It is too early to tell whether recent law firm mergers will have a long-term effect, says David Chaikof in The Lawyer

Breaking the Ice

February 02, 2011

Canada's law firms have always been something of an unknown quantity internationally. In many ways, this is a strange state of affairs, given that Canada has a sophisticated legal market and an abundance of natural resources, and it relies on international trade for a big portion of its economy (30% of GDP in 2009).

In 2010 and 2011, a number of Canadian firms have embarked on a global push by merging with other firms. Partners at Canada's top firms are reserved in their analysis of the impact.

"It’s too early to tell," says David Chaikof. Regarding Ogilvy's merger with Norton Rose, he adds, "I have a lot of respect for the firm, but I don’t think there’ll be a short-term impact. Shearman & Sterling's and Skadden's entrance into Canada prompted talk at the time about whether it was a game changer, but we didn't see a herd of other U.S. firms coming in."

Read the full article here.

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