From the official announcement:

• With around 160 partners in Australia, we will be the second largest global law firm and in the Top 5 overall, with offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney
• Market leading practices in key industry sectors, particularly financial services, government and infrastructure
• A distinguished client base of Australia’s most iconic businesses and government departments

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright and Australian law firm Henry Davis York announce their intention to combine their businesses to create one of Australia’s most compelling and dynamic law firms. The proposal for an intention to combine was approved by an overwhelming majority of partners in both firms. The two firms will work towards finalising the details of the proposed combination with a view to commencing the integration of the businesses later this year.

At a time of significant change for the industry, this proposed combination will provide a powerful new offering to clients who will benefit from the increased scale and depth drawn from two highly compatible firms. This will be particularly evident in the key industry sectors of financial services, government and infrastructure, where both Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York have established and well-respected teams.

A core focus will be assisting corporate and government clients to manage their exposure to risk through a comprehensive team of risk advisory and regulatory experts that will be market leaders in this growing area.

The combination will also create opportunities for our people to collaborate on the very best local, regional and global work.

Norton Rose Fulbright global chief executive Peter Martyr commented:

“There is a sense of real momentum in our global business right now. The combination proposal in Australia with Henry Davis York is occurring as we join forces with premier New-York based firm Chadbourne & Parke and continue to integrate into our business our new colleagues from Vancouver-based firm Bull Housser.

“The addition of Henry Davis York will give us the critical mass we need in Australia to take full advantage of the steps already underway, at a global level, to modernise our business through the implementation of our 2020 business transformation strategy. This combination will allow us to bring the benefits of this transformation to more clients.”

Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner commented:

“We have admired for some time the way Henry Davis York conducts its business, and we couldn’t be happier that our two firms wish to come together. Our complementary approaches to client service and deep expertise in core industries will create a compelling offering for corporates and governments, not just in Australia but in Asia Pacific and beyond.

“We were ahead of the pack when we announced our game-changing merger with Norton Rose in 2010. We see that the Australian legal market is ripe for the next phase of consolidation and we are satisfied that this combination will bring us another first-mover advantage that will significantly strengthen our brand and footprint in the market.”

Henry Davis York managing partner Michael Greene commented:

“The partners and I have been considering for some time how we could take a proud and respected Australian law firm and re-engineer it for the future. After consulting with our clients, we felt the time was right to look to join forces with an elite global law firm to continue to provide them with an even greater level of service and industry expertise.

“Following our recent investment in our continued growth, particularly in establishing a Canberra office, we are particularly enthused about what this proposed combination will deliver to our long-standing financial services, government and infrastructure clients.”

The respective firms will now work towards a formal combination launch date later this calendar year. Upon that launch, the combined firm will be known as Norton Rose Fulbright.