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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Salans, FMC and SNR Denton to Combine
Combination Creates New Top Ten International Law Firm to Offer Clients Competitive Edge

TORONTO, NEW YORK and LONDON, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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. 

For further information and details regarding the new firm, visit on November 13th:

Location List and Global  

Naming Convention:

Contact Information:


Stuart Wilson

+1 212 398 8466





Annette Spencer


Amy Holmes


Louise Ray-Hill

+44 207429 6029

+1 416 863 4481

+44 (0) 7246 7082




Asia Pacific/Middle East


Mark Goldberg


Marie McDermott

+1 212 398 5297

+86 21 2315 6039

Salans is a full service international commercial law firm built on a pioneering spirit, with 930 fee earners and over 1,500 staff operating from 20 offices. The firm prides itself on its independent and entrepreneurial spirit, combining extensive international capabilities with solution-oriented local expertise, market intelligence and experience in each jurisdiction in which it operates. Salans has established offices in financial hubs and capital cities in 17 countries across Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia/CIS, North America and Asia. The offices are listed here alphabetically: Almaty, Baku, Barcelona, Berlin, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Kyiv, London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Prague, Shanghai, St. Petersburg and Warsaw.

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC) is one of Canada's leading business and litigation law firms with more than 500 lawyers and professionals in six full-service offices located in the country's key business centers. The firm focuses on providing outstanding service and value to its clients and it strives to excel as a workplace of choice for its people. Regardless of where clients choose to do business in Canada, FMC's strong team of professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national and cross-border matters. FMC's well-earned reputation for consistently delivering the highest quality legal services and counsel to its clients is complemented by an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusiveness to broaden its insight and perspective on its clients' needs.

SNR Denton is a client-focused international legal practice delivering quality and value. It serves clients in key business and financial centers from more than 60 locations worldwide, through offices, associate firms and special alliances across the US, the UK, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa, making it a top 25 legal services provider by lawyers and professionals.  SNR Denton offers business, government and institutional clients premier service and a disciplined focus to meet evolving needs in eight key industry sectors: Energy, Transport and Infrastructure; Financial Institutions and Funds; Government; Health and Life Sciences; Insurance; Manufacturing; Real Estate, Retail and Hotels; and Technology, Media and Telecommunications.

Legal Notice

This information relates to a proposed combination of Salans LLP, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP and SNR Denton Group (A Swiss Verein), and their members and affiliated undertakings, which has not yet been approved or consummated by the constituent firms or otherwise become effective.


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