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Norton Rose to Wed Major Australian Firm

Posted Jun 23, 2009 7:18 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A major international firm that is considered one of the top legal shops in London is acquiring a 146-partner Australian counterpart, setting the stage for greater dominance by Norton Rose Group in the Asia-Pacific region.

The merger with Deacons was approved by a partnership vote last night and will take place Jan. 1, 2010, Legal Week reports. Deacons will rebrand itself as part of the Norton Rose Group following the marriage of the two firms.

Although the deal doesn't include a Deacons Hong Kong contingent, the merger will add teams of Deacons lawyers to the Singapore and Jakarta offices of Norton Rose. Because Deacons lawyers in Australia have a substantial book of Asia-based business, the merger is expected to enhance Norton Rose's profile there significantly.

"The economic influence in the world is moving eastwards and in order to develop our business we needed a significant expansion in our resources in the Asia-Pacific region," says chief executive Peter Martyr of Norton Rose in a law firm press release. "The increased capability of the group throughout the region will lay the foundations for further regional development and expansion."

Norton Rose and its affiliated offices have more than 1,000 lawyers worldwide.

Additional coverage:

Law Central (London Times): "Norton Rose heads Down Under"

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