The big news from London is that Norton Rose is taking over Deneys Reitz, one of South Africa’s largest firms – and African firm of the year in 2006 – and the Canadian firm Ogilvy Renault. The expanded firm will fly under the Norton Rose flag.
The two firms will formally join the Norton Rose Group on 1 June 2011. This will raise the firm’s head count to over 2,500 lawyers spread over 38 offices.
Norton Rose Chief Executive Peter Martyr commented
This is a very exciting move…Canada and South Africa are increasingly influential economies for our clients in the energy and natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial institutions sectors.
It’s an aggressive and gutsy move given the weakness of sterling and the strength of the Canadian dollar and the Rand.
According to The Lawyer, the arrangements with both firms will mirror last year’s Deacons deal with the Australian firm with all three operating separate profit pools. Which means this is more about a brand than about money.
Here is the Press Release:
Ogilvy Renault and Deneys Reitz to join Norton Rose Group
15 November 2010
Creating a top 10 global legal practice
International legal practice Norton Rose Group today announced that leading Canadian law firm Ogilvy Renault and leading South African law firm Deneys Reitz will join Norton Rose Group on 1 June 2011.
Together the enlarged Group will be a top 10 global legal practice by number of lawyers with more than 2500 lawyers in 38 offices worldwide.
Peter Martyr, Group Chief Executive, Norton Rose Group, commented:
“This is a very exciting move for the Group and constitutes a significant step towards realising the Group’s global ambition of becoming one of the world’s leading providers of legal services, with offices in the world’s principal business and financial centres.”
“Canada and South Africa are increasingly influential economies for our clients in the energy and natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial institutions sectors. Ogilvy Renault and Deneys Reitz give the Group increased strength and depth of resource and expertise in these sectors. We are seeing a considerable increase in the amount of business flowing between Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia; the enlarged Group will be ideally positioned to target this business growth and to provide our clients with the highest quality of legal services connecting these regions.”
John Coleman, Managing Partner of Ogilvy Renault, commented:
“As our Canadian clients become increasingly successful on the international stage, we need to be able to support their international growth. Norton Rose Group is a global leader, with a highly compatible business focus and client service ethic. Equally importantly, our firms have a similar culture and values. As soon as the initial discussions were underway it became clear that we shared a common global vision particularly as it relates to emerging markets such as Asia Pacific. We have strong synergies with the Group, including practice areas, industry sectors and geographic expansion. This is a tremendous development for the firm and our clients.”
Rob Otty, Deputy Chairman of Deneys Reitz, commented:
“The combination of our years of experience in Africa and Norton Rose Group’s increasing involvement in African business will provide the Group with a springboard to become the premier legal practice in Africa. The global markets are increasingly interested in Africa, which is one of the world’s most rapidly growing economic regions. As part of Norton Rose Group, we expect to be at the forefront of developing Africa’s business ties with the rest of the world and in particular with Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas.”
The Managing Partner of Ogilvy Renault, John Coleman, and the Deputy Chairman of Deneys Reitz, Rob Otty, will join the Group’s Executive Committee.
The two new additions to the Group follow the inclusion of Norton Rose Australia on 1 January 2010.