find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Fresh reports float cause of rumoured merger breakdown

Fresh reports float cause of rumoured merger breakdown

Fresh reports about the would-be union between Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York have sparked weak speculation that partners in the Melbourne office of one of the firms nipped the idea in the bud.

In November last year, the rumour mill went into overdrive when the long-time speculation of a possible Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York merger was fuelled by the Australian media.

This week the subject received renewed attention, with reports published by The Lawyer claiming that merger negotiations between the two major firms broke down after NRF board members split over the wisdom of the move.

Lawyers Weekly understands that the scuttled merger hopes cannot be attributed to division on the NRF board.

According to a source, the suggestion that partners in NRF's Melbourne office rallied against the proposal are also incorrect, contrary to the latest report.

“Many Melbourne partners [voiced] their opposition to the union,” The Lawyer said.

In addition to its Melbourne office, NRF also has offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. 

The hype surrounding what was one of the Australian legal market’s most talked about would-be mergers of 2016 garnered particular interest from observers of the banking and finance space.

It is believed NRF’s interest in HDY was focused largely on the firm’s desire to build out its restructuring and insolvency group within that practice area.

Commenting on the status of NRF’s banking and finance group, a firm spokesperson said the practice has been “focused on renewal and growth” within its partner ranks and across all practice areas.

The NRF spokesperson also pointed to the recent recognition of two of the firm’s banking and finance partners, based in Sydney, who are recognised in the Chambers global rankings.

“Our successful national banking and finance practice has been very busy in the last year and we continue to look for growth opportunities,” the NRF spokesperson said.

“We have been focused on renewal and growth in our partnership, and were pleased to welcome eight lateral partners and promote nine new partners in 2016 across several offices.

“One of the recent promotions in banking and finance, James Morris, has just been ranked by Chambers in Capital Markets: Debt, alongside our other leading practitioners including our Australian head of banking and finance, Dr Nuncio D’Angelo,” the spokesperson said.  

NRF attained a band three firm ranking for banking & finance in the latest Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide, alongside King & Wood Mallesons, Herbert Smith Freehills and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters topped Chambers’ firm ranking for this category with band one acclaim, followed by band two firms Ashurst, Baker McKenzie and White & Case LLP. Speculation of the NRF-HDY union died down by late November last year, when both firms went on the record to indicate no plans to merge were underway. Both NRF and HDY did state, however, that new opportunities to expand were always being considered.

In November a representative from NRF said:

There is often market speculation about mergers in the global and Australian context. We, like many firms, are subject to such speculation from time to time. As you would expect, we often talk to people and firms in jurisdictions around the world, about all sorts of possibilities.

“We are currently focused on growth and building out our practice right across the Asia-Pacific region (most recently in Papua New Guinea) and elsewhere, and are constantly evaluating different ways of doing this.”

Henry Davis York took a more reserved stance, with a spokesperson indicating the firm had no intention to merge.  

Henry Davis York currently has no plans to undertake a merger, the spokesperson told Lawyers Weekly.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Fresh reports float cause of rumoured merger breakdown
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...