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Norton Rose to reach five continents

The sun may soon never set on the Norton Rose Group following an announcement today (16 November) that Canadian firm Ogilvy Renault and South African firm Deneys Reitz will join the group from 1…

The sun may soon never set on the Norton Rose Group following an announcement today (16 November) that Canadian firm Ogilvy Renault and South African firm Deneys Reitz will join the group from 1 June 2011.

The additions will see the firm boast more than 2500 lawyers and 750 partners globally across 38 offices. Expected to declare a turnover of US$1 billion plus, the enlarged group will also become one of the globe's largest legal practices.

And the firm is not ready to stop there. Don Boyd, group deputy chief executive for Norton Rose Group, told Lawyers Weekly this morning that the firm is also interested in expanding into the United States and South America - particularly Brazil - in a bid to build on its strategy of targeting energy and resource rich regions.

"We're not talking to anyone in particular," said Boyd when questioned if the group has targeted any further law firms. "We obviously in the course of our work meet a whole lot of people but we're not involved in any direct talks at this time."

Boyd added that Norton Rose's merge with Deacons, which took effect on 1 January this year, also provided a valuable success story on just how the group could join with two additional law firms on separate continents.

"I made a lot of presentations and we were able to show what happens, rather then guess what happens," he said.

In a statement released overnight, Boyd said that the two new additions to the Norton Rose Group will assist the firm in servicing the acquisitions and deal requirements of major corporations around the world.

"Emerging countries want resources and plenty of them," he said.

"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."

Ogilvy Renault is a fully bilingual law firm (English and French) with around 1,191 lawyers and staff across offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Quebec and London. It represented ALCAN in its acquisition by Rio Tinto - the largest all-case takeover in Canadian history.

Deneys Reitz boasts 211 lawyers and 90 partners with strengths in financial services, M&A, mining and energy.

Ogilvy Renault managing partner John Coleman will join the Group's executive committee following the move, alongside Deneys Reitz deputy chairman, Rob Otty.

Angela Priestley

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