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Vancouver law firm takes international spotlight

Norton Rose Fulbright and Bull Housser's combination is one of many, revealing an industry trend to think internationally




Norton Rose Fulbright and Bull Housser’s combination is one of many, revealing an industry trend to think internationally

Norton Rose Fulbright and Bull Housser, two legal industry powerhouses, have combined firms to create an even stronger international presence.

Bull Housser, one of Vancouver’s largest law firms, has a 126-year history in British Columbia, while Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the world’s fastest-growing global law firms, operating in more than 50 cities around the world. The two firms will operate under the Norton Rose Fulbright name moving forward.

“We have enjoyed a good relationship with Norton Rose Fulbright over many years and believe that the firm reflects our approach to service and has a culture of diversity and excellence that is well-aligned with our own,” says Janet Grove, Bull Housser’s former Managing Partner and now Norton Rose Fulbright’s Managing Partner in Vancouver.

“B.C. has become a global leader in a range of industries,” says Grove. “We have assisted our clients with many projects that have transformed business and the landscape both in B.C. and elsewhere.”

Grove adds that while the preservation and growth of their expertise in B.C. is still top of mind, the combination with Norton Rose Fulbright means that their clients will now have seamless and timely access to first-rate legal support wherever they do business.

“We are one of the fastest-growing law firms in the world and in just over five years, have established a presence in Australia, Canada, South Africa, Latin America and Central Asia,” says Peter Martyr, Chief Executive of Norton Rose Fulbright. “The combination with Bull Housser, following our recent establishment of an office in San Francisco, reinforces our growing Pacific Rim practice.”

The move comes in the wake of similar Canadian law firm combinations as the legal industry continues to consolidate.

The advantages to each party when firms combine are many: new markets, top lawyers, economies of scale, increased financial resources and brand awareness. Over the past five years, B.C. has seen several firms respond to the globalization of business law.

Ranked as one of Western Canada’s leading regional law firms, Bull Housser has aligned itself well. In 2015, Norton Rose Fulbright was named the number one legal brand in Canada by Acritas, a legal market research firm. This year, Norton Rose Fulbright was awarded the prestigious Best Lawyers in Canada’s Law Firm of the Year, Canada’s Top 100 Employers for its Toronto office, and the Innovation Awards’ Knowledge Management and Library Services.

Bull Housser ranked in nine practice areas in the Chambers Canada 2017 Guide, and 20 Bull Housser lawyers were recognized as “Leaders in their Fields.” These rankings place Bull Housser in a first-place tie for the most B.C. lawyer rankings. The firm is also ranked by Lexpert in 13 practice areas, placing them second in terms of number of B.C. rankings.

In addition to bringing together two highly regarded firms with a broad depth of experience, the union brings together their best elements for the benefit of all existing and prospective clients. Key advantages include innovative service offerings, improved efficiencies through advanced technology and systems, and access to leading legal advisors around the globe.

Once combined, there will be nearly more than 3,500 lawyers (more than 650 in Canada) based in more than 50 offices worldwide.

For local businesses, the Vancouver office will continue to provide its full range of legal services, with lawyers supported by an established and experienced pool of Canadian and global legal talent.