Norton Rose chief: it doesn’t stop here

Norton Rose CEO Peter Martyr is not saying whether he will stand for a fourth term as firm chief when the next election comes up in 2014, but he has dropped a bit of a hint. “This is not completed,” he announced after sealing the deal of his career that will see the business combine with Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski in June 2013.

Just in case the market thought he was preparing to retire from management after what will be 12 years at the top, including around a year as CEO of Norton Rose Fulbright, Martyr has set out what looks like a sneak preview of a five-year plan. “I have no problem finding things to do,” he insisted.

Already the first plans are out. As we reveal today, the combined firm plans to open in Brazil next year and Mexico within half a decade, expanding the Latin American reach Norton Rose already has in Colombia and Venezuela.

It’s an energy play, of course, and a further step in Norton Rose’s plans for global dominance after spreading further across Asia, Australia, Canada and most of the length of Africa. Martyr says he wants to turn the firm into a “polished global machine”, so expect a string of integration measures, although yet another merger is unlikely quite yet as the Brazilian regulatory regime doesn’t lend itself to international combinations.

Martyr was effectively the sole deal-doer during the year or so of merger talks with Fulbright, so any change of management in two years’ time would likely lead to a major shift in direction and leadership style. Any partners looking to take his place should start sniffing around carefully – Martyr’s not giving much away.


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