Legal Business Blogs

NRF votes through Henry Davis York Australian merger in second tie-up this year

Partners at Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) and Australian law firm Henry Davis York have formally agreed to merge less than a week after it was confirmed they were in late-stage discussions.

The merger will give the combined firm 160 partners in Australia with offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. It is expected the merger will go live later this year.

Henry Davis York offers services in five defined sectors – financial services, government, infrastructure, healthcare and university. The mid-pack Australian player is ranked top tier in restructuring and insolvency, with a good reputation in projects and infrastructure.

The full-service firm will tie in with NRF’s key sectors, financial institutions, energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities, transport, technology and innovation, and life sciences and healthcare.

NRF global chief executive Peter Martyr said the merger ‘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.’

The firm’s strategy, established in 2015, turns the firm’s attention to implementing new technology in the form of a practice management system from SAP, a plan for managing a diffuse and flexible workforce, increased use of data and analytics management, and knowhow, talent and knowledge management.

In February, NRF joined up with 400-lawyer New York-headquartered firm Chadbourne & Parke. The merger will see Chadbourne’s $250m practice bolted on to NRF’s US arm under the verein structure, giving the firm additional offices in Mexico City, São Paulo and Istanbul.

Read more: On the bus – Inside the Norton Rose Fulbright masterplan