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Ottawa firm Gowling Strathy & Henderson has set its sights on international expansion after its merger with Calgary-based Code Hunter.The merger with the 66-fee earner practice is one of three currently taking place in Canada and will create the second-largest Canadian firm with 450 lawyers. Gowlings already has a Moscow office, but managing partner Scott Jolliffe said that the firm now planned to open an office in Hong Kong in order to support its highly-ranked IP/IT practice.Jolliffe said a Hong Kong IP/IT office was needed to service growing demand from US, European and Chinese clients. He added that a major reason for the merger with Code Hunter was to gain access to the Alberta technology market.Alberta is booming, with start-up companies in the oil, computer and biotechnology sectors. Jolliffe said the firm was also looking at eastern Europe where the IP market is still developing.But he said the firm had ruled out a London presence because the market is already so competitive. Gowlings has a long-standing relationship with Simmons & Simmons in the UK and ties with Holland & Knight in the US. Meanwhile, Toronto-based Fasken Campbell Godfrey is to merge with Montreal-based Martineau Walker to form a 360-plus law firm. The new firm – Fasken Martineau – will splice together the extensive litigation skills of Faskens with the general expertise of Martineau Walker.News of the mergers comes weeks after Canada’s Tory Tory DesLauriers & Binnington announced its merger with New York’s Haythe & Curley, the first between a US and Canadian firm.

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