Law Firm Merger Mania

I’m sure most Canadians law firm denizens have heard about some of the latest firm merger news, but I thought it might be good to catch up with a few links to the news stories.

Macleod Dixon & Norton Rose

Probably the biggest news in Canada for some months now is Norton Rose. You may recall they merged in June with Ogilvy Renault to create Norton Rose OR in Canada. They now have plans to merge with 250 lawyer Canadian firm Macleod Dixon and will be rebranding the newly expanded Canadian arm as Norton Rose Canada. From the press release:

Macleod Dixon and Norton Rose OR announced today they will be joining forces as of January 1, 2012. The enlarged practice will become Norton Rose Canada, creating a world–leading practice in energy and mining law. With close to 700 lawyers based in Calgary, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Québec, Caracas and Bogotá, Norton Rose Canada will be ranked among the top 3 Canadian legal practices.

This merger will significantly increase Norton Rose Canada’s resources across its six key industry sectors in Canada and in particular in the energy and infrastructure and mining and commodities sectors. Norton Rose Canada will be among a small number of Canadian firms with a leading practice in each of the three main markets in Canada (Calgary, Toronto and Montréal).

For Macleod Dixon’s part, they had reportedly been looking to expand globally. And Norton Rose has been expanding on an international basis (not just in Canada).

Related articles:

Nicholl Paskel-Mede LLP and Clyde & Co.

Macleod Dixon’s news has been overshadowing the news of Canadian boutique insurance law firm Nicholl Paskell-Mede LLP merging with U.K.-based international firm Clyde & Co.on September 1st. According to the Clyde & Co. press release:

Clyde & Co partner and board member James Burns said: “We are delighted to welcome our new Canadian partners and staff to the firm. The lawyers in our new Canadian offices are amongst the best in their fields, with existing work for Lloyd’s of London syndicates as well as the Canadian and international insurance markets. Our expansion into Canada is consistent with our strategy of providing a full-service to our clients in our core sectors in key strategic locations. With its strong economy and significant insurance market, Canada was an obvious choice.”

Like Norton Rose, Clyde & Co. appears to be on the road to additional expansion. See their press release The merged firm of Clyde & Co and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert which indicates they will be growing to 1300 lawyers worldwide as of November 1, 2011.

Related articles:

Law Firm Mergers on the Rise

Reports are that law firm mergers are generally on the rise, at least in the U.S.. If you are looking to track these, I highly recommend following large firms and legal publications on Twitter as often the announcements are made on firm websites and Twitter streams before the news gets written up in the publications.

For example, @NortonRoseOR has been tweeting related articles. I have also seen useful tweets from @CanLawMag (Canadian Lawyer Magazine). Individuals in the legal industry sometimes also tweet rumours they have heard. For mergers in U.S. firms, see also Altman Weil’s MergerLine.
Related articles:

Do you have any tips on tracking law firm mergers? Please share in the comments!

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