanding their services? Get in touch with the reporters Jack Newsham at [email protected] or via Signal at 314-971-1627 and Samantha Stokes at [email protected] or via Signal at 646-389-7866.
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Dentons, one of the world's largest law firms, has been busy hiring public-relations pros. 

Business Insider has confirmed that Adam Cubbage, previously a managing director at FTI Consulting, joined Dentons in September.

PRWeek had reported in June that Deborah Scott, another FTI alum, would also jump ship to Dentons as the law firm looks to set up a strategic communications division. She was hired at the law firm by FTI veteran Ed Reilly, PRWeek reported. Reilly joined Dentons in January 2019, according to his LinkedIn page. 

Scott joined the firm as "special advisor," according to her LinkedIn page. 

Cubbage's past clients include Monsanto, which faced thousands of lawsuits related to allegations that its Round-Up weedkiller caused cancer that has continued since the company's acquisition by Bayer. Bayer has agreed to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle lawsuits and is currently seeking to reverse jury verdicts, although its request for an appeal was overturned last week by California court, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Dentons declined to make Scott and Cubbage available for an interview because the firm does not usually comment on personnel hires. The firm did not respond to a request for comment on the PRWeek report on strategic communications division plans.

A spokesperson told Business Insider that the duo's expertise was in "event-driven consulting" and that the hires will help the firm think more broadly about clients' increasing and changing needs.

Read more: How Dentons, the world's largest law firm, is using tech to boost its pro-bono caseload by nearly 40%

Scott is mentioned in a press release as having led FTI's team that worked for healthcare company Mediclinic, and she's listed as a contact in recent announcements by Smiths Group, a UK engineering and manufacturing conglomerate. They had both been at FTI since 2014, per their LinkedIn profiles.

Cubbage was previously an associate at the law firm Shearman & Sterling, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The hires come as many law firms are expanding their offerings, stepping on the turf of professional service firms and other business-service providers. Many such professionals bill by the hour and have comparable fee structures.

FTI Consulting itself has a diverse set of business lines in addition to strategic communications; including forensic and litigation consulting, corporate finance and restructuring, and economic consulting. 

For example, FTI is regularly retained to consult on bankruptcies, and its consultants in one recent case were billed out at $350 to $985 an hour, depending on their seniority. 

Read more: Many public relations pros at giant brands like Coke started out at agencies. These industry leaders and top recruiters shared tips on how to make the switch.

Dentons, meanwhile, has been expanding beyond traditional legal services for years.

In 2015, the firm launched its Nextlaw Labs subsidiary, which makes venture investments in legaltech startups and operates legal and public-relations referral networks and an in-house law department consultancy. In 2019, they launched a unit called Dentons Risk Consulting, but its principals say on their LinkedIn profiles that they left the firm in May.

Dentons did not respond to requests for comment about the Risk Consulting unit or whether it was still operational after the employees running it left the firm.

And several other firms have hired financial analysts, cybersecurity professionals, and other nonlawyers to assist their clients and to offer consulting services. Manatt Phelps & Phillips is known for counseling clients in the healthcare industry and beyond and Carlton Fields created a blockchain-consulting subsidiary called SQrBlock Solutions.

Read more: Big Law is going through a huge transformation: here's the latest news on pay, hiring, and career prospects

While law firms are pushing into the professional services arena, tax and accounting-focused firms are pushing back. Although ownership rules currently prevent non-lawyers from owning law firms — rules that are starting to change in some states, beginning with Arizona next year — the Big 4 offers some legal services to clients, mostly with a focus on digital and automated innovation.

For example, Deloitte Legal employs 2,500 professionals to offer legal advisory, legal management consulting, and legal managed services to clients, while KPMG's Global Legal Services describes its role as "strategic advisor" to in-house counsel.

Learn more about the financial services industry.

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