The C$42.6 million deal between U.K. publicly traded legal services firm DWF Group and Canadian law firm Whitelaw Twining is a first for Canada, according to Whitelaw Twining’s Canadian managing partner.

A law firm joining with a public company, and the ensuing structure of the new entity, is creating a lot of buzz in the Canadian legal industry, where strict regulatory rules require lawyers to control and manage the delivery of legal services.