NRF says partner losses common ahead of mergers

A few partners are defecting, but the global outfit says it will soon announce partners joining the team

NRF says partner losses common ahead of mergers
Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) may be losing four partners to Pinsent Masons in Perth, but the firm maintains that this is normal ahead of major mergers.

Pinsent Masons announced yesterday that it has hired four partners from NRF to expand in the country. Pinsent Masons made the announcement just days after Kennedys announced an expansion in Melbourne with a team it hired from Lander & Rogers.

Wayne Spanner, NRF’s managing partner in Australia, said that the firm’s focus at the moment is its imminent merger with national firm Henry Davis York. He also said that some partners naturally choose a different way forward in major mergers, and that the firm itself is poised to announce new partners soon.

Here’s Spanner’s statement to Australasian Lawyer in its entirety:

“Since Norton Rose Fulbright entered Australia in 2010, we have been focussed on building an elite global law firm, solidifying our industry and sector expertise, and forging strong links around the world with our clients and within our business.

“Our immediate focus now is on our intended combination with premier Australian law firm Henry Davis York this calendar year. Both firms have been busy preparing for that combination since it was announced in mid-June, and we’ve had a strong, positive response from clients during our many conversations with them about what the combination would offer their organisations.

“With all these things, some people will want to adopt a different course and we wish them well. This sort of thing is a common occurrence in mergers. Others are attracted by the scale of our ambition, such as new corporate and M&A partners Martin Irwin in Sydney and Adam Edelman in Perth (who joins us in September). Further new partner announcements will be made soon.”

The new partners will add to the nine lateral partners NRF has hired in Australia since the start of 2016. The latest among the firm’s partner hires are Martin Irwin, who came from Baker McKenzie, and Adam Edelman, who returns to the firm in September from his in-house role at HSBC.

NRF said that the four partners ­Pinsent Masons named – Rob Buchanan, Matthew Croagh, Adrienne Parker, and Bill Ryan – still have no definite departure date and are still with the firm.

Related stories:
Kennedys to open 7th international office this year
Ahead of merger, Henry Davis York elevates 14 to senior positions
24 Aussie promotions at NRF ahead of merger

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