It's the first time the firm has had a presence in South America, and the merger will push the firm into one of the world's five largest by headcount, giving it 2900 lawyers across 43 offices. As a result of the merger, Norton Rose Group will add 60 lawyers in Latin America, based in Caracas in Venezuela and Bogotá in Colombia, a 13 lawyer office in Almaty in Kazakhstan, as well as a team of lawyers in Moscow.
Norton Rose's Canadian operations, currently working under the name Norton Rose OR, will see their name change to Norton Rose Canada after the merger takes place in January 2012. The firm will have close to 700 lawyers in Canada.
The announcements follows a vote over the weekend that produced an "overwhelming" result in favour of the deal, global chief executive Peter Martyr told The Lawyer.
“This is another very exciting move for the Group and constitutes a significant step towards realising our ambition of becoming one of the world's leading providers of legal services. This merger delivers real strength in energy and mining in Canada, as well as in emerging markets such as Latin America and Central Asia," Martyr said.
John Coleman, managing partner, Norton Rose OR LLP, said the merger is about creating a new Canadian "powerhouse".
"I believe this changes the legal landscape in Canada. We will have unmatched strength and reach in the mining and energy business in Calgary, and throughout the world including Latin America," he said.
The merger will increase Norton Rose Group’s resources across its six key industry sectors and in particular in its energy and infrastructure, mining and commodities practices. The Group will have more than 200 energy lawyers and more than 200 mining lawyers worldwide.
Don Boyd, managing partner Norton Rose Australia and group deputy chief executive, said: “Clients will now have access to globally acknowledged experts in mining, energy, oil and gas, not only in Australia but across Canada, Latin America, Central Asia and the world. This is where our clients are doing business, which is why we’re leading the way into these markets.”
John Coleman will continue as the Managing Partner of Norton Rose Canada. Bill Tuer, the Managing Partner of Macleod Dixon, will join the Executive Committee of Norton Rose Group.