Fulbright & Jaworski and U.K.-based Norton Rose are to combine next summer, creating a global giant that will rank among the world’s 10-largest law firms by revenue and attorney head count, the two announced yesterday. In the latest transatlantic tie-up, which follows the likes of DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells and SNR Denton, the combination of Fulbright and Norton Rose will formally take effect on June 1, 2013.
The new firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, will boast 3,800 lawyers spread across 55 offices, and total revenues of around $2 billion. The combined organization will be headed by Norton Rose group CEO Peter Martyr. Fulbright chair-elect Kenneth Stewart, who was appointed to replace incumbent Steven Pfeiffer in May, will serve as managing partner of the U.S. operations and will take a senior position on Norton Rose Fulbright’s global executive committee. “This is the culmination of a process that started 18 months ago,” said Stewart. “We undertook a strategic review and realized that we needed to follow our clients’ needs into the global marketplace. We pretty quickly concluded that the best way of doing that was to find an international practice to merge with.”
Fulbright is the latest addition to Norton Rose’s rapidly expanding Swiss verein, which now comprises members in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada and South Africa. (A verein is a Swiss-law holding structure, utilized by DLA Piper, Baker & McKenzie, and most other recent global mergers, that lets participating entities maintain their existing forms without integrating financially.) Over the past three years, Norton Rose has embarked on a sustained merger spree that has transformed it from a faltering London-based practice into one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing firms.