NORTON Rose has absorbed two major law firms, giving the already mega firm more than 2600 lawyers in 39 offices globally.
The expanded Norton Rose Group now includes Canada's Ogilvy Renault and South Africa's Deneys Reitz.
Ogilvy Renault this week becomes Norton Rose OR LLP and Deneys Reitz becomes Norton Rose South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc).
With more than 2,600 lawyers, including 795 partners, the enlarged Norton Rose Group is a top 10 international legal practice by number of lawyers, with 39 offices throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, Canada, Africa and the Middle East, the firm said this week.
The move sees Norton Rose add another sector to its practice, with a new pharmaceuticals and life sciences group, headed by Toronto-based partner Patrick Kierans. The firm currently focuses on financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; and technology and innovation.
The expansion also opens up access to Canada and South Africa, which are both increasingly influential economies for the firm's clients, it said this week.
"There are significant business synergies between Canada, South Africa and the rest of Norton Rose Group in the areas of mining and natural resources, infrastructure, energy, financial institutions and insurance.
Integrating these geographies and industry strengths with the Group’s existing capability in Europe, the Middle East and particularly Asia Pacific offers compelling opportunities for clients," the firm said in a statement.
The firm announced the merger less than a year after it formalised its tie-up with Australian law firm Deacons, now Norton Rose Australia.
Don Boyd, group deputy chief executive of the Norton Rose Group, who remains in his current role with the change, said emerging countries want resources "and plenty of them".
"There are only a few nations in the world that can deliver resources on the scale required by Asian and particularly Chinese companies alone which puts resource rich nations like Australia, Africa and Canada in powerful positions and which influence how legal services are going to be delivered.
Boyd said Australian companies are already very active in both Canada and South Africa and will continue to be so. "The addition of full service offerings in these countries significantly enhances Norton Rose's ability to provide real value adding services across multi jurisdictions," he said.
Ogilvy Renault managing partner John Coleman, based in Montréal, and Deneys Reitz deputy chairman Rob Otty join the Norton Rose executive committee. Otty, based in Johannesburg, is Managing Director of Norton Rose South Africa. Peter Martyr will continue as chief executive and Stephen Parish will remain group chairman.
Martyr said: "Our actions as an industry forerunner, particularly in Australia and Canada, and our unmatched market position in Africa, have propelled the enlarged Group into the world’s top ten largest international legal practices and open new career opportunities for all our people."