Law Firms

Norton Rose and Chadbourne confirm merger discussions

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Updated: Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne & Parke have confirmed they are discussing a merger.

Both law firms released statements on Tuesday afternoon, after the Am Law Daily published a story about the talks that relied on anonymous sources.

According to the Am Law Daily, considerations driving the talks are Chadbourne’s “struggling position in the market and shrinking size,” and Norton Rose Fulbright’s interest in Chadbourne’s project finance group. The story said the law firms have been discussing a merger for several months and partners in the firms have arranged joint meetings.

Norton Rose Fulbright released this statement: “Norton Rose Fulbright can confirm discussions with Chadbourne & Parke regarding a possible combination. We believe that the combination would provide an even stronger global platform for our clients, who would also benefit from our compatibility in both practice and industry focus. We will make no further comment on this matter until discussions with our partnership have concluded.”

Chadbourne released this statement: “We have been in discussions with Norton Rose Fulbright about a potential combination. A prospective union with Norton Rose Fulbright has the potential to enhance our capabilities and add tremendous value for the clients of both firms, but there are still a number of considerations left in this process, and it is premature to discuss these in any detail. We hope to have something to report on this soon.”

Chadbourne is currently facing a $100 million class action that claims the firm has “a culture of discrimination against female attorneys.” The partner who filed the suit, Kerrie Campbell, is opposing the firm’s motion for summary judgment, which contends equity partners aren’t considered employees entitled to sue under anti-bias laws, according to the Recorder (sub. req.).

Updated at 1:20 p.m. to report that both law firms confirmed the merger discussions.

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