Global legal giant Norton Rose Fulbright and New York-based Chadbourne & Parke LLP are discussing a possible merger, the law firms said Thursday, a tie-up that experts say could give both firms a boost in their ability to compete in a cutthroat legal market.
The firms confirmed reports of the merger talks Thursday afternoon, with a spokesman for Chadbourne saying that while there are still details to nail down, "we hope to have something to report on this soon," suggesting that the discussions may be in the late stages. A merger would create a combined firm of more than 4,000 attorneys.
Norton Rose Fulbright would benefit from taking on Chadbourne's "well-recognized brand" in New York, a difficult market in which to get a foothold, according to Jeff Liebster, a partner with Major, Lindsey & Africa.
"Norton Rose Fulbright would get an old-line, well-recognized brand in New York to be part of their global platform. That's something that I believe has been part of the Norton Rose Fulbright agenda for quite some time," Liebster said.