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NRF partner promotions delayed as firm moves to US financial reporting ‘to align with the global business’

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) is shifting its financial reporting to the US calendar year-end in a symbolic move towards a more integrated business.

The move, which the firm describes as a bid to align the European operations with the global business, also means NRF will not be announcing Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) partner promotions until December this year.

NRF was typically cagey on the details of the financial shift, but it is a significant move for the verein firm operating as five financially separate businesses across the world. Its lack of integration has caused difficulties in the past.

For instance, the UK-based legacy Norton Rose partnership was given limited voting rights on the merger with New York firm Chadbourne & Parke, which went live in summer last year.

Speaking to Legal Business, a spokesperson for NRF denied any connection between that tie-up and the firm’s plans to shift its financial year, saying the latter decision was taken prior to the Chadbourne merger.

NRF will be publishing its latest financials over the next few weeks, the spokesperson added. Its most recent LLP accounts showed a 7.5% drop in the firm’s Eurasian profits to £115.8m amid a 3% rise in turnover from £444.3m to £457.9m.

Meanwhile, the firm’s next promotion round is expected for December, meaning there will be a 20-month gap since its latest round in April last year when the firm promoted 45 across its global network.

Questions remain as to whether the firm will follow this move with the financial integration of its profit pools, currently spread across five businesses across the world. NRF did not comment on this point.