Bill Hines of Jones Walker and George Fowler of Fowler Rodriguez announced their respective firms have merged.

The law firms Jones Walker and Fowler Rodriguez have merged, with Jones Walker absorbing 11 Fowler Rodriguez attorneys, including name partner George Fowler III.

Jones Walker managing partner Bill Hines and Fowler said the union is a win for both. Jones Walker benefits because New Orleans-based Fowler Rodriguez is the top maritime law firm, according to Chambers USA, and also has deep ties to Miami and Latin America— key area Jones Walker is targeting for expansion.

Fowler Rodriguez benefits because the larger platform at Jones Walker allows it to provide its clients, which include Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises, with representation in a wider array of practice areas, Fowler said.

“We had Fortune 500 companies as clients like Mastech and Carnival and Royal Caribbean but they had other kinds of work that we wouldn’t service them in other than maritime and litigation,” Fowler said.

Talks of a merger first began when a shared client, Pan-American Insurance CEO Jose Suquet, joked that the two shared a similar drive and would work well together. Last year, the wisecrack started to become a reality, and now the combination is official.

“For more than 20 years, we have successfully relied on George Fowler’s firm to handle many of our complex legal matters. We look forward to the expanded capabilities of this union,” Arnaldo Perez, senior vice president and general counsel of Carnival Corp., said in a statement.

Fowler Rodriguez attorneys will join Jones Walker offices in New Orleans, Miami and Houston.

In addition to Fowler, Edward LeBreton III, Luis Llamas, Luis Enrique Cuervo, Michael McCoy, Santiago Padilla, Mark Rich and Juan Serrallés IV joined as partners. Michael Rosen joined as special counsel, and Caroline Sanches and Lauren Kurtz joined as associates.

Jones Walker has offices in Alabama (Birmingham and Mobile); Arizona (Phoenix); Florida (Miami and Tallahassee); Georgia (Atlanta); Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans); Mississippi (Jackson); New York City; Texas (Houston and The Woodlands); and Washington, D.C. Fowler had offices in Bogotá, Colombia; Houston; Miami; Mobile, Alabama, New Orleans; and Gulfport, Mississippi, according to the firm’s website.