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DLA Piper Readies for ‘Musical Chairs,’ Talks to Potential Canadian Merger Partners

Posted Mar 8, 2011 8:13 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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DLA Piper hasn’t given up on finding a law firm merger partner in Canada.

The law firm talked to Canadian firm Fasken Martineau in 2008, but nothing came of the discussions. Now DLA Piper co-chairman Frank Burch tells the Lawyer that his firm is once again considering a Canadian tie-up. The revelation comes after U.K. law firm Norton Rose expanded into Canada through a merger with Ogilvy Renault.

We’ve talked to six or seven firms and continue to talk to three or four of the top 10,” Burch told the Lawyer. “There’s now a high level of interest among the top Canadian firms in being an early mover [in terms of tying up with a global player].

“It’s just like everywhere else—when the game of musical chairs starts, you need to find a seat.”

The Lawyer said potential Canadian merger partners were Heenan Blaikie and Fraser Milner Casgrain.

CTV News contacted the firms for comment. Fraser Milner would not confirm or deny talks with DLA Piper. The co-managing partner of Heenan Blaikie, Norman Bacal, told the publication that he hadn’t had any discussions with DLA Piper and there were no current plans for a merger. He added, though, that “I’d be very flattered if they called.”

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