Kalis’ b-Ark

Norton Rose’s second stealth merger in as many years is the talk of the town (see story). Not all of it is good.

Unlike SJ Berwin, the firm did at least successfully keep a lid on its talks with both Deneys Reitz of South Africa and Canada’s Ogilvy Renault for the best part of a year, giving yesterday’s unveiling all the more clout.

But for some nay-sayers this isn’t a proper merger at all. Consequently a torrent of vitriol has been unleashed on thelawyer.com.

“This isn’t a real merger,” barked one reader. “It’s a branding exercise. Where are the shared profits? This is not one organisation but several!”

Naturally, like many a brave rant, this one was posted anonymously. But K&L Gates head honcho Peter Kalis, the man behind a merger-driven behemoth, has no fear of sticking his head above the parapet.

“There has been a recent spate of ’Noah’s Ark’ mergers: two CEOs, two partnerships, two profit pools, two accounting systems, two operations centres, all with a single flag flying above the Ark,” said Kalis. “Apparently Noah must now accommodate them coming aboard three by three.”

Want to look at Peter Martyr’s response? Check it out here.