UK Law Firm Norton Rose Seals Second Canadian Merger
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The United Kingdom based law firm, Norton Rose, has made a second move towards expanding its practice. This week the firm announced its second deal that will expand the firms reach and protect its interests. This merger, which is the second in as many years, is a joining with a Canadian-based firm Macleod Dixon.
Macleod Dixon is a firm that is well known for its work as an energy and resources-focused practice.

The move was designed to help Norton Rose both to grow is current mining and energy business and to allow it to expand into new areas of the globe. Those areas targeted for expansion by this strategic merger will include both South America and Central Asia.


When the merger is completed the firm of Norton Rose will become a group with a combined turnover of more than $1.25 billion. The merger, which is not set to be completed until January of 2012, will also create a legal powerhouse. The new combined firm is expected to become one of the world’s top five top international legal practices by headcount. The estimated headcount of the firm will be roughly
2,900 lawyers, who will span 43 different offices worldwide. Of those 2900 lawyers more than 200 will specialize in energy law and about 200 will specialize in mining law. Lawyers specifically added to the firm will come from areas such as Colombia, Venezuela and Kazakhstan. Before the merger Norton Rose was able to boast a staff of about 2600 lawyers.

Several members of the management staff at Macleod Dixon will be working closely with the management of Norton Rose after the merger is completed. John Coleman, currently of Macleod Dixon, will stay at the office as the managing partner of Norton Rose Canada. Bill Tuer, currently a managing partner of Macleod Dixon, will join Norton Rose Group as a member of its executive committee.

While being a firm of this size is an impressive achievement it will still leave Norton Rose a bit short of joining the “magic circle” of top London law firms but they hope to be able to join that group after making a successful merger with an American law firm. At the current moment no specific firms have been mentioned as the target for the next merger, though the company hopes to join with one in the next two to five years. A great deal will depend on what firms are looking to merge, and the cultural fit of the organizations in question.

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“Ultimately, we have to be there, for sure. It’s an imperative but it’s not time critical,” Chief Executive Peter Martyr told a reporter from Reuters. “There will be a time for us to do it with a firm or firms that suit, or see the world the way we see it.”

For now any talks about which the company may choose to merge with next are all speculation. Norton Rose currently has offices in: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Bahrain, Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Brussels, Calgary, Canberra, Cape Town, Dubai, Durban, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, Moscow, Munich, Ottawa, Paris, Perth, Piraeus, Prague, Québec, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw and from associate offices in Dar es Salaam, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta.


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