Norton Rose Fulbright: giant legal brand is born

Norton Rose Fulbright launches today, creating a $1.9bn legal giant with 3,800 lawyers and a foot in (almost) every corner of the world.

Not quite every corner, mind. The combined firm is progressing with its plans to open in two of the few key jurisdictions where it currently has no outpost: Brazil and Mexico.

Indeed, its previous merger suitor, Canada’s Macleod Dixon, had an alliance with Brazilian firm Veirano Advogados that was not inherited when it merged with Norton Rose last year. Now the combined firm UK-US firm is planning to start talks over a Brazil office opening later this year, with Mexico also on the horizon.

It has no shortage of managers to work out what to do and when: the transnational giant has set out its 40-person leadership team, including a significantly expanded executive committee and supervisory board. 25 per cent of partners selected are from legacy US firm Fulbright & Jaworski, or a total of 11, compared with 12 UK partners. This is at first glance not a London-dominated merger.

But it is a tie-up that is being carefully branded. Norton Rose Fulbright has published on its website a list of logo rules, banning any alteration of the “namestyle”, prescribing the amount of white space around the name and granting permission to use silver letters “in certain situations where none of the above colours [such as red] are practical”. It also outlaws “NRF” in the logo and, perhaps unnecessarily, the incorrectly spelt “Norton Rose Fullbright”.

Every firm has brand police, but NRF’s (whoops!) reference to a “minimum invisible exclusion zone which sits around the logo and is the equivalent to the height of the arrow” sounds entertainingly officious.

But if you can’t organise a logo efficiently, how are you going to manage a 3,800-lawyer firm? Norton Rose Fulbright has it all covered.

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