Salans, FMC and SNR Denton to Combine

14th November 2012

8 November 2012

Three leading law firms, Salans, Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) and SNR Denton, are recommending to their partners on Tuesday, November 13, that they become foundational members in the creation of a new top ten international law firm. The firms will bring together their unique strengths, experience and cultures across Europe, Canada, the UK, the US, the Middle East, Central and East Asia, and Africa to create a fully integrated global firm that will rank as the seventh largest law firm in the world, measured by number of lawyers and professionals.

The new firm will be uniquely positioned to serve clients as: a firm not centered on the uniting of a UK and US firm; the first combination involving a Canadian firm and a firm with a substantial US presence; and a truly polycentric firm.

Beyond a US/UK Merger: The combination is the most significant law firm combination not born out of the merger of a UK and US firm and the only combination involving firms with significant operations in Europe, Canada, the UK and the US.

First Firm with Extensive Canadian and US Operations: FMC is the first Canadian firm to combine with a firm that has a substantial presence in the US, allowing a single firm to meet the needs of clients operating on both sides of the largest trading relationship between two countries in the world.

Truly Polycentric: The new firm fully embraces the diversity of its geography, cultures and legal traditions, qualities that make it truly polycentric. It will have no headquarters, no dominant national culture, and will proudly offer clients talent from diverse backgrounds and countries with deep experience in Civil Law, English Common Law and US Common Law.

The combination is driven by the opportunity to unite three firms with complementary geographic footprints. This will allow the new firm to respond to client demands for greater cross-border depth and a modern, business-oriented approach to complex legal challenges. The client base of the new firm will include many of the world’s leading multi-national private and public corporations, funds, banks, insurance companies and governmental entities. The platform will also allow the new firm to challenge other leading global law firms more effectively and significantly grow its market share of legal services.

Bringing together this depth and array of talent will enable clients to benefit from more than 2,500 lawyers and professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, the UK and the US in key business sectors:

  • The combination unites pre-eminent Energy practices in Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, the UK and the US. In addition, it connects a dominant Canadian Mining practice to strong practices in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the UK and the US.
  • It will create an international leader in Banking and Finance, offering clients the full range of transactional, dispute resolution and regulatory services in the world’s leading financial and commercial centers: London, New York, Paris, Toronto, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Moscow, Dubai, Chicago, Shanghai and Singapore.
  • The combination joins three leading Real Estate practices, and clients will now have singular access to preeminent real estate teams in Asia, Europe, the UK and North America who specialize in private equity and sovereign wealth funds, real estate finance and capital markets, hotels and resorts, development and construction, acquisition and disposition and leasing.
  • The new firm brings together leading Insurance practices serving top clients in six of the eight largest commercial insurance markets in the world: Canada, China, France, Germany, the UK and the US.
  • The new firm will offer clients top tier talent and leading practices on four continents in additional sectors and capabilities in demand by clients including Antitrust and Competition; Bankruptcy and Restructuring; Capital Markets; Corporate; Employment, Benefits and Pensions; Government; Healthcare & Life Sciences; Hotels & Resorts; Intellectual Property; International Trade; Litigation and International Arbitration; Luxury Brands; Manufacturing; Mergers & Acquisitions; Privacy; Private Equity; Public Policy and Regulation; Securities; Tax; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; Transportation, Infrastructure and Construction; Trusts, Estates and Wealth Management; and Venture Technology.

While providing clients the services of the highest quality lawyers is the new firm’s goal, it will have the largest practices, by number of lawyers, in Energy, Insurance, Media and Entertainment, and Real Estate law, and the second largest Bankruptcy, International Trade and Environmental practices globally, according to industry rankings by Law 360.

The new firm will be known as:

Salans FMC SNR Denton

It will employ an innovative name migration strategy to capture the inherent brand equity of the Salans, FMC and SNR Denton names in their current geographies, commencing with the use of as the new firm's URL on the effective date of the combination. For more details, see on November 13.

The new firm will be structured as a Swiss Verein and led by a global board and leadership team including:

Elliott Portnoy, Global Chief Executive Officer, currently SNR Denton’s Global Chief Executive Officer

Joe Andrew, Global Chair, currently SNR Denton’s Global Chair

Francois Chateau, Global Vice-Chair, currently Salans’ Global Board Chair

Bill Jenkins, Global Vice-Chair, currently FMC’s National Partnership Board Presiding Member

Matthew Jones, UK, Middle East and Africa Chief Executive Officer, currently SNR Denton’s EMEA Chief Executive Officer

Dariusz Oleszczuk, Europe Chief Executive Officer, currently Salans’ Global Managing Partner

Chris Pinnington, Canada Chief Executive Officer, currently FMC’s Chief Executive Officer

Peter Wolfson, US Chief Executive Officer, currently SNR Denton’s US Chief Executive Officer

Jana Cohen Barbe, currently SNR Denton’s Financial Institutions and Funds Sector Co-Chair

Michael Barr, currently SNR Denton’s US Senior Partner

Neil Cuthbert, currently SNR Denton’s Middle East Senior Partner

Mike Kaplan, currently Managing Partner of FMC’s Toronto Office

Martin Kitchen, currently SNR Denton’s UK Senior Partner

Evan Lazar, currently Salans' Global Real Estate Co-Chair

The partners of each firm will vote on the proposed combination in November. Subject to the vote, the combination will become effective in the first quarter of 2013.

Link to press release

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