'Momentous' as Norton Rose US merger deal is sealed

Norton Rose, the 219-year-old London law firm, completes its merger with US practice Fulbright & Jaworski today, in what the combined group's boss describes as a "momentous occasion".

A merger that was initially agreed over a glass of Lagavulin single malt whisky in a West Sussex hotel bar last summer, Norton Rose Fulbright will finally be confirmed this morning with a welcome video played at the firm's 50-plus offices worldwide. The new group comfortably breaks into the world's top 10 law firms by revenue – $2bn (£1.3bn) – and number of lawyers, around 3,800.

The dominance of the Magic Circle of City law firms is under threat from this and similar international mergers involving their smaller rivals.

Peter Martyr was global chief executive at Norton Rose and will now lead the combined group. He told The Independent: "I've never believed in these names [such as Magic Circle]. I think the world is changing. This is a momentous occasion in the legal world. Our guys are so excited."