Norton Rose to merge with Canada’s Ogilvy and South Africa’s Deneys

Norton Rose has announced tie-ups with Canadian firm Ogilvy Renault and South African firm Deneys Reitz.

Peter Martyr
Peter Martyr

The mergers come less than a year after Norton Rose formalised its tie-up with Australian firm Deacons, now Norton Rose Australia, as the City firm continues its global expansion. The deals will see the enlarged group become a top 10 global practice by number of lawyers with combined revenues of more than $1bn (£622m).

Both mergers will go live on 1 June 2011, giving the Norton Rose group 38 offices worldwide and a partnership numbering more than 750.

Ogilvy Renault managing partner John Coleman and Deneys Reitz deputy chairman Rob Otty will join the Norton Rose executive committee. Peter Martyr will continue as chief executive, with Don Boyd as deputy chief executive and Stephen Parish as group chairman.

The arrangements with both firms will mirror the Deacons deal with all three operating separate profit pools.

Martyr said: “Like everybody else we were very keen to develop the Asia-Pacific platform. Having done that, if you stand in China or Asia and look at where they’re doing business it’s places like Canada and Africa.

“Following the same principles as Australia, there are lots of law firms [in those countries] with the right kind of client base. This links them together in the same way as the accountancy firms have been doing.

“We’ve been talking to [Ogilvy and Deneys] for the best part of a year. They were two of our leading correspondent law firms.”

The tie-up with Deneys Reitz marks the first full merger between South African and UK firms, although firms including DLA Piper, Eversheds and SNR Denton have alliances with firms in the jurisdiction.