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Norton Rose Fulbright announces global practice heads as Withers chair moves to New York

Both Norton Rose and Withers have made changes to their senior management, with one entering a seven-day countdown to its full merger with Fulbright & Jaworski as the other regroups after talks with Speechly Bircham fell through last week.

Norton Rose Fulbright today announced its global practice heads for the firm’s three largest practice areas; corporate, banking and finance.City-based legacy Norton Rose partner Martin Scott, currently head of corporate for Europe, will take over as global head of corporate from Hong Kong-based David Stannard, who re-joined Norton Rose in 2001 from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

UK-based Norton Rose banking partner Jeremy Edwards will maintain his current position as global head of banking, while Fulbright’s US-based Linda Addison will take over as global head of dispute resolution and litigation from Deirdre Walker, who has been Norton Rose group head since 2009.

Global chief executive Peter Martyr – who alongside Scott, Edwards and Addison formally adopts the role when the merger goes live on 3 June 2013 – appointed the practice heads and, unlike many other large City firms, those appointments are not limited to a set term.

Martyr said: ‘Dispute resolution and litigation; corporate, M&A and securities and banking and finance will continue to be key strengths for Norton Rose Fulbright globally, in conjunction with our existing six key industry strengths.’ The merger will create a 3,800-strong lawyer firm, with 54 offices including 11 in the US.

Withers, meanwhile, has confirmed that New York-based senior partner Ivan Sacks will take over from Anthony Indaimo as chairman in July.

Withers last week voted against a potential tie-up with Speechly Bircham, with the private client firms issuing a joint statement stating that a merger ‘would not be in the best interests of both firms.’

However, the vote to replace Indaimo – who has served the maximum two consecutive three-year terms allowed under Withers partnership agreement – took place in March, long before the talks collapsed.

That merger would have created a 600-lawyer practice with a combined revenue of £170m, elevating it into the top 25 of the Legal Business 100.