Getting bigger and bigger
After those mergers, Norton Rose Fulbright spent some time consolidating its practices and developing its presence in Asia and Africa.
But recently, it looks like the firm has been pursuing a second transformation. Since 2016, the firm has opened offices in Europe and returned to Canada, Australia and the US for more mergers.
After its last merger with US firm, Chadbourne & Parke, Norton Rose Fulbright had about 4000 lawyers, revenues of up to $2 billion and 59 offices in 33 countries. In its $1-2bn bracket, Norton Rose Fulbright has the biggest partnership and largest international footprint, according to The Lawyer.
The mergers have given Norton Rose Fulbright a global platform to serve clients. This has led to many lucrative mandates. For example, the firm won M&A Team of the Year in the 2017 Legal Week Africa Awards for its work advising Barclays. According to Legal Week, the bank said that few firms “would have the necessary resources in London and Africa to handle a transaction of this scale”. This is true; Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the most established firms operating in Africa.
Interestingly, even before its recent US and Australian mergers, The Lawyer rated Norton Rose Fulbright as the most international law firm in the world (June 2017). An astonishing 86% of the firm’s partners are based outside its home jurisdiction in the UK. The same applies to earnings, in 2016-17, 80% of its revenue came from outside the UK. That’s a long way away from 2001, when London was the 80%.