Norton Rose explores second Canadian merger

Norton Rose is in merger talks with Calgary firm Macleod Dixon, just four months after merging with Canada’s Ogilvy Renault.

According to Toronto publication Legal Post, both sets of partners have provisionally consented to the tie-up.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Norton Rose OR – Norton Rose’s Canadian arm – said: “We’re constantly exploring options that would reinforce our practice in major markets and best serve our clients. We’re currently in discussions with Macleod Dixon and once we’ve completed that process, we’ll be in a position to comment.”

A merger with Calgary-headquartered Macleod Dixon would give Norton Rose a more substantial presence in the resource-rich region than it received through its merger with Montreal firm Ogilvy Renault (22 November 2010), which only opened an office in Calgary in 2010.

Earlier this year The Lawyer reported how sources in the Canadian legal market had named Macleod Dixon as a likely target for a merger with a UK or US firm (31 January 2011).

At the time, Macleod Dixon managing partner Bill Tuer said: “Like most Canadian firms, we’re evaluating things. We’re not committed one way or the other, for or against a merger.”

The firm, which has around 250 lawyers, is one of the most international in Canada, with offices in Moscow, Almaty, Caracas, Bogotá and Rio de Janeiro, as well as Toronto and Calgary, and practises local law in all the jurisdictions in which it is based.