DAC Beachcroft has secured an association with Canadian law firm McCague Borlack, signing a two-year agreement ahead of a potential full merger in 2014.
The tie-up with the 12-partner Toronto insurance litigation specialist, which went live on May 1, will see the pair jointly service clients in both the U.K. and Canada, sharing office space and seconding lawyers to each other.
If the alliance proves successful, the firms intend to fully financially integrate in two years' time -- a move that would boost DAC Beachcroft's turnover by around C$30 million (£19 million) and add 70 lawyers.
International senior partner Danny Gowan commented: "Our international focus has been significantly in Latin America to date. The opportunity in Canada came out of left field to some extent, but when an opportunity presents itself you cannot ignore it."
The expansive firm has also applied to practice foreign law in Sao Paulo and plans to open its own office by the beginning of the next financial year. Partners Hermes Marangos and Matthew Westcott will lead the new branch, with the firm intending to maintain its non-exclusive referral relationship with local firm JBO Advocacia.
DAC Beachcroft also plans to execute a full financial tie-up with Chilean best friend SegurosLex within the year, as well as merging with associated firm Amunategui Cia to create an eight-lawyer office in Santiago.
Colombia is the firm's third South American target, where Gowan is leading discussions to form an association with a Bogota practice. "With representation in Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Santiago and Bogota, we will have genuine reach in our Latin American practice," he concluded.
The next priority is Asia, where the firm has a joint venture in India and a two-partner Singapore office. "We want to build relationships and local associations like those in Latin America," said Gowan.